TWO of Spain’s leading immunology and epidemiology experts want coordinated European Union action to reduce the chances of a new Covid-19 strain being imported from China.
The main concern is that since China has a high level of Covid cases, the virus can mutate leading to a new strain that current vaccines cannot deal with.
Spain has already introduced mandatory proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test for visitors flying in directly from China, which means checks at Barcelona and Madrid airports.
Italy is the only other EU country to have introduced Covid checks for flight arrivals from China.
Spanish Society of Immunology (SEI) President Marcos Lopez Hoyos and Spanish Society of Epidemiology (SEE) President Oscar Zurriaga told the EFE news agency that border controls in Spain of passengers from China are ‘relatively effective’ but want a coordinated approach across the European Union.
Their argument is that a person with Covid may have travelled from China to another continent and then arrive in Spain or another EU country.
The outbreak of a new Covid strain that is immune to current vaccines ‘cannot be predicted’, and it is ‘totally random’, they warned.
A vaccination certificate doesn’t stop people getting infected and ‘you have to do a PCR or antigen test,’ warned Marcos Lopez Hoyos.
Zurriaga added that when the Omicron Covid strain surfaced in South Africa, restricting flights between that country and EU ‘did not prevent it from being spread across the globe’.
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