China bans most foreigners to curb imported cases

China will temporarily ban most foreigners from entering the country in a bid to curb the number of imported coronavirus cases, the country's foreign ministry announced Thursday. 

From Saturday, even foreign citizens with residence permits will be prevented from entering and all visa-free transit policies will also be temporarily suspended, the ministry said in a statement.  

However, diplomatic workers will be exempt and those trying to enter the country and foreign citizens coming to China for "necessary economic, trade, scientific or technological activities or out of emergency humanitarian needs" can still apply for visas, the statement said, 

"The suspension is a temporary measure that China is compelled to take in light of the outbreak situation and the practices of other countries," it added.