After South Korea and Israel which became the latest countries on Friday to introduce a COVID test requirement for travelers arriving from China, Malaysia also said that it would screen all international arrivals from China for fever
Beijing’s move prompted the US, Italy, Japan and other countries to impose checks on arrivals from China.
US health officials were quoted as saying by the Reuters news agency that they were also considering sampling wastewater from international aircraft to track any emerging new variants.
Italy has called for EU-wide checks, but the bloc’s health agency said it saw such measures as unjustified, arguing that the situation in China was unlikely to affect Europe with its high levels of immunization.
China had said it would no longer release an official daily COVID death toll. The country also stopped mass testing and reporting asymptomatic cases, sparking concerns that the official data is likely not an accurate representation of the situation.
While issuing its guidance on the negative test requirement, Spain cited a lack of information on China’s part about COVID infections in the country.
“There exists a shared concern internationally and nationally over the evolution of cases in China and the difficulty to make a correct evaluation of the COVID-19 situation given the scant information that we have available,” Health Minister Carolina Darias told reporters.
Darias added that Madrid would push for similar checks across the EU on travelers arriving from China.
“In the absence of comprehensive information from China, it is understandable that countries around the world are acting in ways that they believe may protect their populations,” said World Health Organization (WHO)chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.