Beijing threatens to reply to ‘unacceptable’ virus measures


BEIJING (AP) — The Chinese language authorities has sharply criticized the COVID-19 testing necessities positioned on guests from China and threatened to counter…

BEIJING (AP) — China’s authorities has sharply criticized the COVID-19 testing necessities positioned on guests from China and threatened countermeasures towards the nations concerned, which embody america and several other European nations.

“We imagine that the entry restrictions adopted by some nations concentrating on China don’t have any scientific foundation, and a few extreme practices are much more unacceptable,” International Ministry spokesman Mao Ning mentioned at a briefing on Tuesday.

“We strongly oppose makes an attempt to take advantage of COVID funds for political functions and can take countermeasures based mostly on the precept of reciprocity,” he mentioned. Mao didn’t specify what steps China may take.

The feedback from China had been the sharpest but on the difficulty. Australia and Canada this week has joined a rising checklist of nations Requiring vacationers from China to bear a COVID-19 check earlier than boarding their flight as China battles a nationwide outbreak of the coronavirus after dramatically easing restrictions that had been in place for a lot of the pandemic.

Different nations, together with the US, India, Japan, South Korea and several other European nations, have introduced harder COVID-19 measures for vacationers from China issues about lacking information on infections in China and fears that new choices can happen.

China has had a number of the strictest entry necessities for individuals arriving from overseas. It’s set to finish the necessary five-day quarantine for all arrivals, however will nonetheless require a unfavourable COVID-19 check inside 48 hours of flight.

White Home press secretary Karin Jean-Pierre mentioned there was “no purpose to retaliate” by Beijing towards nations that “take prudent well being measures to guard their residents” with COVID-related restrictions on vacationers from China. He added that the restrictions had been “based mostly on public well being and science.”

“That is one thing that each one of us, (and) different nations are doing to ensure that we defend our residents right here,” Jean-Pierre mentioned.

The exams had been supported by the Prime Minister of France, Elizabeth Bourne. From Wednesday, anybody flying from China to France should current a unfavourable virus check taken throughout the earlier 48 hours and bear random testing on arrival.

“We’re in our function, my authorities is in its function, defending the French,” Bourne advised France-Information radio on Tuesday.

From Thursday, the UK would require passengers from China to be examined for COVID-19 earlier than boarding a airplane. Transport Minister Mark Harper mentioned the request was for “data gathering” as a result of Beijing doesn’t share coronavirus information.

Well being officers will check a pattern of passengers once they arrive within the UK, however quarantine just isn’t required for many who check constructive, he mentioned.

“The coverage on arrivals from China is principally about gathering data that the Chinese language authorities doesn’t share with the worldwide group,” Harper advised LBC radio on Tuesday.

Sweden’s Public Well being Company mentioned on Tuesday it had referred to as on the federal government to require vacationers from China to current a latest unfavourable COVID-19 check.

The company’s announcement got here as Sweden, which has taken over the EU’s rotating presidency convened a gathering of the EU disaster administration mechanism For Wednesday, to attempt to attain an settlement on a typical European line.

The Swedish authorities is “making ready to have the ability to introduce journey restrictions. On the similar time, we’re in dialogue with our European companions to get the identical guidelines as doable within the EU,” Justice Minister Gunnar Strömer mentioned in an announcement.

Austria additionally plans to check the sewage from all planes arriving from China for brand new variants of the coronavirus, the Austrian press company mentioned on Tuesday, following the same announcement by Belgium a day earlier.

Chinese language well being officers mentioned final week that they’d submitted information to GISAID, a world platform for sharing coronavirus information.

The variants of the virus inflicting the infections in China are “very related” to these seen in numerous elements of the world between July and December, GISAID mentioned on Monday.

Dr. Gagandeep Kang, who research viruses at Vellore Christian Medical School in India, mentioned the data from China, though restricted, appeared to indicate “a sample,” and that there was no signal of a worrisome variant. rising

Mi Feng, a spokesman for China’s Nationwide Well being Fee, mentioned authorities had been open and clear because the outbreak started three years in the past. He mentioned on Tuesday that China had held two technical alternate conferences with the WHO on the final state of affairs, medical therapy, vaccination and different points.

A high-ranking Hong Kong official additionally criticized the steps taken by another nations. Some have utilized the necessities to passengers arriving from Hong Kong and Macau, two semi-autonomous Chinese language territories, in addition to from mainland China.

Hong Kong Chief Secretary Eric Chan mentioned in a Fb submit that the federal government had written to varied consulates on Monday to precise its issues concerning the “redundant and pointless” guidelines.

Some specialists query the effectiveness of testing. Kerry Bowman, an assistant professor on the College of Toronto Temerty College of Medication, mentioned individuals can check constructive lengthy after getting into the nation.

The demand “just isn’t based mostly on science at this level,” he mentioned after Canada introduced the measures final weekend.

China, which for a lot of the epidemic adopted a “zero-COVID” technique that imposed strict restrictions aimed toward eradicating the virus, dramatically eased these measures in December.

Chinese language authorities beforehand mentioned that from January 8, overseas vacationers will not must bear quarantine upon arrival in China, paving the way in which for Chinese language residents to journey.


Related Press writers John Lester in Paris, Sylvia Hui in London, Ian M. Olsen in Copenhagen, Kanis Leung in Hong Kong and Frank Jordans in Berlin contributed to this report.

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