EU should test all Chinese arrivals for Covid-19 – Italy – RT World News
With most pandemic restrictions now lifted by Beijing, Rome says it ‘acted immediately’
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has urged the EU to impose a bloc-wide coronavirus testing requirement on all air passengers arriving from China, after Beijing announced it would significantly ease travel restrictions international. Although grappling with a rise in infections, the Asian nation eased its strict lockdown measures earlier this month.
Italy ordered mandatory antigen testing for all incoming travelers from China earlier this week, following Beijing’s announcement that it would end mandatory quarantine for passengers from January 8, thus reopening the borders of the country.
“We acted immediately” Meloni said at a press conference Thursday. “We expect and hope that the EU will want to act in this way,” she continued, adding that Italy’s policy would risk « not be fully effective » unless they are applied by all member states of the bloc.
As Meloni spoke, the EU’s health security committee met in Brussels in a bid to formulate a joint response to the expected influx of Chinese travelers in January.
Further on, the United States, Japan, India, Taiwan and Malaysia have all announced testing requirements for Chinese arrivals, with Japan and India saying those who test positive should enter quarantine.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that this requirement « will help slow the spread of the virus as we work to identify and understand any potential new variants that may emerge. »
After maintaining some of the world’s strictest « Zero Covid » policies for nearly three years, China’s National Health Commission (NHC) announced earlier this month that it would no longer require negative tests for enter most public buildings and no longer require asymptomatic patients to self-isolate at home.
Last week, the country downgraded its coronavirus response from « At the level of control measures » at least strict « B-Level » response, meaning that from January 8, even symptomatic Covid-19 patients will no longer have to self-isolate, and local authorities will no longer be able to lock down entire communities in the event of a localized outbreak.
New cases soared following the announcements, with 37 million people reported contracting the virus in a single day last week, and nearly a quarter of a billion people infected this month. Officially, the NHC claims these numbers are nearly 10,000 times lower.