China must share data on its impact, says WHO

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Chinese officials must share more real-time information on Covid in the country as infections surge, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.

Many of the country’s strict restrictions have been lifted over the last few weeks, but cases have soared and several countries are now screening travellers from China.

WHO officials say they want to see more data on hospitalisations, intensive care unit admissions and deaths.

It also wants figures on vaccinations.

The United States, Spain, France, South Korea, India, Italy, Japan and Taiwan have all imposed Covid tests for travellers from China, as they fear a renewed spread of the virus.

And passengers arriving in England from China will have to provide a negative test before they board a flight.

In a statement issued after talks with Chinese officials the UN health agency said: “WHO again asked for regular sharing of specific and real-time data on the epidemiological situation… and data on vaccinations delivered and vaccination status, especially in vulnerable people and those over 60.”

The agency said it was willing to provide support on these areas, as well as help address the issue of vaccine hesitancy.

It also stressed, “the importance of monitoring, and the timely publication of data, to help China and the global community to formulate accurate risk assessments and to inform effective responses”.

WHO’s technical advisory group on the evolution of Covid-19 is set to hold a meeting on Tuesday. The agency says it has invited Chinese scientists to present detailed data on viral sequencing.

It says it is “understandable” that some countries are imposing fresh restrictions on people travelling from China.

Agencies

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