torsdag 5. januar 2023

China is now the centre of Covid. The world should be watching – and testing

After almost three years of trying to wholly eliminate the virus that causes Covid-19 from within its borders, the Chinese government has abruptly changed course. Now, the country is attempting to “live with Covid-19”. Testing is no longer required, and numbers of officially reported Covid-19 cases are at odds with scientific estimates of the situation.

While official estimates suggest there are 4,000 cases of Covid a day, scientists estimate the number is more like 1 million. Official death tolls are similarly unreliable. The lack of transparency from the Chinese government, and the lack of trust in what it’s saying about its domestic outbreak, has prompted concern across the world.

The US, Italy, Japan, Taiwan and India are among the countries that have already introduced strict checks on flights coming from China. The UK also now has a requirement for travellers from China to England to provide a pre-departure negative test. In addition, the UK Health Security Agency will soon start monitoring a sample of passengers to keep track of any new variants arriving.