European Union government health officials will hold talks on Wednesday on a coordinated response to the surge in COVID-19 infections in China, the Swedish EU presidency said on Monday, after December talks concluded with no decisions on the matter.
France on Sunday urged European Union peers to test Chinese travelers for COVID after Paris decided to do so amid an outbreak sweeping the country.
In response to the surge of COVID-19 in the People’s Republic of China and given the limited epidemiological and viral genomic sequence data available on these cases, the Government of Canada intends to put in place certain temporary health measures for air travelers entering Canada from China.
Chinese state-media have railed against the growing number of foreign governments imposing COVID tests on travelers from China, calling the measures “discriminatory.”
The European Union should consider immediately scaling up genomic sequencing of COVID-19 infections and monitoring of waste water, including from airports, to detect any new variants given the virus surge in China, the bloc’s health chief said.
As COVID-19 infections surge in China, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering sampling wastewater taken from international aircraft to track any emerging new variants, the agency told Reuters.
After China scrapped three years of zero-COVID curbs in 30 days, setting off a massive wave of infections, Beijing’s policymakers face an immense challenge to treat the sick and minimize deaths while winning back public trust dented by previous policies.
Around 9,000 people in China are probably dying each day from COVID-19, UK-based health data firm Airfinity said on Thursday, nearly doubling its estimate from a week ago, as infections ripped across the world’s most populous nation.
Italy on Thursday urged the rest of the European Union to follow its lead and test travelers from China for COVID, but others said they saw no need to do so for now or were waiting for a common stance across the largely border-less bloc.
Chinese hospitals and funeral homes were under intense pressure on Wednesday as a surging COVID-19 wave drained resources, while the scale of the outbreak and doubts over official data prompted some countries to consider new travel rules on Chinese visitors.