After a number of countries across the globe implemented security measures following the outbreak of COVID-19 in China, the country’s officials decided they would fire back with measures of their own.
According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Mao Ning, the additional testing requirements for travelers from China lack any scientific basis. He claims that the excessive testing is unacceptable and China won’t stand for it.
China fires back with threats of countermeasures
He added that he believes the new measures were manipulated for political purposes, likely due to the US’ latest involvement with Taiwan.
China slams ‘unacceptable’ Covid rules on Chinese abroad; Warns of ‘counter measures'; Claims China travellers are Covid-Negative & totally healthy 🤣🤣
— Mayank Jindal (@MJ_007Club) January 3, 2023
These comments are possibly the biggest pushback the country’s made ever since the initial restrictions were put into place.
With China having to deal with yet another outbreak of the virus, immediately after they lifted their own restrictions, it’s only reasonable for countries to implement testing requirements for travelers from the country.
Aside from the US, other countries like Canada, Spain, France, the UK, and Japan have all imposed measures to halt the spread of the virus.
The measures here in the US are set to go into effect next week and were a response to a lack of data on the spread of the virus in China.
#China is calling #covid travel restrictions on its nationals politically motivated – and has warned it may retaliate. Some countries have already set their own measures but an EU-wide decision is expected today. So why are they worried? More with @BBCNews @SallyBundockBBC pic.twitter.com/9tFVYTi1Wn
— Azadeh Moshiri (@Azadeh_Moshiri) January 4, 2023
We could be in for a replay of the delta/omicron outbreaks
The US wasn’t alone in its concerns about the validity of data shared by Chinese health organizations. The World Health Organization demanded that Chinese officials provide real-time data on the epidemic in the country.
Additionally, they requested that the country crack down on the spread and mutations of the virus, offering their support in these areas, as well as risk communications when it comes to vaccinating the population.
However, after lifting its “zero COVID” policy, which was in place ever since the virus made its first appearance, China isn’t likely to go back to the previous regime, even if it spells disaster for the rest of the world.
Currently, travelers entering China have to quarantine upon arriving, but that will no longer be the case starting January 8th, as a result of the removal of strict anti-COVID policies the country previously implemented.
WH Press Sec on the implementation of COVID testing for travelers from China:
"There is no cause for retaliation here just because countries around the world are taking prudent health measures to protect their citizens." pic.twitter.com/5UcB5Tt1LE
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) January 3, 2023
However, while this did please the protesting people in the country, what followed was a surge in COVID cases and deaths, which China tried to keep under wraps; although it’s fair to say they failed to do that.
The real issue lies in the fact that continuous transmission of the virus may lead to further mutations, presenting us with the risk of yet another wave of infections similar to the delta and omicron strains.
Despite the pushback from Chinese officials, it is important for countries to implement necessary testing and safety measures to protect their citizens and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Finally, we all know where the whole thing started in the first place…