United Kingdom, France and other countries with important hubs for air connections decided this Friday to require negative Covid-19 tests from travelers from China, due to concerns considered “understandable” by the OMS before the new wave of the pandemic in the Asian giant.
Spain, South Korea e Israel They also announced measures similar to those already adopted in previous days by USA, Italia, Japan, India y taiwanamong other important business and tourist destinations.
Decisions were accelerated by the rapid spread of the Covid-19 in China since the Asian giant suddenly lifted at the beginning of the month the main sanitary restrictions to control the pandemic.
So much United Kingdomlike France They indicated that they will require travelers from China to have a negative Covid-19 test before their arrival in the country.
In France Other random tests will be carried out after landing and positive tests will be sequenced in order to detect possible new variants of the virus, a government official said at a press conference.
The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) considered on Thursday that these tests are “unjustified” in the European Union (EU), given the high level of immunity of the bloc’s population and the presence of the same variants of Covid-19 as in China.
But Western scientists have expressed fear that the rapid spread of the virus in China is fueling the emergence of new variants.
Germany precisely called for intensifying surveillance at European airports in order to detect them.
The director general of the World Health Organization (OMS), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that the controls are “understandable”, because “they will serve to protect the population” in the face of “the lack of information from China” about the evolution of the pandemic.
In a meeting with Chinese health leaders to address the situation, the OMS “He called for a constant and real-time exchange of epidemiological data, as well as vaccination data.”
He also called on Beijing to “strengthen control of virus sequencing.”
The Chinese government judged instead that the precautions taken are the result of “exaggeration, defamation and political manipulation” orchestrated by the Western press.
“Since the outbreak of the epidemic, China has shared reliable information and data with the international community, including the WHO, in an open and transparent manner,” a foreign ministry spokesman said on Friday.
Almost three years after the first cases of coronavirus appeared in Wuhan (center), China ended its draconian “Covid zero” policy on December 7.
The population was largely protected from the virus thanks to widespread testing and strict monitoring of movements, as well as mandatory lockdowns and quarantines since the discovery of a contagion.
These extreme measures, which kept the country largely isolated from the rest of the planet, dealt a severe blow to the world’s second largest economy and sparked demonstrations of discontent against the authorities of the communist country in November.
Since the restrictions were lifted, Chinese hospitals have been overwhelmed by an avalanche of sick people, most of them elderly vulnerable because they are not vaccinated, and many pharmacies have run out of anti-fever medicines.
Despite the epidemic rebound, the authorities will also end mandatory quarantines on arrival in the country on January 8 and will allow Chinese to travel abroad, after three years of virtually closed borders.
The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported just 5,515 new cases and one death from Covid-19 on Thursday.
But those figures no longer seem to reflect reality, since widespread testing is no longer mandatory and the criteria for death from the virus have been changed to include only those who died from respiratory failure caused by the infection.
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