China Underground > China News > Transparency concerns on China’s COVID-19 surge spark worry globally

Transparency concerns on China’s COVID-19 surge spark worry globally

The United States, Japan, India, South Korea, Taiwan, and Italy an are among the six countries that have implemented testing requirements for travelers arriving from China.

Several countries, including Italy and the United States, have implemented testing requirements for travelers from China due to concerns about the possibility of new COVID-19 variants emerging from China’s ongoing explosive outbreak and a lack of transparency from the Chinese government. There have not yet been any reports of new variants, but there is a worry that China may not be sharing information about the virus or any potential variants that could cause further outbreaks in other parts of the world.

The United States, Japan, India, South Korea, Taiwan, and Italy have all announced testing requirements for Chinese travellers, with the United States noting both an increase in cases and a lack of information, including genetic sequencing of the virus strains in the nation.

Taiwanese and Japanese authorities have raised similar worries.

On Jan. 1, the island will begin testing everyone who arrives from China, ahead of the expected homecoming of 30,000 Taiwanese for the Lunar New Year vacation later in the month. Beginning Friday, new Japanese laws restrict flights from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macao to authorized airports, complicating holiday travel plans.

Wang Wenbin, a spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Ministry, stated on Thursday that many nations’ attitudes toward Chinese tourists have not changed, and that such measures should treat individuals from all countries equally.

Every new infection provides an opportunity for the coronavirus to change, and it is quickly expanding throughout China. Scientists are unsure if the spike will unleash a new mutant version on the planet, but they are concerned. According to Chinese health experts, the current outbreak is being driven by omicron variants that have already been discovered abroad, and a surveillance system has been put up to detect any potentially dangerous new versions of the virus.

Wu Zunyou, head epidemiologist of China’s Center for Disease Control, stated on Thursday that China has always disclosed viral strains discovered in a timely manner. According to Italy’s health minister, sequencing suggests that the variations discovered in travelers travelling from China are already in circulation in Europe.

This is consistent with what the European Union’s executive branch has stated. The EU did not immediately follow member nation Italy in ordering testing for Chinese tourists on Thursday, but says it is reviewing the issue.

China relaxed several of its tight pandemic controls earlier this month, allowing the virus to spread quickly in a nation where infections had been relatively low since a deadly outbreak in the city of Wuhan.

Spiraling illnesses have resulted in cold drug shortages, huge queues at fever clinics, and overflowing emergency rooms turning away people.

Cremations have increased significantly, with overcrowded funeral establishments in one city requesting that families postpone funeral ceremonies until next month.

The repercussions from the rise has not been extensively highlighted in Chinese state media, and government officials have blamed Western media for exaggerating the issue.

According to Miles Yu, director of the China center at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C., the worldwide worries, tinged with fury, are a direct result of the governing Communist Party’s abrupt pullout from some of the world’s most severe anti-virus regulations.

China has already been accused of concealing the viral situation in the country. According to an AP investigation, the government delayed releasing genetic information on the virus for more than a week after decoding it, infuriating WHO scientists.

The government also carefully regulated the transmission of Chinese viral research, making collaboration with overseas experts difficult.

Research into the virus’s origins has also been hindered. In a study last year, a WHO expert committee stated that “important pieces of evidence” on how the epidemic began were lacking and asked for a more thorough inquiry.

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