Travel Restrictions on China ‘Understandable,’ Says World Health Organization

NTD Newsroom
By NTD Newsroom
January 1, 2023COVID-19
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Travel Restrictions on China ‘Understandable,’ Says World Health Organization
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus looks on during a press conference at the World Health Organization's headquarters in Geneva, on Dec. 14, 2022. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has deemed travel restrictions other countries have placed on China as “understandable,” as a recent spike in coronavirus cases in the country is raising questions about China’s transparency as well as the efficacy of earlier lockdown measures.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has urged the Chinese regime to provide more insight into China’s coronavirus outbreak. He said last Thursday that more detailed information was necessary to establish an up-to-date risk assessment.

Some countries, such as India, Italy, Japan, and Taiwan, have imposed restrictions on travel from China based on the lack of information from the regime.

Tedros’s comments followed the United States’ decision to join other countries in imposing COVID tests on travelers entering from mainland China, after the Chinese regime eased restrictions on travel despite a rapid increase in cases.

“In order to make a comprehensive risk assessment of the COVID-19 situation on the ground in China, WHO needs more detailed information,” Tedros said on Twitter.

Tedros expressed concerns about a surge in severe disease cases in China on Dec. 21.

Chinese hospitals have seen a large number of admissions due to infections in recent weeks, and reports of overcrowded crematoria across the country have been spread widely on the internet. Despite this, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has denied a surge in cases and has even prompted many of its citizens to make overseas travel plans.

China’s prime travel time is set to commence in a few weeks with the start of the Lunar New Year holiday season.

COVID infections began rising several weeks before the country eased its draconian lockdown restrictions, which came after heavy protests and the severe impact on the country’s economy.

Last week, China’s National Health Commission said that an official daily COVID death toll would no longer be provided.

The precautionary measures taken by some countries have enraged the Chinese regime, despite positive COVID cases on landed flights. Japan stemmed the number of incoming flights from China, causing thousands to demand refunds for cancellations.

South Korea announced on Friday that it will implement similar restrictions.

Testing in the United States for incoming Chinese visitors, including from Hong Kong and Macau, is set to commence on Jan. 5.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin rebutted Tedros’s statement, insisting that China’s transparency about coronavirus data was sufficient.

“I have stated that for all countries, [Chinese coronavirus] response measures need to be science-based and proportionate without affecting normal travel and people-to-people exchange and cooperation,” he said in a statement on Friday.

He further added that medical experts from various countries have deemed any restrictive measures unnecessary.

Regardless, China’s evasive response puts into question the narrative propagated by the Communist Party, which hailed its previous measures as effective. Recent events also contradict the CCP’s claim that the three years of pandemic control came at minimal cost.

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