China tightens test requirements for passengers from US after imported cases spike

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/12/20 13:00:36

File photo: Xinhua

China has tightened requirements for passengers flying in from the US after seeing a sharp increase of imported COVID-19 cases from the US.

From Wednesday, authorities required IgM serum antibody tests be performed through venous blood sampling only, and samples taken by finger prick are no longer acceptable. The test report must include test methodology, whether it's colloidal gold, chemiluminescence or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, the Chinese embassy in the US said on Saturday local time.

As for nucleic acid tests, the embassy requires test reports specify the sampling method, whether it's nasal swab or pharyngeal swab. Terms such as "NAAT" and "RT-PCR" must also be included in the test reports. 

To avoid infection during transit, passengers must take their tests at the direct flight departure city. Direct flights from the US to China fly from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Detroit and Dallas only.  

Collected samples must be tested at a laboratory institution that is on the list issued by the Chinese embassy and consulates. From Wednesday, the Chinese embassy and consulates will only accept test results from the laboratories on this list.

Passengers are allowed onboard when they obtain qualified COVID-19 test reports, and the Chinese embassy will also review the report in conjunction with information such as flight itinerary and sampling city.

The embassy pointed out that there has recently been a sharp increase of imported COVID-19 cases from the US in China. Most of them can be traced to infections in transit, while a few are related to faulty operations by intermediary agencies and laboratories or due to passengers' failure to observe home quarantine requirements after testing. 

The embassy has had to escalate measures to ensure the health and safety of 1.4 billion Chinese people and China's hard-won anti-epidemic results, and eventually win an overall victory in the fight against the epidemic, the embassy statement said.  

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) counted a total of nearly 17 million confirmed cases in the US by December 18, and another 1.2 million to 2.3 million new cases are expected to be reported every week in early January 2021.

Despite the fact that the epidemic continues to rage around the world, China did not close its borders and still allows international flights from many countries for the sake of ensuring necessary cross-border personnel exchange and maximizing the convenience of production and life during the epidemic. 

The Chinese government will continue to make all-out efforts to forge a line of defense to ensure the health and safety of people entering China, the embassy wrote.

Global Times 


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