According to US sources, the country is exploring Covid entrance limits for Chinese visitors after Beijing substantially lifted tough containment measures last month.
As important foundations of China’s containment strategy have been removed, the number of infections has risen, leading US authorities to express concern over the possibility of the release of new strains.
When Beijing announced Monday that the mandatory Covid quarantine for foreign travelers would be lifted as of January 8, many people in China hastily began making travel arrangements.
The persistent Covid-19 outbreaks in China and the lack of transparent data, including viral genetic sequence data, being reported from the PRC have raised growing worries in the international community, according to US authorities.
Beijing officials have eliminated the much-maligned case tallies, narrowed the criteria under which Covid fatalities are reported, and recognized that it is “difficult” to track the outbreak.
However, the absence of genomic data has raised concerns in other countries, making it “increasingly difficult for public health officials to assure that they would be able to identify any potential new variations and take quick measures to restrict the spread,” according to US officials.
To stop the spread of Covid from China, nations like Malaysia and Japan have declared public health actions. The United States is “following the science and advice of public health experts, talking with partners, and considering taking comparable steps.”
China’s relaxation of regulations effectively ends the zero-Covid system of extensive testing, lockdowns, and lengthy quarantines that have disrupted supply lines and hampered economic interactions with the second-largest economy in the world.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Beijing’s foreign ministry urged nations to maintain “scientific and proper” illness restrictions that “should not hinder routine personnel interactions.”