The Chinese government has asserted that travel restrictions placed by a number of nations on Chinese arrivals are driven by politics and has threatened retaliation. As per BBC, The United States, India, and the United Kingdom are among the nations that have implemented mandatory testing for Chinese newcomers.
Recent days have witnessed an increase in Covid instances as a result of the country’s laxer regulatory measures. In addition, there are worries that cases and deaths are grossly underreported.
China’s last daily Covid update, on December 24th, indicated less than 5,000 cases; however, some analysts assert that the daily caseload has already surpassed two million and could reach a peak of around four million this month.
Due to a paucity of data and China’s promise to relax travel restrictions on January 8, more than a dozen nations announced Covid testing on Chinese arrivals.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has encouraged China to disclose more real-time data. A foreign ministry spokesperson stated on Tuesday that Beijing was eager to “enhance contact with the world.”
However, according to government spokeswoman Mao Ning, the government is “firmly opposed to attempts to distort epidemic prevention and control measures for political goals” and will take retaliatory action in accordance with the principle of reciprocity.
Since March 2020, China’s borders have been largely closed, allowing few outsiders to enter and subjecting those who did to severe examination and quarantine.
Both the European Union’s agency for disease prevention and Australia’s chief medical officer has claimed that high vaccination and immunization rates decrease the harm posed by Covid. Nonetheless, governments, notably the European Union, have mandated testing for Chinese newcomers.
Tuesday, France’s Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne stated, “I believe we are doing our responsibility to protect the French people by requesting tests.” “We will continue to do so in accordance with the World Health Organization’s regulations.”
According to the European Commission, the governing body of the European Union, an overwhelming majority of member states support travel restrictions. On Wednesday, it is anticipated that a decision will be made regarding whether these measures will be extended to all EU countries. The United States has likewise justified its testing requirements, stating that its approach is “exclusively scientific.”
It is not the first time that Beijing and the international community have been at conflict over the virus. In late 2019 it was initially found in Wuhan, central China, and the government rejected efforts to explore its origins.
China on Tuesday rejected an offer from the European Union to provide an undefined number of Covid-19 vaccinations to assist combat the increase in cases, citing a “sufficient supply.” China has administered more than 3.4 billion doses, with CoronaVac accounting for the great bulk.
Until now, the government has insisted on utilizing solely Chinese-made vaccines, which have been proven to be less effective than other mRNA vaccines developed in the West against the Omicron strain.