January 6, 2023
BEIJING – The Foreign Ministry called on Thursday for all countries to adopt a science-based and objective approach in formulating COVID-19 response measures and to avoid politicization of the pandemic after some countries decided to impose new entry requirements on travelers from China.
“We always believe that all countries’ COVID response measures should be based on science and be proportionate,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said at a regular news conference. No country should politicize the pandemic or adopt discriminatory measures to affect normal people-to-people exchanges and cooperation, she said.
Countries including the United States, Japan, Australia, and the United Kingdom, have required travelers from China to provide negative COVID-19 tests before departure or arrival, citing “a lack of information” about the pandemic since China refined its COVID response measures last month.
In response to WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan’s recent remarks that the organization was without “complete data” from China, Mao said that since COVID began, China has always shared information and data with the international community in an open, transparent and responsible manner.
“According to incomplete statistics, China has carried out more than 60 technical exchanges with the WHO since COVID-19 was first reported, on such topics as COVID containment, treatment, vaccine research and development, and virus origins tracing,” Mao said.
On Tuesday, scientists from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention attended a meeting of the WHO’s Technical Advisory Group on Virus Evolution. During the meeting, they introduced the COVID-19 situation and relevant variants in China, Mao said.
“The WHO has noted on many occasions that the information and data that China shared helped scientists from all countries to learn about the involvement of the virus in China,” she said, adding that China will continue to closely monitor the mutation of the virus in China and release information in a timely manner.
Mao urged WHO secretariat to uphold a scientific, objective and just position and play a positive role for the world to jointly address the pandemic’s challenges.
In terms of the development of the disease in China, Mao said that the latest information released by the National Health Commission showed that there is no new variants or significant mutations that have been found in China and the BA.5.2 and BF.7 sub-strains of Omicron have remained as the two dominating strains in the country.
The spokeswoman reminded Chinese citizens who are planning to travel abroad to confirm their health conditions and the entry requirements of their destination countries in advance so that their itinerary won’t be affected.