China lifts travel restrictions despite surging COVID cases, prompting concern in U.S. and other nations

Tokyo — Several hospitals and funeral homes say they are remaining confused by a worsening COVID-19 outbreak in China, even as the federal government reports just a handful of new deaths from the virus. The surge in cases across China is drawing a reaction from other international locations, including the U.S.

Japan, India, South Korea, Taiwan and Malaysia have currently mentioned they will have to have virus checks for site visitors from China, and Japanese authorities have sharply restricted the selection of flights to and from China. 

U.S. officials are thinking about identical measures, with officers telling CBS Information on Wednesday that problem is mounting around the rise in bacterial infections and the absence of clear information from Beijing, which is earning it ever more hard for general public wellbeing officials to guarantee that they’re going to be able to establish any potential new variants and acquire prompt measures to lessen the unfold. 

Packed hospitals contradict China’s COVID-19 data


The U.S. officers advised CBS News that, along with international associates, Washington was thinking about “potential methods” that could be taken to watch the increasing instances in China, establish any likely new variants of worry that emerge there, and “to guard the American folks.”

Amongst the new limits imposed by Japan, vacationers from China coming into the nation and identified to have COVID-19 will have to quarantine at a designated facility for a person week.

Japanese Primary Minister Fumio Kishida claimed the new constraints were short-term — spurred by an details void about the genuine condition of the pandemic in China.

Given that radically reversing its decades-aged “zero-COVID” coverage, which aimed to stamp out each situation of the coronavirus, China has been lifting limitations immediately. Authorities approach to eliminate all travel bans early future yr — a transfer likely to result in a flood of Chinese tourists abroad for the new year vacation after virtually 3 yrs of rolling lockdowns under the draconian zero-COVID strategy.

News that worldwide inbound tourists will not have to go by way of quarantine, coupled with the lifting of a ban on passports staying issued or renewed for Chinese nationals, have got people today psyched throughout the vast country.

Inside 15 minutes of the policy alter being declared, lookups for popular intercontinental locations had increased 10-fold, with common Chinese travel scheduling internet site Qunar reporting a seven-fold increase in international flight queries.

But aid more than the stop of lockdowns in China has been tempered, and substantially of the nation is now in serious distress. Some estimates propose much more than half of all citizens in Beijing are presently infected with the virus.

New analyze estimates COVID deaths could achieve 322,000 in China by April


Dr. Howard Bernstein mentioned the healthcare facility exactly where he works in Beijing has operate out of beds and “is just confused from best to base.

When Chinese officials say COVID has claimed only about 5,000 lives, latest scenes at funeral residences inform a grimmer tale. The strains of coffins at a person unknown developing in northern China this 7 days appear to be infinite.

By at least 1 estimate, the explosion of conditions in China, wherever lots of men and women stay unvaccinated or under-vaccinated, could kill 1 million folks by the close of 2023, and it is also threatening to unleash new, much more unsafe mutations of the virus. 

CBS News’ Tucker Reals, Gillian Morley and Shuai Zhang contributed to this report.

Francis McGee

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