From left, Michael Ryan, Executive Director of World Health Organization (WHO) Health Emergencies Programme, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of WHO, Professor Didier Houssin, Chair of Emergency Committee, Maria van Kerkhove, Head AI Emerging Dieseases and Zoonoses Unit WHO, talk to the media at the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020. The World Health Organization declared the outbreak of a new deadly virus which originated from China a "global health emergency." China, where the coronavirus emerged, has reported 170 deaths and at least 7,800 infections from the infection. (Jean-Christophe Bott/Keystone via AP)

The travel restriction Cabinet intends to implement on anyone coming into the country from China is in contravention of one of the seven recommendations put forth by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as it declared the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) a Public Health Emergency of International Concern late Thursday evening.

Speaking at the post-cabinet media briefing just moments before the WHO virtual press conference began, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said with im­me­di­ate ef­fect – once nec­es­sary le­gal pro­vi­sions are put in place -“per­sons who are present­ly liv­ing in Chi­na or vis­it­ing Chi­na, re­gard­less of na­tion­al­i­ty, will not be al­lowed en­try in­to Trinidad and To­ba­go for 14 days af­ter leav­ing Chi­na.”

However, during the press conference, the WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesusa advised against any such action.

“WHO does not recommend limiting trade and movement.”

“If anyone is thinking about taking measures, it’s going to be wrong and WHO does not recommend and actually opposes any restriction for travel and trade or other measures against China,” he continued.

Professor Didier Houssin further elaborated saying it considers “visa refusal, border closure, quarantine of travellers who are in good condition” as travel restrictions. He added “these restrictions under the declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern would provide to the WHO the possibility to question such measures.”

The press conference was held following a three-hour-long reconvening of the Emergency Committee on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) under the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) in Geneva