Covid travel ‘discriminates’ against Chinese visitors – state media

Covid travel 'discriminates' against Chinese visitors - state media
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  • US, Japan, others require Covid tests from Chinese visitors
  • EU experts will hold a crisis meeting next week
  • World Health Organization, China discusses the epidemic

BEIJING/MADRID, Dec 30 (Reuters) – China’s state-run media has protested against a growing number of foreign governments imposing Covid tests on travelers from China, calling the measures “discriminatory.”

After closing its borders for three years, imposing strict lockdown measures and relentless testing, Beijing suddenly returned to living with the virus on December 7, and infections have spread rapidly in recent weeks.

South Korea And Spain joined a growing list of countries on Friday, including United States, India and others, which have Imposed COVID tests for passengers From China with concern over the scale of the Covid outbreak and skepticism about Beijing’s health statistics.

Malaysia said it would screen All international arrivals for fever.

The state-run tabloid Global Times called the restrictions “baseless” and “discriminatory” in an article late Thursday, saying “the real intention is to sabotage China’s three-year-old Covid-19 control efforts and attack the country’s system.”

China will stop requiring domestic travelers to go into quarantine starting January 8. But it will still claim a negative PCR test result within 48 hours of departure.

Senior Chinese health officials held a video conference with the World Health Organization on Friday and exchanged views on the current epidemic situation, China’s National Health Commission said in a statement without giving further details.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said earlier in the day that the agency needed more information to assess the latest surge in infections in China, without taking a position on travel testing.


Not all countries impose tests. European Union members in particular are divided.

In recent days, officials in France, Germany and Portugal have said they do not see the need for new restrictions now, while Austria has emphasized the economic benefits of Chinese tourists returning to Europe.

Global spending by Chinese audiences was worth it Over $250 billion a year Before the pandemic.

Acting a day after EU health officials failed to agree on joint action, Spain became the second of the bloc’s 27 members to require tests for travelers from China, following Italy’s lead.

“At the national level, we will implement airport controls that require all passengers arriving from China to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test or a completed vaccination course,” Health Minister Carolina Darius said.

EU health experts are expected to hold a crisis response meeting next week, according to a European Union source.

Meanwhile, EU health chief Stella Kyriakides has written to the bloc’s health ministers to offer their advice. Scale up immediately Genomic sequencing of Covid-19 infections and surveillance of wastewater, including at airports, to identify new variants should the virus emerge in China.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also considering Sample wastewater The agency told Reuters to track any emerging new forms from international flights.

The United States has expressed concern over possible mutations of the virus as it spreads over data transparency in the world’s most populous country, as well as China.

Meanwhile, a COVID vaccination campaign for German citizens in China has started its pilot phase, German Ambassador to Beijing Patricia Flor said on Twitter.

A shipment of 11,500 doses of BioEntec (22UAy.DE) The vaccine arrived last week, enough to give one shot to half of the 20,000 or so German citizens living in China.

‘extra death’

The lifting of restrictions in China, following mass protests against them in November, has overwhelmed hospitals and funeral homes across the country, with the sight of people on intravenous drips by the roadside and lines of cremators outside crematoriums fueling public anxiety.

Health experts say China has caught up unprepared by a U-turn on policies long championed by President Xi Jinping.

they say Elderly in rural areas May be particularly vulnerable due to inadequate medical resources. Next month’s Lunar New Year festival, when millions of people travel to their hometowns, will increase the risk.

China, a country of 1.4 billion people, reported one new Covid death for Thursday, the same as the previous day – numbers that don’t match what other countries have experienced since reopening.

UK-based health information company Airfinity reported this information on Thursday 9,000 people China is probably dying from covid every day. The cumulative death toll in China since Dec. 1 has reached 100,000, with total infections at 18.6 million, it said.

China’s chief epidemiologist Wu Junyu said Thursday that the difference between the number of deaths in the current wave of infections and the death rate for the same period in epidemic-free years will be studied to calculate “excess mortality” and any possible underestimation. Number of deaths from COVID-19.

Additional reporting by John Revill in Zurich, Kirsty Knoll in Berlin, Phil Blenkinsip in Brussels; Written by Marius Zaharia and Ingrid Melander; Editing by Gerry Doyle, Simon Cameron-Moore and Thomas Janowski

Our values: Thomson Reuters Trust Policy.

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