Covid surge in China not expected to have “significant impact” in Europe: WHO | World News

The director of the World Health Organization’s Europe office said on Tuesday that the agency sees “no immediate threat” to the European region from a COVID-19 outbreak in China, but more information is needed.

China is battling a nationwide outbreak of the coronavirus after abruptly easing restrictions.

Hans Kluge said that according to the information the WHO had received from China, there was no threat, but more detailed and regular information was required from China to monitor the development of the situation.

“We cannot be complacent,” he added.

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Several countries have imposed COVID-19 testing requirements on Chinese travelers. Australia and Canada require travelers from China to get a COVID-19 test before boarding their flight. Other countries, including the US, India, Japan, South Korea and several European nations, have announced stricter COVID-19 measures for travelers from China amid concerns over a lack of data on infections in China and fears. that new variants may emerge.

China has threatened to retaliate against countries that require travelers from China to show a negative COVID-19 test result taken within the previous 48 hours. On Tuesday, it suspended the issuance of visas for South Koreans to come to the country for tourism or business, in apparent retaliation for Seoul’s move.

“We recognize that several countries, based on the precautionary principle, are implementing some measures,” said the director of the WHO in Europe.

“It is not unreasonable for countries to take precautionary measures to protect their populations while we wait for more detailed information to be shared in publicly accessible databases,” he said. All measures must have “scientific roots,…proportionate and non-discriminatory”.

Catherine Smallwood, the World Health Organization’s European COVID-19 incident manager, added that “we should not be surprised at any time by an exclusive focus on a particular geographic area.”

Earlier this month, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the agency was “concerned about the risk to life in China” amid the explosive spread of the coronavirus across the country and a lack of data. of the outbreak by the Chinese government. He said the agency recently met with Chinese officials to stress the importance of sharing more details about COVID-19 issues, including hospitalization rates and genetic sequences, even as the pandemic continues to recede globally since it began. end of 2019.

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