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Coronavirus scares the world again: Increasing countries taking measures for travelers from China – WHO asks for data from Beijing

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And Britain on list of countries asking travelers from China to show negative test before departure – WHO again asked China to regularly share specific data on the epidemiological situation

The list of countries taking measures against the coronavirus that has been on the rise in recent days in China is growing. Britain is yet another country to follow the lead of many other countries in imposing restrictions on travelers from China, including France, Spain, Italy, the US, India, Israel, South Korea and Malaysia.

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“While Covid cases are increasing in China, ahead of the opening of (the country’s) borders next week, the right thing for us is to take a balanced and prudent approach by announcing temporary measures while we study the data,” he explained on Friday ( 30/12) Health Secretary Steve Barclay in his statement.

All passengers on direct flights from mainland China will be required to show a negative test before departure. This measure only applies to England, however the government clarified that there are no direct flights to other UK destinations such as Scotland or Wales.

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In addition, British health authorities will carry out random tests on some passengers on arrival, mainly to detect any new variants of the virus.

“This decision was taken due to a lack of complete information from China,” noted the minister.

Just hours earlier France announced that travelers arriving from China will also have to undergo a Covid-19 test before their flight departs. Travelers must show a negative test for the novel coronavirus before boarding and wear a mask during the flight. Random tests are also planned on arrival to sequence the genome and detect any new variants of SARS-CoV-2, a government source said.

A similar measure has been taken by Italy, which was the only one among the 27 member states of the European Union that had taken the decision in recent days to require negative tests from passengers arriving from China. Outside the EU, the US and Japan have also taken similar decisions, while Malaysia’s health ministry announced today that all travelers arriving by air in the country will be temperature-checked to see if they have a fever, while sewage from aircraft lavatories will also be tested. arrive at its airports from China.

South Korea has announced that from January 5 it will be mandatory for travelers from China to have undergone a PCR test no later than 48 hours before their departure or an antigen test within 24 hours. Also, as early as January 2, they will undergo a PCR, that is, a molecular test, upon their arrival.

The World Health Organization is asking China for real-time data

The World Health Organization (WHO) held talks with Chinese officials on Friday about the explosion in the number of SARS-CoV-2 infections in their country and called on them to share real-time data so that other countries can respond effectively. .

“A high-level meeting took place on December 30 between WHO and China on the current outbreak” of the pandemic to provide “further information on the situation and to offer its expertise and support,” a press release from the health organization explained. of the United Nations.

“The WHO has again requested (China) to regularly share specific real-time data on the epidemiological situation, especially data on genome sequencing and disease impact, including hospital admissions, intensive care unit admissions and deaths,” always according to the announcement.

He also asked for data on the vaccinations that have taken place and the progress of the vaccination campaign, especially among vulnerable citizens and over 60s.

Also, “WHO has reaffirmed the importance of vaccination and booster doses to protect people at high risk of severe disease (COVID-19) and death,” the Geneva-based international organization’s press release said. .

“WHO called on China to strengthen genome sequencing, clinical management and impact assessment. He expressed his willingness to offer support in these areas, as well as information on the risks associated with vaccination to dispel hesitations,” the text added.

The talks followed a week during which the head of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, repeatedly called on Chinese authorities to increase transparency about the epidemiological situation.

The explosion in the number of infections in China’s population of 1.41 billion has alarmed the world and heightened skepticism about the reported data, as official numbers have barely increased even as hospitals, morgues and funeral parlors have been overwhelmed.

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