Italy mandated Covid testing for all passengers arriving from China on Wednesday, December 28. In this regard, a statement was made by the nation’s health minister.
Minister Orazio Schillaci stated, ‘I have mandated Covid-19 antigenic swabs and related virus sequencing for all travellers coming from China and transiting through Italy.’ Before the official announcement, his staff had dropped signals that such a policy might be used.
The ministry had previously stated that ‘surveillance and prevention, through sequencing, is necessary to swiftly identify any novel variations that may cause concern and which are not currently in circulation in Italy.’
China has seen explosion of fresh Covid cases. In an abrupt change in policy, China began dismantling world’s strictest ‘Zero Covid policy’ to begin bringing its battered economy back on track. This has resulted in explosion of cases leaving the country’s health system overwhelmed.
Italy’s Lombardy region had already introduced Covid screening, even before minister Schillaci’s announcement on Wednesday. Lombardy was the first region in Italy to impose lockdowns when coronavirus hit Europe in early 2020. According to Italy’s foreign ministry, the regional authorities are testing arrivals from China at Milan’s Malpensa airport at least till January 30.
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