Saturday US President Donald Trump declared travel restrictions from Iran and told fellow citizens not to fly to some parts of South Korea and Italy.
The announcement came as the Washington state confirmed the first death from coronavirus in the US.
“Unfortunately, one person passed away overnight, she was a beautiful woman in her late 50s, a medically high-risk patient,” Donald Trump told reporters at the White House.
“Additional cases are likely in the U.S. but healthy individuals should be able to recover entirely. If you’re healthy, you’re likely going to go through a phase and you’re going to be fine,” he said, urging people not to worry.
So far, as many as 15 people in the US have recovered from the virus.
“There’s no reason to panic at all. Our country’s ready for any conditions,” the president said on his return from India on Wednesday at his second press conference in the White House briefing room.
Vice President Mike Pence said Trump, attending the press conference, had approved a ban on foreign nationals traveling to Iran in the last 14 days.
The U.S. has advised its citizens not to fly to parts of South Korea and Italy where coronavirus reports have occurred. Trump also directed the vice-president to lead the efforts of the administration in the fight against coronavirus.
“It’s a sad day in our state as we learn that a Washingtonian has died as a result of COVID-19. Our hearts go out to their family and friends. We’re going to continue working towards a day when no one is dying from this virus.”
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said an outbreak of a respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus was first identified in China’s Hubei province’s Wuhan city and has now been detected worldwide at 50 locations, including cases in the United States.
It said the potential public health threat posed by the coronavirus was significant, both globally and in the US, adding that it was crucial to respond effectively to the coronavirus outbreak, to rapidly identify cases and contacts, appropriate clinical management and infection control, and to implement community reduction efforts.
With the wide availability of testing facilities in healthcare environments, reference and industrial labs, and at the point of care, this could best be done, the FDA reported.