January 23, 2020 / 5:17 AM / a month ago

Japan urges citizens to avoid non-urgent trips to Wuhan due to new coronavirus

Passengers arriving from the Chinese city of Wuhan arrive at Narita Airport in Chiba, Japan in this photo taken by Kyodo January 23, 2020. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan on Thursday raised its infectious disease advisory level for the Chinese city of Wuhan to two from one, urging its citizens to avoid non-urgent trips to the place considered the epicenter of the new coronavirus outbreak.

The disease has killed 17 and infected nearly 600 people.

Democratic Republic of Congo, hit by an Ebola outbreak, is the only other destination for which Japan holds the same travel advisory level, a foreign ministry official said.

In the scale of one to four, the level one advisory asks travelers to take sufficient caution. A level 4 advisory urges citizens not to travel to the area and those who are already in the region to evacuate.

Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Tom Hogue and Sam Holmes

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