EU Restricts Chinese Travel Over COVID Fears
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
BEIJING/BRUSSELS (Worthy News) – Diplomatic tensions were rising Thursday after the European Union “strongly” urged its 27 member states to insist on “negative COVID tests” from Chinese arrivals before they travel.
The recommendation came from the EU’s Integrated Political Crisis Response group (IPCR), comprised of officials from the EU’s governments. The advice was in line with suggestions by the European Commission, the EU’s executive.
The announcement came as Beijing eased travel restrictions despite a reported wave of new COVID infections following massive protests against lengthy lockdowns.
China vehemently rejected travel restrictions EU nations have started to impose that could be expanded in the coming days.
However, other nearby nations also restricted travel for people arriving from China. In India, arrivals from China and four other Asian countries must produce a negative COVID test before arriving, with those who test positive put in quarantine, authorities said.
In Japan, travelers from China will be tested for Covid upon arrival, while those who test positive will have to quarantine for up to seven days.
TRACKING AND SURVEILLANCE
Malaysia introduced additional “tracking and surveillance measures” in place, while Taiwan said people arriving from China, by air or sea, will have to take COVID tests on arrival throughout January.
The measures come as footage emerged of “overwhelmed funeral homes” in China that are allegedly struggling with “a deluge of deaths” as the country exits its zero-COVID stance.
Some reportedly give families only 5 to 10 minutes to mourn with people queuing outside funeral homes.
Additionally, a rush on pharmacies led to significant nationwide shortages of medicine used to treat a cold or the flu, sources said. Home testing kits for COVID are reportedly
hard to come by.
Yet state media ignored scenes of crowded hospital wards and packed crematoriums ahead of the Chinese New Year, with government officials saying few people are dying of COVID.
Earlier images of “overflowing hospitals and busy funeral homes” from the United States have featured heavily on China’s state-controlled television. Beijing depicted the reported “deaths of over a million Americans” as a gross failing of Western democracy.
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