Photo/AFP

This story by RNZ.co.nz is republished with permission

Two Samoan students returning from China are in quarantine at the Faleolo Health Center.

Officials say the students displayed no physical symptoms of the Wuhan coronavirus but protocol directed by Cabinet to ensure containment of the disease must always be followed.

Last month, two Samoan sailors who transited in China were put in isolation after arriving in Samoa via Fiji.

They were on the same flight with six Chinese passengers, who were deported back to Fiji.

Fiji has joined the list of countries restricting access because of the coronavirus outbreak in China.

The borders will now be closed to all foreign nationals who have been in mainland China within 14 days of their intended travel to Fiji.

Similar to newly-instituted policies in Singapore and Australia, no passenger arrivals or transits will be permitted for those falling under these controls, effective immediately and until further notice.

The government said there were no confirmed cases of the virus in Fiji.

Fiji Airways curbs Hong Kong flights

Fiji Airways will suspend some of its services to Hong Kong from Wednesday.

It said there had been a decline in travel demand in the region since the virus outbreak.

An airline spokesperson said the reduction represented 35 percent of its services to and from Hong Kong.

There are about 10 flights a week between Nadi and the Asian city.

But the airline said services to Singapore and Japan remained unchanged.

The Hong Kong suspensions will continue until 28 March.

NZ helping Pacific Island nations with Wuhan crisis – PM

Meanwhile, New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern said talks were being held with Pacific Island governments on the evacuation of people from the centre of the coronavirus outbreak in China.

The Air New Zealand charter flight does not yet have a departure date, but Health Minister David Clark said it should be very soon.

About 70 New Zealanders have asked for a seat, and the government said people from Tonga, Samoa and Australia would fill the other seats.

Ms Ardern said New Zealand would also help with quarantine.

Returning passengers will be isolated at a naval training base north of Auckland for 14 days.

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