The head of the World Health Organization said, Thursday, December 29, 2022, that the restrictions imposed by some countries in response to the outbreak of coronavirus infections in China are “understandable”, given the lack of information from Beijing.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged China to be more transparent about the country’s epidemic situation.
His comments came after the United States joined several countries in requiring COVID-19 tests for travelers arriving from China, after Beijing abandoned restrictions on foreign travel despite a surge in infections.
But the EU’s health agency said such measures were not justified at the moment in the bloc.
“In order to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment of the COVID-19 situation on the ground in China, WHO needs more detailed information,” Tedros said on Twitter.
“In the absence of comprehensive information from China, it is understandable that countries around the world act in ways that they believe may protect their people,” he added.
“We remain concerned about the evolving situation and continue to encourage China to track the COVID-19 virus and vaccinate those most at risk,” he said.
Hospitals across China were overwhelmed in the wake of the decision to lift strict rules that had helped largely contain the virus but battered the economy and sparked widespread protests.
China said this week that it would end mandatory quarantine upon arrival, prompting many Chinese to make plans to travel abroad.
On December 21, Tedros told reporters that the World Health Organization was concerned about increasing reports of severe cases of the disease in China.
He demanded detailed data on acute illness, hospital admissions, and intensive care requirements.
China’s National Health Commission said last week that it would no longer publish an official tally of daily Covid deaths.