China warns countries with travel restrictions on Chinese visitors

China has warned the countries which have applied restrictions over visitors from China, for facing reciprocal measures. Because of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in China, many countries such as the US, India, France, the UK, etc. have made it mandatory for visitors from China to undergo a COVID-19 diagnostic test. Recently, Canada and Australia have done the same, simply to keep the locals away from the infection. However, China has accused all these countries of restricting Chinese travelers on the grounds of political benefits as it believes that there is no scientific backing to these actions. China has also warned these countries that if they do not end these restrictions soon, the countries will be facing reciprocal measures.

China’s COVID-19 outbreak started at the end of November of last year as the authorities eased the ongoing regulatory restrictions related to COVID-19. As soon as the restrictions were lifted, people started engaging socially after being under lockdown for almost three years. But this resulted in the rapid spread of the coronavirus infection, resulting in a sudden surge in COVID-19 cases. Throughout December, the situation got so much worse that the number of COVID-19 cases in China is estimated to have touched a million. Due to such a massive surge in coronavirus cases, the healthcare institutions in the country are crumbling because of their inability to handle such a huge influx of patients. The situation has been so worse that the hospitals are experiencing staff shortages. Because of this, doctors and nurses that are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms have been ordered to attend their duties. The Chinese authorities have been denying that the outbreak is as worse as it is being portrayed. Despite WHO asking for current COVID-19-related data, Chinese authorities have denied providing any information. Contrary to the current situation, China announced that it will be opening its borders to foreigners from January 8, which were closed for almost three years. Because of such surprising actions from China, many countries have decided to test visitors from China against COVID-19 before letting them enter their country. 

China has explained its displeasure with this decision of other countries as stated by the foreign ministry spokesperson, Mao Ning. He said that the restrictions which have been imposed on Chinese visitors do not have any scientific backing and are unacceptable. He further said that China strictly opposes these measures as they are being taken by these countries for their political benefits. He also warned these nations saying that their actions will be addressed by the Chinese government with countermeasures based on the principle of reciprocity. To these comments from the Chinese government, many countries have replied stating that the steps have been taken based on a scientific approach and for the betterment of their population. The US said that testing Chinese visitors for COVID-19 infection is exclusively based on the scientific approach to disease management. Ned Price, the US state department spokesperson, said that China is not providing the exact epidemiological and viral genomic sequence data, which has forced the US and other countries to impose such restrictions.