WHO chief asks China to be more open about Covid spread
But China thinks otherwise as the state-media described the testing requirements imposed by several places around the world as “discriminatory”. However, this response is quite ironic, if not funny, as Beijing itself had kept its borders all but shut for three years, imposing a strict regime of lockdowns and relentless testing.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has asked China to be more open about the latest Covid spread and share data, saying the absence of information is behind countries around the world are acting to protect their population

In a series of tweets on late Thursday night, the WHO (World Health Organisation) chief said they remained about the evolving situation and continue encouraging China to track the COVID-19 virus while vaccinating the highest risk people. “We continue to offer our support for clinical care and protecting its health system,” he added.

The statement comes as more and more countries are joining the list of those setting conditions for those travelling from China.

But China thinks otherwise as the state-media described the testing requirements imposed by several places around the world as “discriminatory”.

However, this response is quite ironic, if not funny, as Beijing itself had kept its borders all but shut for three years, imposing a strict regime of lockdowns and relentless testing. However, it abruptly reversed course toward living with the virus on Dec 7, which triggered a wave of infections across the country.

“The real intention is to sabotage China’s three years of Covid-19 control efforts and attack the country’s system,” state-run tabloid Global Times said in an article late on Thursday, calling the restrictions “unfounded” and “discriminatory.”

China will stop requiring inbound travellers to go into quarantine from Jan. 8. But it will still demand a negative PCR test result within 48 hours before departure.

On Thursday, Italy urged the rest of the European Union to follow its lead, but France, Germany and Portugal have said they saw no need for new travel restrictions, while Austria has stressed the economic benefits of Chinese tourists’ return to Europe.

The reason? Global spending by Chinese visitors was worth more than $250 billion a year before the pandemic.

The United States have raised concerns about potential mutations of the virus as it sweeps through the world’s most populous country, as well as over China’s data transparency.

The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention is considering sampling wastewater from international aircraft to track any emerging new variants, the agency told Reuters.

Reports and official stats don’t match

China, a country of 1.4 billion people, reported one new Covid death for Thursday, same as the day before — numbers which do not match the experience of other countries after they reopened.

Reports emerging from the iron-locked country is providing a different picture. It is being described as the country’s biggest outbreak by far since the pandemic began in the central city of Wuhan three years ago. Beijing government hospitals and crematoriums also have been struggling this month amid heavy demand.

It is by far the country’s biggest outbreak since the pandemic began in the central city of Wuhan three years ago. Beijing government hospitals and crematoriums also have been struggling this month amid heavy demand.

Medical staff say resources are already stretched to the breaking point in some cases, as Covid-19 and sickness levels amongst staff have been particularly high.

Mortality rate ‘political’

Doctors, on the condition of anonymity, say they are most worried about the elderly, tens of thousands of whom may die, according to estimates from experts.

More than 5,000 people are probably dying each day from Covid-19 in China, Britain-based health data firm Airfinity estimated, offering a dramatic contrast to official data from Beijing on the country’s current outbreak.

China reported no Covid-19 deaths on the mainland for the six days through Sunday, the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said on Sunday, even as crematories faced surging demand.

It has narrowed its definition for classifying deaths as Covid-related, counting only those involving Covid-caused pneumonia or respiratory failure, raising eyebrows among world health experts.

“It’s not medicine, it is politics,” said a foreign expert. “If they’re dying now with Covid it’s because of Covid. The mortality rate now it is political numbers, not medical.”

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