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Cyprus awaits the European decisions on the restrictions in China

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In a week, decisions will be made to deal with the risks posed by the new wave of Covidin China, as Cyprus wants the discussion to be completed at the European level first. At the table of yesterday's meeting of the Minister of Health, Michalis Hatzipantela, with the Advisory Scientific Committee, ideas were discussed such as the mandatory presentation of a PCR test by passengers arriving in Cyprus from China (a measure already adopted by some countries of the EU) and the return of the mask to the planes, but without any conclusion pending the decisions of the bloc.

The Swedish presidency of the European Union has convened talks for tomorrow Wednesday, to discuss the matter at the level of government health officials, as the aim is to reach a common approach. Concern seems to be caused by the fact that China in the past has not shown transparency regarding  with the issue of the coronavirus, which is leading several European capitals to take precautionary measures, although Beijing rejects this position.

A similar discussion was held on December 29, with the Health Commissioner, Stella Kyriakidou, asking member states to immediately consider scaling up the genomic sequencing of infections and the monitoring of sewage and at airports, to detect any new variants. The Commission is following the matter closely and is participating in the proceedings.

Speaking to REPORTER, the member of the Advisory Committee, Dr. Petros Karagiannis, said that the decisions should be taken collectively by the EU and through the discussion the issues that Cyprus will raise were formed. We will expect decisions to be made at this level, he added, repeating that the fact that the strain circulating in China already exists in Europe will play a role in them. The Minister of Health also addressed this issue, saying after the meeting that the specific strain “has been in our country since 2022, so there is no reason to panic at this particular moment”.

It is noted that, although there is no coordinated response, several countries have already imposed some kind of restrictions on travelers from China, in view of the full lifting of the Chinese measures. Beijing has since December gradually abandoned its previously implemented “zero Covid” policy under the weight of popular backlash, and the movement of these levees has led to an explosion of cases.

In Europe, Italy, France, and the United Kingdom have announced that travelers originating from China will be required to test negative, while Spain is making the presentation of a full vaccination certificate an alternative. Outside Europe, similar restrictions apply in Japan, Israel, Australia, the USA, India, South Korea and Canada.  More drastic is the approach of Morocco, which from today implements the ban on arrivals from China, regardless of the nationality of the travelers.

It is noted that, during the discussion of the Advisory Scientific Committee on Monday , an assessment was also made of the situation with the coronavirus in the community, with the experts considering that it does not inspire concern at the moment. On Tuesday, however, when they meet again, it is expected to be reassessed, when it will have become clear whether there have been additional infections from the many gatherings over the holiday season.  

  • The two measures on the table due to the increase in cases in China
  • Updated from Italy and presents a report of measures Hadjipantela at the CEE
  • Cyprus is taking the baton in measures due to the explosion of cases in China

Source: www.reporter.com.cy

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