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China after zero Covid: WHO calls for more transparency

2022-12-31T06:27:16.618Z


The corona numbers in China are increasing rapidly. The World Health Organization is demanding more information, and more and more countries are making testing compulsory. And what is Germany doing?


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Receiving travelers from China in Milan: More and more countries are imposing a test requirement

Photo: MATTEO BAZZI / EPA

Under the impression of the current wave of corona infections in China, more and more countries are tightening their controls for people entering China.

On Friday evening, France and England also announced compulsory testing, previously Italy, Spain, the USA, India and South Korea had introduced or promised similar measures.

At a meeting with representatives of China, the World Health Organization (WHO) also called for more transparency about the infection process in the country.

During the exchange on Friday, the Chinese side was repeatedly asked to collect precise real-time data and share it with the WHO, it said.

The information requested by the WHO included “more data on genetic sequencing” and data on “hospital admissions, intensive care unit occupancy and deaths”.

The organization also requested data on vaccinations, especially for people at particular risk and those older than 60, the statement said.

The WHO had again emphasized “the importance of vaccinations and boosters” and offered Beijing its help.

The WHO had recently been "very concerned" about the corona situation in China and requested detailed information.

Foreign Minister Wang Wenbin denies the allegations

China is currently experiencing the highest increase in Covid infections in the world, and hospitals are overcrowded in many places.

At the beginning of December, Beijing moved away from its strict zero-Covid policy in a radical about-face.

Since then, the corona restrictions have been significantly relaxed.

According to officially unconfirmed internal estimates, 248 million people, or 18 percent of the population, became infected in the first three weeks of December alone.

Scientists warn that the corona wave could produce new variants that would then find their way to other countries.

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin dismissed allegations that his country was not providing enough data.

"Since the outbreak of the epidemic, China has shared relevant information and data with the international community, including the WHO, in an open and transparent manner," he said.

Compulsory testing in more and more countries – Lauterbach sees no reason yet

The French government announced in the evening that travelers to China would have to present a negative corona test that was less than 48 hours old.

The test obligation for China travelers should apply regardless of whether they land on French territory with a direct flight or after a change.

With the decision in Paris, the pressure on Germany to also take protective measures could increase.

Italy had already introduced a corona test requirement for travelers from China on Wednesday.

Spain's Health Minister Carolina Darias announced on Friday morning that travelers from the People's Republic would have to present a negative corona test or proof of full vaccination protection in the future.

Health Minister Lauterbach told journalists on Friday that he currently sees no reason for travelers from China to be required to undergo a corona test.

At the meeting, he also announced that he wanted to talk to his French counterpart about the subject on Friday afternoon.

Lauterbach called for a European solution.

"We need very precise 'variant monitoring' because we cannot reliably retrieve this variant monitoring from China," he said.

"The targeted testing of individual aircraft, for example, could also play a role here, which is being prepared." But there is no reason for "routine antigen tests".

At a meeting on Thursday in Brussels, representatives of the health ministers of the EU countries could not agree on a common approach.

The British government said that in addition to a test requirement for travelers from China before departure, random tests would also be carried out on arrival in order to be able to track new variants.

The new regulations are to apply from January 5th.

mgo/AFP/dpa

Source: spiegel

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