COVID-19: Variants in China pose no challenge to EU

Variants of the coronavirus circulating in China were already circulating in the European Union and thus "do not pose a challenge" to the immune response of the European Union and the European Economic Area population. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reiterated this in a report on Tuesday. It confirmed that EU residents have relatively high immunity and vaccination rates against the virus.

Meetings on the situation in China are taking place at the European level on Tuesday and Wednesday. The country has been struggling with a wave of coronavirus outbreaks for several weeks.

On Monday, Belgian Health minister Frank Vandenbroucke (Vooruit) announced measures to increase the vigilance for new virus variants. He supports making a corona test mandatory for travellers from China only if it is rolled out across the EU.

"The number of Covid-19 cases reached a new record in China, peaking on 2 December. The incidence dropped. However, in the past three weeks, perhaps because fewer tests were performed, resulting in fewer infections being detected," the ECDC writes.

The agency notes that reliable data is still lacking on the number of cases in China, hospital admissions, deaths and capacity of intensive care services. The ECDC expected a high number of infections and increased pressure on the healthcare system in the coming weeks due to low immunity among the population and easing measures.


People receive intravenous dripping treatment at a community healthcare center in Hangzhou in east China's Zhejiang province Tuesday, Jan. 03, 2023.

© Credit:LONG WEI / Avalon



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