China suspended entry to visitors from nine countries due to a 45% rise in the number of imported cases in October. This posed a risk to "China's hard-won pandemic prevention," according to the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday.
So far, China has restricted non-Chinese nationals from Italy, Russia, India, the UK, France, the Philippines, Belgium, Ukraine and Bangladesh.
"The proportion of overseas imported cases in October increased by about 45% compared with September, reaching 515 cases. At the same time, local clusters also occurred in some places in China," Wang Wenbin, ministry spokesman said Friday.
Wang added that the measures had been imposed to "maintain China's hard-won pandemic prevention and control achievements" and to "minimize the risk of cross-infection of people who come to China during their trip."
The country has reported a total of 86,151 confirmed cases and 4,634 deaths since the pandemic began, according to the latest data from China's National Health Commission.