Washington: The United States government may impose the new Covid-19 measures on travelers coming from China amid the surge of new Covid cases, Reuters reported citing a US official.
“There are mounting concerns in the international community on the ongoing COVID-19 surges in China and the lack of transparent data, including viral genomic sequence data, being reported from the PRC,” the officials said, using the initials of the People’s Republic of China, according to Reuters.
The move comes after Japan, India and Malaysia announced they will impose new measures on travelers from China in the last 24 hours, citing a rise in infections there.
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Saturday announced that the RT-PCR test has been made mandatory for passengers coming from five countries including China.
“The RT-PCR test to be mandatory for international arrivals from China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Thailand. On arrival, if any passenger from these countries is found symptomatic or tests positive for Covid-19 infection, then he/she will be put under quarantine,” Health Minister Mandaviya said in a conversation with ANI.
Taking note of the rising cases of COVID globally, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Friday said that the Centre and States need to work in “tandem” and in a “collaborative spirit” as was done during the previous surges.
Meanwhile, Japan also imposed Mandatory testing for COVID-19 from December 30 upon arrival for travellers from China due to an increase in the number of confirmed cases there, the Kyodo news agency reported on Tuesday.
The measure applies to travellers from mainland China and those who visited it within the past seven days. They are required to take a COVID-19 test upon their arrival in Japan. Those who test positive will be quarantined for seven days. The Kyodo news agency said Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced the decision on Tuesday.
In November, China saw a record increase in local COVID-19 outbreaks. Due to the deterioration of the epidemiological situation, the authorities introduced partial lockdowns in some areas while also forcing their residents to undergo PCR testing on a daily basis.
In particular, starting from November 24, restrictive measures were tightened in a number of China’s major cities, including Beijing and Shanghai.
Against this background, some Chinese cities Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Wuhan, and others — were hit by mass protests. The rioters demanded the immediate lifting of lockdowns, the abolition of regular PCR testing, and the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
On Friday, media reported that about 37 million people in China could have contracted COVID-19 on a single day last week, making the country’s outbreak the largest in the world.
It was noted that up to 248 million people, or nearly 18 per cent of the population, were likely to have contracted the coronavirus in the first 20 days of December.
The Embassy of Japan in Beijing has said that many employees of Japanese firms operating in China are getting infected with COVID-19 and are being asked to work from home, NHK World reported.
Plants are also functioning with lower capacities in China. Speaking to NHK, Yoshikawa Akinobu, head of the Japan External Trade Organization’s office in Qingdao, said that COVID-19 began spreading quickly around December 16.