A delegation from the World Health Organization met with Chinese officials to discuss the dramatic rise in the number of COVID-19 infections in their country, calling on them to share data in real time so that other countries can respond effectively.
A statement by the organization indicated that its delegation again requested the regular sharing of specific data on the epidemiological situation, in real time, including more data on genetic sequencing, the impact of the disease, cases requiring hospitalization and intensive care units, as well as about deaths.
Germany monitors Corona mutants
On the other hand, Germany called for setting up an observatory for virus variants at European airports, without imposing checks on those coming from China.
The German Minister of Health, Karl Lauter-Bach, stated that it is not necessary now to implement the obligation for travelers coming from China to undergo Corona tests before entering.
France, Spain, Italy and Britain had required that travelers coming from China show a negative test for infection with the Corona virus, in procedures that China described as discriminatory.
America imposes restrictions
The United States, along with Japan and several European countries, decided to impose controls on travelers arriving from China, in light of precautionary measures, which the head of the World Health Organization considered “understandable”, given the lack of information from Beijing after the lifting of restrictions imposed to combat Covid.
However, the health authorities in China confirmed Thursday that they have been publishing the data “in the interest of openness and transparency,” according to statements reported by the new Chinese news agency, “Xinhua”.
On Friday, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced only 5,515 new cases and one death. It seems that these numbers no longer reflect reality, because large-scale examinations are no longer applied.
Europe adjusts its position
Meanwhile, EU Commissioner for Health Stella Kyriakides said the bloc should immediately consider stepping up genetic sequencing of Covid-19 cases and monitoring sewage, including at airports, to detect any new strain of the virus, given the increase in infections in China. .
Three years after the first cases of Covid-19 appeared in Wuhan (center), China suddenly canceled on December 7 its strict policy known as “Zero Covid”.
This policy, adopted since 2020, has allowed the population to be largely protected from the virus, thanks to generalized testing, strict monitoring of movements and also to mandatory and quarantine once cases are detected.
However, these harsh measures, which have kept the country largely isolated from the rest of the planet, dealt a severe blow to the world’s second largest economy, and sparked extraordinary discontent in November.
Since the restrictions were lifted, hospitals have been overwhelmed with patients, the majority of whom are elderly and frail due to lack of vaccination, while many pharmacies lack fever-reducing medicines.