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US weighs new Covid-19 rules for travellers from China, US officials say

US weighs new Covid-19 rules for travellers from China, US officials say
Travellers wait at the Beijing Capital International Airport following the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak in Beijing, China on Dec 30, 2020.
PHOTO: Reuters file

The US government may impose new Covid-19 measures on travellers to the US from China over concerns about the "lack of transparent data" coming from Beijing, US officials said on Tuesday (Dec 27).

The move comes after Japan, India and Malaysia announced stepped up rules on travellers from China in the last 24 hours, citing a rise in infections there.

Japan has said it would require a negative Covid-19 test upon arrival for travelers from the China. Malaysia put in place additional tracking and surveillance measures.

"There are mounting concerns in the international community on the ongoing Covid-19 surges in China and the lack of transparent data, including viral genomic sequence data, being reported from the PRC," the officials said, using the initials of the People's Republic of China.

Some hospitals and funeral homes in China have been overwhelmed as the virus spreads largely unchecked across the country of 1.4 billion people.

Official statistics, however, showed only one Covid-19 death in the seven days to Monday, fuelling doubts among health experts and residents about the government's data. The numbers are inconsistent with the experience of much less populous countries after they re-opened.

China said on Monday it would in a major step towards easing curbs on its borders, which have been largely shut since 2020.

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