Saturday 04 February 2023

Dutch have no plans bring in coronavirus tests for travellers from China


The Dutch health and foreign affairs ministries have told the Telegraaf they see no reason as yet to bring in new checks on people arriving from China, despite the surge in coronavirus cases there.

Italy, the US, Japan and India have introduced compulsory coronavirus tests for people arriving from China, but the Netherlands is not yet taking any steps, officials told the paper. Nor have any new travel recommendations been introduced for people traveling from the Netherlands to China.

‘We are keeping an eye on things and if the public health institute RIVM tells us measures are needed, then we will be ready to act,’ a health ministry spokesman said.

The RIVM is a member of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) which is monitoring the situation.

Italy imposed compulsory tests earlier this week after 52% of the passengers on one flight and 38% on a second were positive for coronavirus. ‘The measure is essential to guarantee the surveillance and identification of any variants of the virus in order to protect the Italian population,’ health minister Orazio Schillaci said.

Dutch virologist Marion Koopmans told NOS radio on Wednesday the main problem is that China has stopped registering cases, and that experts expect up to one million people could die.

Coronavirus is everywhere at the moment and we want to know the type of variant that is dominant in China, she said. ‘At the moment, the situation in China is that of an enormous wave in a population that has not been properly vaccinated.’

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