US makes COVID test mandatory for visitors from China

As China has opened its borders to foreign nationals, many countries are restricting Chinese nationals and visitors from China from entering the country due to the possibility of the COVID outbreak. The US has joined the list of these countries as it has now made it mandatory for visitors from China to take COVID-19 diagnostic tests if they want to enter the country. The US has taken this step because of the surge in COVID-19 cases in China. Similar to the US, India, Italy, Japan, and Taiwan have also made it mandatory for visitors from China to take the COVID test if they want to enter their country. However, the UK and Australia are among those countries which have not applied any restrictions or regulations on people traveling from China to their countries. 

Last week, China announced that the country will be opening its borders to the outside world after three years of being locked for outsiders. This came as a surprise for everyone as China is currently having one of the worst outbreaks in three years of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of this, the decision of China to open its borders in such situations has made everyone wonder about the thinking process of the Chinese government, as allowing people to enter or leave the country could result in the spread of the coronavirus to other places. Because of this, just to be sure that the infection is prevented on the border itself, these countries have made it mandatory for visitors from China to go through a COVID-19 test. 

According to the announcement from China, the country will become open to outsiders starting from January 8. Although it is unlikely that anyone would like to visit China during such tough times. The number of new cases being reported in the country has exceeded over 5,000 cases per day. The WHO is trying hard to retrieve any sort of actual data from the Chinese government which shows that this is the actual number of cases. It is majorly because many have claimed that the ground reality is different from what the government data is showing. Local healthcare institutions are struggling to handle the growing influx of new patients. Elderly people are in danger as they have a higher likelihood of dying during this outbreak. But they are having a hard time getting the required medical assistance as hospitals are getting filled rapidly and the healthcare staff is scarce. 

The US said that the reason why they have decided to implement the restriction of COVID-19 tests on visitors from China is that the country has not provided reliable data which explains the actual ground reality. Even after being called out by the WHO multiple times, the country has not responded and has just declined to show the actual numbers. Chinese officials say that the number of new cases per day is around a few thousand but based on the current state of healthcare institutions, this number seems to be around a few hundred thousand to even a million. Because of this, the US has decided to make it mandatory for visitors from China, Hong Kong, and Macau, which will be in effect from January 5.