China to collect, analyze COVID-19 test samples of travelers from abroad to determine variants

As China opened its borders on Sunday after three years of restrictions that were implemented due to COVID-19, the test samples of coronavirus-positive passengers arriving from abroad will be analyzed to determine the variant.

The test samples of passengers from abroad and personnel at airports and seaports will be collected from hospitals and clinics for DNA analysis to monitor virus mutations, according to the new control protocol of the joint prevention and control mechanism of China's State Council.

The new control protocol stressed that samples of outpatients, patients with severe symptoms, and those who died of coronavirus should be transferred to the Virology Institute of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention to detect possible new variants immediately.

China's National Health Commission announced on Dec. 26 that it is downgrading the coronavirus from a Class A infectious disease to Class B to further ease the measures in the country.

COVID-19 has changed from a "novel coronavirus pneumonia" to a "novel coronavirus infection," according to a statement by the health commission.

Also, China will not impose a quarantine on those entering the country and COVID-19 patients starting from Sunday, in accordance with the Frontier Health and Quarantine Law of the People's Republic of China.

The world’s most populous nation also dumped its strict “zero-COVID” policy last month, following unrest and unprecedented protests in parts of the country.

However, the country faced a rising number of COVID-19 cases in the past weeks.

Several countries, including the US, the UK, Italy, Spain, France, Morocco, Qatar, Canada, Greece, Malaysia, Finland, and the Netherlands, announced the requirement of negative COVID-19 test result for those arriving from China.

China on Friday said the COVID-19 situation in the country is under control and that many EU member states welcome Chinese travelers.

Source: Anadolu Agency