Monday March 27, 2023

No travel restriction on arrivals from China now: THL

Published : 03 Jan 2023, 23:46

  DF Report
DF File Photo.

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) on Tuesday said that it was not currently recommending travel restrictions on the visitors arriving from China.

The THL made the announcement when some countries planned to impose travel restrictions on people coming from China following the increase of coronavirus infections in the country.

“Some countries, including the United States, Japan, and Italy, have said that they plan to impose travel restrictions on people coming from China. THL is not currently recommending travel restrictions,” said the THL in a press release.

THL recommends travelling only when healthy, taking care of hygiene measures, and keeping safe distances and wearing masks when needed.

THL is continually monitoring the situation in China and the virus variants spreading in Finland through virus sequencing.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said that the growing number of cases in China is unlikely to affect the prevalence of the coronavirus in Europe, said the THL press release.

The virus is already prevalent among the populations of many countries. In addition, the coronavirus variants that are now spreading in China have previously been the main viruses in Europe, where they have been replaced by new forms.

Widespread proliferation of corona virus infections increases the risk of new virus variants, but these can also emerge anywhere, the THL added.

“In Europe the population is better protected, especially against the severe form of coronavirus disease, owing to both a higher vaccination rate, and the protection given by past infection with the disease. Finland also has good vaccine coverage, and the vaccines that are used give good protection against the severe form of the disease”, said THL Chief Specialist Jari Jalava.

Coronavirus infections have increased considerably in China and the growth is expected to continue in the coming weeks, said the THL, adding that consequently, the burden on the country's health care system has grown significantly.

“The situation is the result of the country's relaxed restrictions and the low level of protection against the disease. The Chinese New Year will be celebrated at the end of January, which could hasten the spread of the disease,” the THL press release said.

Meanwhile, Beijing on Tuesday slammed the decision by some to require COVID-19 testing from visitors arriving from China.

News agency Xinhua adds: China believes that for all countries, COVID-19 response measures need to be science-based and proportionate without affecting regular people-to-people exchanges and cooperation, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said Tuesday.

In response to a relevant query, spokesperson Mao Ning told a daily news briefing that since the outbreak, China has taken an active part in international cooperation against COVID-19 and worked with the international community to meet the challenges of the pandemic.

Mao said that based on the latest changes in the pandemic situation and the circumstances facing our response, the competent authorities in China have shared information in a timely, open, and transparent manner according to the law. We shared the viral genome data from the latest COVID-19 cases in China via the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID).

She added that, a few days ago, China's competent authorities held a video conference with the WHO. The two sides exchanged views on the current COVID-19 situation, medical treatment, vaccination, and other technical issues. They agreed to continue technical exchanges and contribute to an early global victory over the pandemic.

Mao said that China always believes that for all countries, the measures in the COVID-19 response need to be science-based and proportionate. They should not be used for political manipulation, there should not be discriminatory practices against certain countries, and measures should not affect regular people-to-people exchanges and cooperation.