Coronavirus spikes outside China show travel bans aren’t working
History and science show that travel restrictions can delay, but hardly stop, an outbreak.
There are two words no one wants to hear during an emerging outbreak: local transmission.
Over the weekend, Italy became the European leader in cases of the disease officially known as COVID-19. Its tally increased sharply from 11 to 124, as several clusters of infections with no connection to the virus’s site of origin in China appeared. The nation’s football league suspended matches, and officials sealed off towns to prevent additional local transmission, mirroring China’s decision to lock down Hubei Province. Local transmission also appears to be happening in 13 other countries, including South Korea and Iran.
“The sudden increase of cases in Italy, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the Republic of Korea are deeply concerning,” Tedros Adhanom