Trump hopes to restore travel with Asia as soon as possible

WASHINGTON, U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday he hopes to restore travel with Asia as soon as possible following a drop in the number of coronavirus cases there.

Trump made the remark at a press conference at the White House, after declaring a national emergency to fight the coronavirus outbreak in the United States.

He was responding to a question about how he views the progress made in Asia and when he plans to lift travel restrictions and warnings on China and South Korea, which he said he may do during an earlier address to the nation on Wednesday.

"Well, some are making progress, some are not, as you know," Trump said. "But some are making progress and as they make progress, as they get down to the number that we all think is right -- that they know is right, we know is right -- we'll be opening it up.

"And some are really moving along rapidly," Trump added. "We hope to be able to open things up as quickly as possible."

During Wednesday's address, Trump announced a ban on travel to the U.S. from Europe, except the United Kingdom and Ireland, for 30 days starting Friday at midnight.

He also said: "At the same time we are monitoring the situation in China and South Korea, and as their situation improves, we will reevaluate the restrictions and warnings that are currently in place for a possible early opening."

Last month the State Department issued the highest-level travel advisory for Daegu, where the majority of COVID-19 cases in South Korea have been reported, urging Americans not to travel there. The rest of South Korea has been under the second-highest level advisory, which calls for reconsidering travel to the country.

Meanwhile, foreign nationals who have been in China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, in the past 14 days are denied entry to the United States.

Thursday marked the first time since the Jan. 20 detection of the virus in South Korea that the number of recoveries exceeded the number of new infections in the country. The total caseload stood at 7,979.

The same day the U.S. had 1,629 cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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