US officials warn that there are growing concerns about the lack of transparency in data on Chinese Covid cases, as China loosens its hardline policies.
According to US officials, the United States may restrict travel from China due to a lack of transparent data about Covid’s spread, following the loosening of hardline measures by this month.
Officials said that the US was following the advice and science of public health experts and consulting with partners and is considering similar steps to protect Americans.
“There are growing concerns within the international community about the Covid-19 surges that continue in China and the insufficient transparency of data, including viral genome sequence data, being reported by the People’s Republic of China.
Monday’s removal of quarantine for inbound travellers began on January 8. This dismantles the last vestiges of the country’s strict zero-Covid policy and ends some of the most severe border restrictions.
Hong Kong has also dropped almost all its Covid restrictions. From Thursday, people arriving in Hong Kong will not need to take PCR tests.
A rule that restricts the number of people permitted to gather outdoors and the island’s vaccine pass system is also being scrapped.
Concerns have been raised about the possibility that Chinese travellers could spread the virus to other parts of the world.
It will make coronavirus testing mandatory for Chinese visitors, Italy’s health minister announced on Wednesday. Japan and India already have PCR testing for Chinese passengers upon arrival. Taiwan announced Wednesday that it will also screen Chinese travellers.
#USA is considering restricting travel from #China over a lack of “transparent” data on the spread of #Covid, US officials have said. China's Centre for Disease Prevention and Control reported 5,231 new Covid cases and three deaths nationwide on Wednesdaypic.twitter.com/VupuTN6Ayz https://t.co/soS7I5tADA
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Chinese authorities stated that the scale of the epidemic is difficult to track. They also narrowed down the criteria to define Covid deaths. This raises long-standing questions about the reliability and validity of Beijing’s data.
China’s Centre for Disease Prevention and Control reported that there were 5,231 Covid cases and three deaths in China on Wednesday. This is likely to be a significant underestimate since people no longer have to report infections to authorities.
Chinese officials claim that the epidemic is under control as hospitals and crematoriums in China are still overwhelmed by mostly elderly people.
“Currently, the growth of China’s epidemic condition is overall predictable,” said Wang Wenbin (a spokesperson for China’s foreign minister).
“Hyping and smearing, political manipulation with ulterior motives cannot stand the test of fact.”
He said that the Western media reporting on China’s Covid explosion was “completely biased”.
Hong Kong has also dropped almost all its Covid restrictions. From Thursday, people arriving in Hong Kong will not need to take PCR tests. A rule restricting the number of people permitted to gather outdoors and the island’s vaccine pass system is also being scrapped.
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