China sharing some COVID-19 data, but more needed: WHO Europe chief
China has shared some information on its COVID-19 situation, but there is a need for more data from local areas, a senior World Health Organization official said on Tuesday, adding that it is “not unreasonable” for countries to take precautionary measures, News.Az reports.
According to information available to the WHO, the “virus variants circulating in China have already been seen in Europe and elsewhere,” said Hans Kluge, the WHO regional chief for Europe.
“We share the current view of the European Centre for Disease Control, (ECDC) that the ongoing surge in China is not anticipated to significantly impact the COVID-19 epidemiological situation in the WHO European region at this time,” he said.
“But we cannot be complacent,” cautioned Kluge, who oversees a region that includes 53 countries and extends from Greenland in the northwest to the Russian Far East.
He acknowledged that China has shared virus sequencing information, but stressed that the WHO needs “detailed and regular information,” especially on local epidemiology and variants.
“It is not unreasonable for countries to take precautionary measures to protect their populations while we await more detailed information that is shared via publicly accessible databases,” said Kluge.
He was referring to requirements imposed by several countries for people coming from China, including negative COVID-19 tests and proof of full vaccination.
“For those countries in our region introducing such precautionary travel measures at this time, we are calling for such to be rooted in science, proportionate and non-discriminatory,” he said.