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.

Member states of the European Union are trying to find a joint stance on how to treat travellers entering the borderless Schengen area from China, after Italy urged the rest of the economic bloc to bring back anti-Covid checks following Beijings rapid rollback of its previously stringent hygiene restrictions, according to a media report.

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.

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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.

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Meloni nonetheless insisted that requiring Covid tests for all passengers from China was "only effective if it is taken at the European level", noting that many people arrive in Italy on connecting flights through other European countries.

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Meloni's deputy and transport minister, Matteo Salvini, said in a Twitter post that "Italy cannot be the only country to carry out anti-Covid checks at airports for those arriving from China", urging such measures to be applied "throughout Europe", The Guardian reported.

Earlier this month, China performed a U-turn on its management of the Covid-19 pandemic, reversing tough restrictions and allowing the virus to rapidly spread across a country that has not been exposed to the virus since the initial outbreak in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

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