Beijing — The Chinese language authorities has blasted COVID-19 testing requirements imposed on passengers from China and threatened countermeasures in opposition to international locations concerned, which embody the U.S. and a number of other European nations.
“We imagine that the entry restrictions adopted by some international locations concentrating on China lack scientific foundation, and a few extreme practices are much more unacceptable,” International Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning stated at a day by day briefing Tuesday.
“We’re firmly against makes an attempt to control the COVID measures for political functions and can take countermeasures primarily based on the precept of reciprocity,” she stated.
The feedback had been China’s sharpest thus far on the difficulty. Australia and Canada this week joined a rising checklist of nations requiring vacationers from China to take a COVID-19 take a look at previous to boarding their flight, as China battles a nationwide outbreak of the coronavirus after abruptly easing restrictions that had been in place for a lot of the pandemic.
Different international locations together with the U.S., U.Okay., India, Japan and a number of other European nations have introduced harder COVID-19 measures on vacationers from China amid considerations over an absence of knowledge on infections in China and fears of the chance that new variants might emerge.
French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne defended the checks. Beginning Wednesday, anybody flying from China to France should current a unfavourable virus take a look at taken throughout the earlier 48 hours and be topic to random testing on arrival.
“We’re in our position, my authorities is in its position, defending the French,” Borne stated Tuesday on France-Information radio.
The U.Okay. would require that passengers from China take a COVID take a look at earlier than boarding the aircraft from Thursday. Transport Secretary Mark Harper stated the requirement is for “accumulating info” as a result of Beijing is not sharing coronavirus information.
Well being officers will take a look at a pattern of passengers after they arrive within the U.Okay., however no quarantine is required for individuals who take a look at constructive, he stated.
“The coverage for arrivals from China is primarily about accumulating info that the Chinese language authorities just isn’t sharing with the worldwide group,” Harper informed the LBC radio station on Tuesday.
Sweden’s Public Well being Company stated Tuesday that it had urged the federal government to require vacationers from China to current a latest unfavourable COVID-19 take a look at.
The assertion from the company comes as Sweden, which has taken over EU’s rotating presidency, has known as a gathering of the EU’s disaster administration mechanism for Wednesday in Brussels, the place journey restrictions will probably be mentioned with the purpose of agreeing on a standard line.
The Swedish authorities “is getting ready to have the ability to introduce journey restrictions. On the identical time, we’re conducting a dialogue with our European colleagues to get the identical guidelines as attainable within the EU,” Justice Minister Gunnar Strömmer stated in a press release.
Austria, too, plans to check the wastewater of all planes arriving from China for brand new variants of the coronavirus, the Austria Press Company reported Tuesday, following an identical announcement by Belgium a day earlier.
Chinese language well being officers stated final week that they’d submitted information to GISAID, a worldwide platform for sharing coronavirus information.
The variations of the virus fueling infections in China “carefully resemble” these which have been seen in numerous components of the world between July and December, GISAID stated Monday.
Dr. Gagandeep Kang, who research viruses within the Christian Medical School of Vellore in India, stated that the knowledge from China, albeit restricted, appeared to counsel that “the sample was holding” and that there wasn’t any signal of a worrisome variant rising.
Mao, the Chinese language International Ministry spokesperson, stated that well being authorities had just lately held a video convention with the WHO to change views on the present COVID state of affairs, medical therapy, vaccination and different technical points, and agreed to proceed technical exchanges to assist finish the pandemic as quickly as attainable.
A senior Hong Kong official additionally criticized the steps taken by another international locations. Some international locations have utilized the necessities to passengers from Hong Kong and Macao, each semiautonomous Chinese language territories, in addition to mainland China.
Hong Kong Chief Secretary Eric Chan stated in a Fb put up that the federal government had written to numerous consulates on Monday to specific its considerations over the “pointless and inappropriate” guidelines.
Some Canadian consultants have questioned the effectiveness of the testing. Kerry Bowman, assistant professor on the College of Toronto’s Temerty School of Medication, stated that folks can take a look at constructive lengthy after getting into the nation.
The requirement is “not primarily based on science at this level,” he stated after Canada introduced measures final weekend.
China, which for a lot of the pandemic adopted a “zero-COVID” technique that imposed harsh restrictions geared toward stamping out the virus, abruptly eased these measures in December.
Chinese language authorities beforehand stated that from Jan. 8, abroad vacationers would not have to quarantine upon arriving in China, paving the best way for Chinese language residents to journey.