U.S. health officials and the WHO urged China to share more information on the spread of Covid in the country as the international community is left in the dark about the magnitude and severity of the latest wave of infection in the world’s second largest economy.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expressed concern that a lack of transparency from China could lead to a slowdown in detecting new Covid variants. The CDC is worried that a new Covid variation may emerge in China due to the country’s unwillingness to provide genetic sequences required to identify such variants, despite the virus’s rapid and widespread spread.
On the same day, the health officials announced that all airline passengers entering the country from China will need to show a negative Covid test amid growing concerns that widespread transmission of the virus in China could result in new variants.
The rule takes effect on January 5 and applies to all Chinese, Hong Kong, and Macau residents over the age of two. The rule applies regardless of nationality or vaccination status.
The World Health Organization has also called on China to provide more information on the situation in the country as the virus spreads.
“WHO is very concerned over the evolving situation in China with increasing reports of severe disease,” said WHO head Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said last week.
“In order to make a comprehensive risk assessment of the situation on the ground, WHO needs more detailed information on disease severity, hospital admissions, and requirements for ICU support,” Tedros said.