The explosion of Covid-19 cases in China, due to the opening of the country, is leading many countries around the world to take containment measures before the arrival of tourists from the Asian giant. The United States, Australia, Japan, the Philippines, India, South Korea and, within the European Union, Italy, are some of them.
The transalpine country activated all the alarms when realizing in some airports that more than half of the passengers from China were infected with the virus. Given this situation, the Member States of the European Union met yesterday in Brussels and agreed to maintain “active surveillance” in the face of this explosion of cases.
The Health Security Committee, which brings together representatives of the Twenty Seven Ministries of Healthagreed to establish coordinated actions and established a commitment to continue in contact to establish possible “joint initiatives”, as Italy publicly claimed.
Even so, the transalpine country is left alone and will be, for the moment, the only member of the European Union that will require a negative coronavirus test (PCR) for all travelers coming from China.
For its part, the European Commission expressed on social networks, after the meeting, that “the coordination of national responses to cross-border threats for health is crucial”. The Community Executive added that “we need to act together and we will continue with our discussions”.
Even so, the Executive of Georgia Meloni does not cease in its efforts to sue negative tests to enter the Union. The Italian Health Minister, Orazio Schillaci, assured on Wednesday after a meeting with his cabinet that the tests are “crucial” to verify if new variants of the virus are emerging.
For the moment, the analyzes carried out by Italy on infected passengers from China did not find any new mutation of Covid-19, which was a relief for the country. The Italian Prime Minister, Georgia Meloni, explained yesterday at a press conference that half of the samples analyzed in Milan were sequenced and all show the omicron strain of the coronavirus. “This is quite reassuring,” said the leader. At the same time, she assured that the situation in the transalpine country “is under control and there are no immediate concerns.”
Given this scenario, the European Commission minimized the risks and noted that the omicron variant is already present in Europe and “has not grown significantly.” However, “we will remain vigilant and stand ready to use the emergency brake if necessary” to reinstate the restrictions on Chinese travelers. At the moment, the health systems of the Union are supporting the infections well, they assure.
After the meeting in Brussels of the Health Security Committee, the Spanish Ministry of Health issued a statement that ensures that Spain conveyed “the importance of continue the path of coordination of health policies”. At the same time, they convened today a meeting of the Public Health Alerts and Preparedness and Response Plans Conference to, among other things, share what was discussed in Brussels and share the conclusions. This Conference is a body of the Interterritorial Council of the Health System.
In the rest of the countries of the European Union they also transmitted a message of calm in the face of this situation. The german health authoritiesas collected yesterday Bloomberg, they are “closely observing” the situation, according to the spokesman for the Ministry of Health, Sebastián Guelde. “We have no indication that a dangerous mutation has developed in China that would trigger corresponding travel restrictions,” he added.
For its part, the French Ministry of Health also assured that they are monitoring the situation and said that they are “ready to analyze all the useful measures that may be implemented as a consequence, in collaboration with France’s European partners.”
Madrid asks to “intensify” the controls in Barajas
The Community of Madrid demanded this Thursday that the Government “intensify” the controls at the Barajas airport to prevent the entry of cases of covid 19 from China, where there has been an explosion of infections and the population is already allowed to travel abroad again.
As reported by the Madrid Government, the Minister of Health, Enrique Ruiz Escudero, sent a letter to the Minister of HealthCarolina Darias, in which she demanded measures and information on the coronavirus situation in China.
Ruiz Escudero stressed that it is necessary to “intensify” the “controls” at the Barajas airport, since it has been the “front door” of the virus in Spain in “all previous waves” of the coronavirus. The Madrid minister requested these measures given the “significant changes” that China has introduced regarding the fight against Covid-19, referring to the abandonment of the zero Covid policy and the opening of the country.
The EU leaves Italy alone and rules out requesting a negative PCR from Chinese travelers