China’s Lack of COVID Reporting Raises Concerns

China
China
Courtesy of Fusion Medical Animation (Unsplash)

The World Health Organization (WHO) met with health officials in China on Friday, December 30, 2022, to discuss the country’s current COVID-19 surge. Additional talks focused on the lack of transparent reporting after the county stopped reporting six days earlier. WHO representatives also offered the agency’s expertise and assistance during the meeting.

China’s National Health Commission and the Chinese Center for Disease Prevention and Control representatives an overview of the nation’s COVID monitoring but did not commit to sharing vital data with global health agencies.

These meetings followed global leaders voicing concerns over China’s lack of current data as the pandemic entered its third year. Health officials worry that new variants could arise in the county’s ongoing outbreak and would not be reported. An unreported variant could have dire consequences internationally.

Despite the global outcry for transparency, the WHO again requested that China share specific and real-time details on the country’s COVID situation reports daily. Some of these details include the process China uses to monitor the virus’ impacts on hospitalizations and deaths. Also requested was vaccination status, specifically among those over 60 years old and the vulnerable.

Travel Restrictions For Travelers From China

China
Courtesy of Cheng Huang (Unsplash)

President Xi Jinping recently relaxed strict quarantine despite reports of widespread COVID transmission and began issuing passports for international travel. As a result, many countries initiated travel requirements for flights originating from China.

  • The U.S. CDC issued new requirements to begin on January 5, 2023. Passengers two and older must test for COVID-19 no more than two days before their flight’s departure and show a negative result when traveling from China, Hong Kong, or Macau, regardless of nationality.Additionally, those entering the United States from Seoul, Toronto, and Vancouver who have been in the countries mentioned above in the past 10 days must also show negative test results.
  • Japan will require a negative test result upon arrival from travelers. Those testing positive will be quarantined for one week.
  • South Korea’s approach is two-tiered: COVID tests will be given on arrival for people coming from China beginning January 2. Then on January 5, they will require a negative test result within 24 hours before departure.

Malaysia, the Philippines, India, Spain, and Taiwan also announced increased regulations for air travel passengers from China.

Written by Cathy Milne-Ware

Sources:

NPR: China has stopped publishing daily COVID data amid reports of a huge spike in cases; by Robbie Griffiths
CDC: Travelers Health: China
WHO: WHO meets with Chinese officials on current COVID-19 situation
Euronews Travel: China resumes international travel: Which countries are introducing new COVID restrictions?
BBC: Covid in China: Officials must share data on its impact, says WHO; by George Wright

Featured and Top Image by Fusion Medical Animation Courtesy of Unsplash
Inset Image Image by Cheng Huang Courtesy of Unsplash

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