Health experts question mandatory COVID-19 test for arrivals from China

Infectious disease experts have questioned the effectiveness of the mandatory COVID-19 tests for arrivals from China and saying such measures are unnecessary, unreasonable and pointless.

Shortly after China optimized the COVID-19 strategy and announced the removal of COVID-19 related restrictions on international passenger flights from January 8, countries including the U.S., Italy, India, Australia and Japan decided to impose restrictions on travelers from China, requiring them to obtain a negative COVID-19 test before departure.

"I don't think it's going to make a large difference," Ian Lipkin, professor of epidemiology at Columbia University told DW news, adding that the current variants in China are probably already circulating in the U.S. and Europe. 

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said it believed the introduction of mandatory COVID-19 screenings of travelers from China was "unjustified," saying the COVID-19 variants circulating in China are already circulating in the European Union (EU) and potential imported infections from China are "rather low" compared to the number of infections already occurring in the EU, the BBC reported. 

"China always believes that for all countries, COVID response measures need to be science-based and proportionate. They should not be used for political manipulation, there should not be discriminatory measures against certain countries, and measures should not affect normal travel and people-to-people exchange and cooperation," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said on Wednesday.

(Cover: Passengers disembarking from international flights take anonymous COVID tests for study purposes at Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey, U.S., January 4, 2023. /CFP)

Search Trends