Starting from January 8, China will relax its quarantine requirements for travelers from other countries. Many people expressed concerns about the possibility of new variations spreading beyond China’s borders. Several countries, including Japan and India, have introduced measures to stop an influx of cases.

People from China rushed to book overseas travel after Beijing announced it would open its borders again next month.

According to The Guardian News, virologists are watching closely to see how China’s sudden move to lift some of its Covid-19 regulations may affect variants and their global spread. Meanwhile, other countries have increased precautionary measures.

Prof. Dominic Dwyer, an Australian infectious diseases physician, pointed out that the lack of transparency on Covid in China was concerning because “we don’t know what variants are circulating in China at the moment … [and] whether those variants are different in terms of their response to vaccination.”

Dwyer added, “They’ve changed very quickly from a zero Covid approach to completely relaxing things, so maybe that’s happened too quickly to keep up.”

According to British-based health data company Airfinity, infections in China are likely to be over a million per day, and deaths are likely to be over 5,000 per day, which is in “stark contrast” to official data.

China on December 20 said that only COVID deaths from “respiratory failure” will be counted in the official death toll. 

Airfinity’s head of epidemiology, Dr. Louise Blair, said, “This is different to other countries that record deaths within a time frame of a positive test or where Covid-19 is recorded to have attributed to the cause of death.”

Funeral homes and hospitals are overburdened, and some medicines are in short supply.

As a result, surrounding countries now have their own measures to stop an outbreak of infections.

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