Countries curbing China 'understandable' in absence of Covid data: WHO chief
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made the remark as several countries from the US to South Korea put restrictions on air travellers from China which is seeing a massive Covid surge but not revealing data. "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," the WHO chief said in a tweet.
China to have 3.7 mn Covid cases a day by Jan 13, 1.7 mn deaths by April
Deaths are estimated to peak 10 days later at approximately 25,000 a day, by that stage a total of 584,000 since the virus began surging across the country in December. "We predict 1.7 million deaths across China by the end of April 2023," the firm said. Airfinity's model is based on data from China's regional provinces, before changes to reporting infections were implemented, combined with case growth rates from other former Covid-zero countries when they lifted restrictions such as Hong Kong and Japan.
Over 50% recent arrivals from China test Covid positive at Milan airport
Italy on Wednesday brought back mandatory coronavirus tests for all airline travellers arriving from China, following reports of rising infection rates in the world's most populous country, The Guardian reported. More than 50 per cent of people screened upon arrival at Milan's Malpensa airport in recent days tested positive for the virus, prompting the Lombardy region to require a mandatory negative test result before entry from China, the report said. However, on Thursday, Italy's far-right premier, Giorgia Meloni, said no new concerning Covid-19 mutations had been found among those entering the country so far, with about half the samples sequenced.
China opens air travel amid Covid surge, experts worried
"International travel will likely surge, yet it may take many more months before volumes return to the pre-pandemic level," Dan Wang, chief economist at Hang Seng Bank China, told Euro News. "Covid is still spreading in most parts of China, greatly disrupting the normal work schedule. Loss in productivity is significant and inflationary pressures in the coming months could be acute as the sudden spike in demand will outpace the recovery in supply," he mentioned.
US reports nearly 48,000 weekly child Covid-19 cases
Nearly 15.2 million children in the country had tested positive for Covid-19 since the onset of the pandemic, Xinhua news agency reported. Nearly 165,000 of these cases had been added in the past four weeks, and the reported cases were likely a "substantial undercount" of Covid-19 cases among children, said the report.
US imposes mandatory Covid testing for visitors from China
In a statement on Wednesday, the Department of Health that from 12.01 a.m. on January 5, 2023, all passengers travelling from China, Hong Kong and Macau would need a negative Covid test to enter the country in order to "slow the spread" of the virus, reports the BBC. The tests can be either an RT-PCR or an antigen self-test administered through a telehealth service.
Bodies piling up in people's homes for days awaiting cremation across China
Mortuaries and funeral homes in Beijing have been overwhelmed in recent days with weeks-long backlog of bodies awaiting cremation, RFA reported. There was anecdotal evidence on Tuesday that a similar bottleneck is occurring across the country, the report said.
US considering imposing new Covid restrictions on Chinese arrivals
American officials say this is due to a lack of transparency surrounding the virus in China, as cases surge, the BBC reported. Japan, Malaysia and Taiwan - worried at importing Covid cases - have already outlined tighter measures for Chinese travellers, including negative tests. Beijing has said Covid rules should be brought in on a "scientific" basis.
China's move to open up travel sparks concern over spread of new Covid variants
The decision on Monday to drop quarantine for overseas visitors from January 8 has prompted concerns about the potential for new variants beyond China's borders, The Guardian reported.
China Covid disruptions leave foreign investors worried: Report
"China is racing against time to stabilise its workforce and domestic production, as widespread Covid-19 infections test the country's capability to fulfil overseas orders and threaten its status as the world's pre-eminent manufacturing hub," the report mentioned. The country is now planning to reopen borders on January 8 and abandon quarantine after it downgrades its treatment of Covid-19.