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China vows ‘countermeasures’ to ‘unacceptable’ new COVID restrictions on Chinese travelers

Beijing — Chinese government condemns COVID-19 testing Requirements for Passengers from China And threatened countermeasures against the countries concerned, including the United States and some European countries.

China’s foreign ministry spokesman Mao Ning said at a regular press briefing on Tuesday that “the entry restrictions targeting China adopted by some countries have no scientific basis, and some excessive practices are even more tolerated.” I don’t think I can,” he said.

“We resolutely oppose any attempt to manipulate the measures against the coronavirus for political purposes, and we will take measures based on the principle of reciprocity,” he said.

The comments were China’s sharpest yet on the issue. Australia and Canada joined the list of countries this week requiring a traveler from China to undergo her COVID-19 test before boarding a flight. fight the nationwide outbreak of coronavirus rear Sudden relaxation of restrictions It was responding to much of the pandemic.

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Other countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, India, Japan, and some European countries, amid concerns about the lack of data on infections in China and fears that new variants may emerge announced stricter COVID-19 measures for travelers.

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne defended the experiment. Starting Wednesday, anyone flying from China to France must have tested negative for the virus within the last 48 hours and undergo a random test upon arrival.

“We are doing our part and my government has a role to play in protecting the French.”

Britain will require passengers from China to undergo a COVID test before boarding flights from Thursday. Transportation Secretary Mark Harper said the requirement was for “information gathering” because Beijing does not share coronavirus data.

Health officials will test samples of passengers arriving in the UK, but those who test positive do not require quarantine.

Harper told LBC radio station on Tuesday that “our policy with Chinese immigrants is primarily to collect information that the Chinese government does not share with the international community.”

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Sweden’s public health agency said on Tuesday it had asked the government to show travelers from China a recent negative COVID-19 test.

The statement from the agency comes as Sweden, which has taken over the EU’s rotating presidency, convened a meeting of the EU’s crisis management mechanism in Brussels on Wednesday, with the aim of agreeing on a common policy. Limitations are discussed.

The Swedish government is “preparing to introduce travel restrictions. At the same time, we are in dialogue with our European colleagues to adopt the same rules in the EU as much as possible,” said Justice Minister Gunnar Strömer. said in a statement.

Austria is also planning to test wastewater from all planes arriving from China for new variants of the coronavirus, the Austrian Press Agency reported Tuesday, following a similar announcement by Belgium a day earlier.

Chinese health officials said last week they had submitted data to GISAID, a global platform for sharing coronavirus data.

The version of the virus that helped spread China’s outbreak was “very similar” to what was seen in different parts of the world between July and December, GISAID said Monday.

china health virus
Passengers wearing face shields and masks board a domestic flight amid the COVID-19 pandemic at Shanghai Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, China, January 3, 2023.

Hector Retamaru/AFP/Getty

Dr. Gagandeep Khan, who studies viruses at India’s Christian Medical College Vellore, said information from China, although limited, seems to suggest that “the pattern is being maintained.” He said there were no signs of worrisome subspecies. Appearance.

Mao, a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said health officials recently held a video conference with WHO to exchange views on the current COVID situation, treatment, vaccination, and other technical issues, and hope to end the pandemic. We have agreed to continue the technical exchange in order to get the product back to you as soon as possible.

Senior Hong Kong officials also criticized measures taken by several other countries. Some countries apply requirements not only to mainland China, but also to passengers from the semi-autonomous regions of Hong Kong and Macau.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Eric Chan said in a Facebook post that the government had sent letters to various consulates on Monday expressing concern over the “unnecessary and inappropriate” regulations.

Some Canadian experts question the validity of the test. Kelly Bowman, an assistant professor at the University of Toronto’s Temati School of Medicine, said people could test positive long after entering the country.

After Canada announced the measures last weekend, he said the requirement was “not based on science at this time.”

China, which has adopted a “zero COVID” strategy of imposing tough restrictions aimed at eradicating the virus for much of the pandemic, abruptly eased those measures in December.

Chinese officials have previously said that after January 8, international travelers will no longer need to be quarantined upon arrival in China, allowing Chinese residents to travel.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/china-covid-cases-beijing-vows-countermeasures-us-europe-travel-restrictions/ China vows ‘countermeasures’ to ‘unacceptable’ new COVID restrictions on Chinese travelers

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