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China threatens counter measures on travel curbs by EU, US

China tore on to Covid-19 travel restrictions imposed on travellers from Beijing by the US and EU nations and stated it will take counter measures against those nations.

HQ Team

January 4, 2023: China tore onto Covid-19 travel restrictions imposed on travels from Beijing by the US and EU nations and stated it will take counter measures against those nations.

“Some of these measures are disproportionate and simply unacceptable,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said.

“We firmly reject using Covid measures for political purposes and will take corresponding measures in response to varying situations based on the principle of reciprocity,” she said, according to a statement.

Australia will introduce pre-departure testing for Covid-19 for people travelling to the country from the People’s Republic of China, including the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau.

The move is in response to the significant wave of COVID-19 infections in China and the potential for emerging viral variants in that country, according to the Australian Department of Health and Aged Care.

Australia joins other countries worldwide, including France, India, Japan, Malaysia, Spain, the Republic of Korea, England and the United States of America, in implementing similar measures.

Surge in Covid cases

The Public Health Agency of Canada stated that its response was based on the surge of Covid 19 in China.

From January 5, all air travellers who are two years of age and older, arriving on flights originating from China, Hong Kong or Macao, will need to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken no more than two days before their departure, to the airline before boarding.

China is ready “to step up communication with the rest of the international community and work together to prevail over COVID.”

“Meanwhile, we do not believe the entry restriction measures some countries have taken against China are science-based,” she said.

The main variant now spreading in China has previously been found elsewhere already, and that a new variant can emerge anywhere on the planet, which means entry restrictions targeting China are unnecessary, Ms Mao, said citing health experts.

Share data

The WHO in December last year has told Chinese officials to regularly share specific and real-time data on the Covid-19 pandemic as Beijing eases the world’s strictest Covid-19 lockdown.

The global agency told the Chinese officials to provide more genetic sequencing data and data on disease impact, including hospitalisations, intensive care unit admissions and deaths.

“The competent authorities in China have shared information in a timely, open and transparent manner in accordance with the law. We shared the genome data of the virus from the latest Covid cases in China via the Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data,” Ms Mao said.

“China always believes that for all countries, Covid response measures need to be science-based and proportionate,” she said.

“They should not be used for political manipulation, there should not be discriminatory measures against certain countries, and measures should not affect normal travel and people-to-people exchange and cooperation.”

‘New phase’

As the Covid situation enters a “new phase,” we have seen rising vaccination rates, strengthened treatment capacity and expanded production capacity of medical supplies, which are generally in adequate supply., she said.

China has established the world’s largest production lines of Covid vaccines with an annual production capacity of over 7 billion doses and an annual output of over 5.5 billion doses, which meet the needs of ensuring that all people eligible for vaccination have access to Covid vaccines, she said.

“China’s Covid situation is predictable and under control.”

Since China released the provisional measures, many countries have responded positively to them. “We appreciate this and will continue to adapt and adjust our COVID response measures in light of the latest COVID situation, better facilitate the safe and orderly cross-border travel of Chinese and foreign nationals and international exchange and cooperation.”

Since COVID-19 began, China has actively participated in international cooperation against the pandemic and immediately joined the international response to the COVID challenge, she said.

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