After the United States, Japan, Canada and other European countries, Australia announced on Sunday that it will require negative covid-19 tests from passengers coming from China due to the rebound in infections in the Asian giant.
“This measure is a response to the significant wave of covid-19 infections in China and the possibility of virus variants emerging in this country,” Australian Health Minister Mark Butler said.
The requirement of a negative PCR test will begin to apply from January 5 to any passenger arriving from China.
The Canadian government had earlier announced an identical measure in “response to the increase in covid-19 in the People’s Republic of China and due to the limited epidemiological and genome sequencing data available on these cases.”
Morocco went further and directly prohibited the entry into its territory to all passengers from China as of January 3.
Although several European countries such as France, Italy and Spain have already restricted the arrival of travelers from China, all the member states of the European Union must meet on Wednesday to discuss a common response, announced Sweden, which assumes the presidency starting this Sunday. semester of the block.
“In the absence of complete information from China, it is understandable that countries take the measures they believe will protect their populations,” said the director of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Almost three years after the detection of the first cases of coronavirus in Wuhan (center), China dismantled its draconian “covid zero” health policy in early December.
Since then, hospitals have been filled with patients, most of them elderly, crematoriums are overcrowded and many pharmacies lack anti-fever medicines.
The country reported on Sunday 5,100 new infections and one death from covid-19. However, experts consider that these figures do not match reality given the end of systematic covid tests and the redefinition of covid deaths.
Despite the epidemic rebound, the authorities will end the mandatory quarantines for those arriving from abroad on January 8, which will allow the Chinese to undertake international trips after almost three years locked up in the country.
– ‘Light of hope’ –
“Epidemic prevention and control have entered a new phase. We are still in a difficult time,” but “the light of hope is before us,” President Xi Jinping said in a televised New Year address.
Large crowds gathered to celebrate the end of the year in Shanghai and Wuhan, although netizens spoke of quieter celebrations than in previous years.
The WHO announced on Friday that it had met with Chinese officials to discuss the resurgence of the epidemic and had asked them to share “regularly and in real time specific data on the epidemiological situation.”
A recent study by Chinese researchers published in the journal “Frontiers of Medicine” revealed that there had been around 30 sub-variants of omicron circulating in Shanghai for months.
In her New Year’s speech, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen put tensions with Beijing aside, saying they were “ready to provide necessary assistance based on humanitarian concerns.”
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.