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China COVID-19 pivots spark negative response across the world

The decision by China to lift its mandatory quarantine for overseas arrivals has caused concern among other countries, particularly given the current surge in Covid-19 cases in the country. The United States has said that it is considering restricting travel from China, while other countries such as Japan, India, Taiwan, and Malaysia have already introduced PCR testing on arrival for Chinese passengers or are considering similar measures.

United States Is Concerned About New COVID-19 Variant

The concerns are not only about the potential for new variants of the virus to emerge but also about the lack of transparent data being provided by China on the current outbreak.

China’s previous zero-Covid policy, which included mass testing, lockdowns, and long quarantines, had been effective in containing the spread of the virus, but the decision to lift these measures has led to a significant surge in cases.

Hospitals and crematoriums across China have been overwhelmed with elderly patients, many of whom are not vaccinated, and there have been widespread reports of shortages of fever medication.

The virus is spreading largely unchecked among the population of 1.4 billion, and Chinese authorities have admitted that the scale of the outbreak is now “impossible” to track.

To make up for the lack of officially reported figures, authorities are using data from online surveys, hospital visits, demand for fever medicines, and emergency calls.

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Travel Restrictions In china

China has pulled back on its COVID restrictions, drawing concern from several countries. Photo Credit: Hanny Naibaho/Unsplash

The decision to lift the quarantine measures has also led to a rush of Chinese citizens booking international flights, causing a surge in ticket prices. The easing of restrictions has effectively brought an end to China’s zero-Covid regime, which had disrupted supply chains and affected business engagement with the country.

With major public holidays approaching next month, during which hundreds of millions of people are expected to travel to their hometowns to reunite with relatives, the potential for further spread of the virus is a concern.

China has downgraded Covid-19 to a Class B infectious disease, which will allow authorities to adopt looser controls on the spread of the virus. As part of this change, passport issuance for “tourism” or “overseas visits of friends” will gradually be resumed from January 8.

However, the decision to lift quarantine measures and ease restrictions on travel has caused concern among other countries, with the United States and others considering taking similar steps to countries such as Japan and Malaysia in order to protect their populations from the spread of the virus.

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