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COVID travel curbs against Chinese visitors ‘discriminatory’ -state media

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BEIJING, Dec 30 (Reuters) – China’s state media said the coronavirus testing requirements imposed in some parts of the world in response to a surging wave of infections were “discriminatory”. rice field. opening.

After nearly three years of closing its borders, imposing a strict lockdown regime and relentless testing, China suddenly turned to coexist with the virus on December 7, sending a wave of infections erupting across the country. did.

As US, South Korea, India, Italy, Japan and Taiwan impose COVID tests on travelers from China, some places are surprised by the scale of China’s outbreak and skeptical of Beijing’s COVID statistics showing the point of view.

“The real intention is to sabotage China’s three-year COVID-19 control efforts and attack the country’s systems,” state-run tabloid Global Times said in an article late Thursday, noting that the restrictions were “founded. He said it was “discriminatory”.

Starting January 8, China will stop requiring quarantine for incoming travelers. However, a negative PCR test result is required within 48 hours prior to departure.

Italy on Thursday urged the rest of the European Union to follow suit, while France, Germany and Portugal said there was no need for new travel restrictions and Austria said it would benefit economically from Chinese tourists returning to Europe. emphasized the

Global spending by Chinese visitors was worth more than $250 billion in the pre-pandemic year.

The US has expressed concern about the potential mutation of the virus sweeping through the world’s most populous country and the transparency of China’s data.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering sampling wastewater from international flights to track new subspecies, the agency told Reuters.

China, with a population of 1.4 billion, reported one new COVID death on Thursday, echoing the day before. This number does not match the experience of other countries after reopening.

China’s official death toll has risen to 5,247 since the pandemic began, while the U.S. death toll has exceeded 1 million. Hong Kong, a Chinese-dominated city of 7.4 million, has reported more than 11,000 deaths.

UK-based health data company Airfinity said on Thursday that about 9,000 people in China are probably dying from COVID every day. The cumulative death toll in China since December 1 has likely reached 100,000, bringing the total number of infected to 18.6 million, the report said.

Airfinity expects China’s COVID infections to reach its first peak on January 13, with 3.7 million cases per day.

“Excess Mortality”

Wu Zunyou, China’s chief epidemiologist, said on Thursday that a team at the Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention planned to assess the death toll differently.

The team will measure the difference between the number of deaths in the current wave of infections and the number of deaths expected if the epidemic had not occurred. By calculating “excess mortality,” Wu said China could solve what it could have potentially underestimated.

China has said it only counts deaths of COVID patients from pneumonia and respiratory failure as COVID-related.

The relatively low number of deaths does not match the surge in demand that funeral homes are reporting in several Chinese cities.

The lifting of restrictions overwhelmed hospitals and funeral homes across the country after widespread protests in November, with scenes of people on IV drips on the roadside and lines of hearses outside crematoriums. fueling public concern.

Health experts say China is ill-prepared for the sudden U-turn on policies long backed by President Xi Jinping. His December bids by hospitals for key medical equipment such as ventilators and patient monitors were two to three times higher than his previous month, according to a Reuters review.

By Marius Zaharia.Editing by Jerry Doyle

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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