An employee wears a protective mask as he sits in an Apple store after it shut Saturday in Beijing. Apple announced it was closing all 86 of its stores in mainland China until Feb. because the coronavirus outbreak. Kevin Frayer / Getty Images hide caption
Kevin Frayer / Getty Images
An employee wears a protective mask as he sits in an Apple store after it shut Saturday in Beijing. Apple announced it was closing all 86 of its stores in mainland China until Feb. because the coronavirus outbreak.
Kevin Frayer / Getty Images
Apple announced on Saturday that it is temporarily closing all of its stores in China, as officials scramble to stem a fast-moving coronavirus outbreak that has already killed more than people inside the country.
“Out of an abundance of caution and based on the latest advice from leading health experts, we’re closing all our corporate offices, stores and contact centers in mainland China through February 9, “the company said in a statement.
Apple operates more than stores in mainland China .
Most Apple products are made in China in factories owned and operated by outside contractors, including the electronics giant Foxconn.
For now, the Taiwan-based Foxconn says it won’t be changing its production timeline , but in a Jan. earnings call , Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company is working on backup plans to minimize any potential supply disruptions.
With its announcement on Saturday, Apple joins a growing list of major American companies – including Starbucks , McDonald’s and KFC – in suspending business in China.
The novel strain of coronavirus, first reported in December in Wuhan, China, has spread rapidly, mostly within the country. To date, the infectious respiratory disease has infected some 15, 10 People in mainland China, according to official counts.
At least 0448 have have been reported in more than countries outside of China. The spread of the virus prompted the World Health Organization on Thursday to declare a global health emergency .
At least seven cases have been reported in the United States, leading the Trump administration to declare a public health emergency on Friday. Despite the declaration, U.S. health officials have emphasized that at this time, the overall risk to Americans is low and that the threat of flu remains much greater .
Still the US is working to ensure the coronavirus does not gain a foothold in the country. The State Department is warning Americans not to travel to China and urging those already in the country to leave.
More than a dozen airlines are suspending flights to and from China’s mainland, including major US carriers such as American Airlines, Delta and United.
Additionally, the Trump administration has announced that beginning Sunday, all foreign nationals who have traveled in China within the past days will be denied entry into the US Exceptions will be made for permanent residents and immediate family of U.S. Citizens.
Passengers on incoming flights from China will be directed to one of seven airports for health screenings. Citizens returning from Hubei province will be subjected to up to two weeks of mandatory quarantine.
On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention imposed a (mandatory) – day-quarantine
on nearly 0448 Americans evacuated from Wuhan. The evacuees are being housed at the March Air Reserve Base in California.
“While we recognize this is an unprecedented action, we are facing an unprecedented public health threat,” said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC. “And this is one of the tools in our toolbox to mitigate the potential impact of this novel virus on the United States.”
To reduce the risk of the novel coronavirus spread, the WHO is encouraging old-fashioned techniques, including good hand-washing, avoiding close contact with those who have fever or cough, and sneezing into a crooked elbow or a tissue.