In view of the massive wave of corona infections in China, the chief executive officer of the World Medical Association, Frank Ulrich Montgomery, has called for mandatory PCR testing throughout Europe for all travelers from the People's Republic.
"We don't know what is happening in China at the moment. The infections are going on completely uncontrolled. Therefore, I think it makes sense to make PCR testing mandatory upon entry," he told the Rheinische Post newspaper. Previously, the German Association of Public Health Physicians had pleaded for a uniform rapid test obligation in the European Union.
Several European countries have already imposed entry restrictions or held out the prospect of doing so, including France, Italy and Spain. The EU had not yet decided on a common line during consultations on the Corona situation in China on Thursday.
On Tuesday, after a meeting of representatives from national health ministries, a European Commission spokesman said, "The overwhelming majority of countries are in favor of pre-departure testing." In principle, they agreed on a "coordinated approach," he said. The discussion is to continue this Wednesday at an expert-level meeting of EU countries.
Montgomery also called for sequencing of those tested positive to detect corona variants not yet registered in Germany. "It is not impossible that new variants will find their way to Germany from China. We should be prepared for the worst case scenario and take preventive measures."
After almost three years of lockdowns, mass testing and forced quarantine, China abruptly announced an end to its zero-covid policy on December 7.
The most populous country is currently experiencing a huge corona wave, to which especially people of old age or with pre-existing conditions are falling victim. Hospitals are overloaded, and crematoria cannot cremate the bodies fast enough. According to estimates, tens of thousands may already have lost their lives. In the meantime, China no longer publishes figures on the infection situation.
Photo by Mufid Majnun