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WHO says China’s COVID travel restrictions are ‘understandable’ | Coronavirus pandemic news


Many countries are imposing restrictions on travelers coming from China because of an increase in infections.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said it needed more information to assess the latest increase in the number of COVID-19 infections in China, but said that global concern and increasing restrictions is “understandable”.

Many countries impose Restrictions on visitors from China because of the increase in COVID-19 cases after the country lifted strict measures “no covid” policy.

“In the absence of comprehensive information from China, it is conceivable that countries around the world are acting in ways that they believe can protect their people,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. wrote on Twitter late Thursday.

He called on China to be more open with information about the status of the pandemic.

On Friday, senior Chinese health officials held a video conference with WHO officials, China’s National Health Commission said in a statement. They discussed the current situation, medical treatment, vaccinations and other technical issues.

The USA joined several other countries in requiring a negative test for COVID-19 for travelers arriving from China, after Beijing announced the end of mandatory quarantine upon arrival, prompting many Chinese plan to travel abroad.

“We remain concerned about the evolving situation and we continue to encourage China to monitor the COVID-19 virus and vaccinate those most at risk,” Ghebreyesus wrote.

“We continue to support clinical care and protection [China’s] health system.”

The worldwide death toll from coronavirus is nearly 6.7 million since the virus emerged in the city of Wuhan.

Beijing ‘transparent’

China insists it has been transparent about its information, although its health commission has announced it will no longer publish the official daily COVID-19 death toll.

“China has always released information on deaths and serious cases of COVID-19 in the spirit of openness and transparency,” commission official Jiao Yahui said on Thursday.

At a press conference organized by the State Council of China, it was announced that there were about 5,500 new infections locally and one death on Friday – but with the end of mass testing. and narrowing the criteria for COVID deaths, those numbers are gone. It is also said to reflect reality.

Some experts estimate there could be as many as 9,000 daily deaths.

The difference is explained by the fact that China only counts COVID-19 deaths as those who died of respiratory failure caused by the virus after testing positive for a nucleic acid test. for counting all deaths within 28 days of testing positive. Tieu said.

“China has always been committed to following the scientific criteria for assessing COVID-19 deaths, from start to finish, in line with international criteria,” Jiao said.

Restrictions ‘unwarranted’

The European Union’s health authority says restrictions on travelers from China are not guaranteed as a uniform policy across the bloc across 27 member states – at least for the time being. .

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said it considers “screening and travel measures against travelers from China to be unjustified”.

The Omicron variant BF.7 that swept through China has been widely circulated in the EU and its associated risks have not increased, the ECDC said in a statement.

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