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Coronavirus outbreak: Co-discoverer of Ebola Peter Piot raps travel restrictions

Updated : February 18, 2020 09:00 PM IST

It is difficult to stop coronavirus from spreading and China needs to do much more to contain the pandemic, says Peter Piot, Director at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who co-discovered the Ebola virus.

Speaking at the Bio-Asia Summit in Hyderabad, Piot said no travel ban has stopped an epidemic in history. “When the World Health Organisation declared coronavirus outbreak as an international concern, it explicitly recommended against travel restrictions. The ban may slow down the spread of infections, but the most important thing for slowing down the spread is that China gets the epidemic under control. They are going for very draconian measures that I do not think any other country, perhaps except for North Korea, can implement,” he said.

“The US has cases, India has cases, the UK has cases; are we going to ban all travel from the US, from the UK? That is not going to work. You have to consider the implications if suddenly all international travel would come to a standstill. I think the global economy would collapse. What we need to do is to make sure that travellers are properly screened,” he added.
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