The Chinese COVID-19 issue seems to get uglier as Italy conducts a full inspection of arrivals from China and a large number of passengers were infected with the virus.
One Out Of Two Passengers Tested Positive For COVID-19 From China
A recent COVID-19 test at Milan’s Malpensa International Airport in Italy showed that one in two passengers from China were found positive for the virus. This is a concern for Italy as the country was the first to be hit in Europe with large-scale infections and deaths in the early stages of the pandemic in 2020. So according to multiple reports, Italians are quite sensitive to the re-proliferation of COVID-19 from China.
So how did Italian health authorities find the positive rates? On Monday, December 26, 2022, according to Bloomberg and local media, Italian health authorities conducted COVID-19 tests on passengers from Beijing and Shanghai, China, who arrived at Milan Malpensa International Airport.
The result? 35 out of 92 passengers on the first flight tested positive which is around 38% and the second flight had 62 out of 120 passengers infected which were 52%. Most of them reportedly did not show any symptoms.
As the number of cases of infection was confirmed at the airport, Italian health authorities decided to conduct tests on all passengers coming from China. This is what Orazio Schillaci, Italian Health Minister said:
“I have arranged, by ordinance, mandatory Covid antigenic swabs, and related sequencing of the virus, for all passengers coming from China and in transit in Italy. The measure is essential to ensure the surveillance and identification of any variants of the virus in order to protect the Italian population.”
Italy Urges EU To Take Measures For Arrivals From China
Health authorities in each country, including Italy, are especially watching for the discovery of new mutant variants as Chinese data is untrustable.
Minister Schillaci added that the COVID-19 test is very important to see if new mutations are emerging and said he sent a letter to the European Commission asking to join and take such measures.
The health minister did not mention measures against those who tested positive, but Reuters quoted that senior officials in Lombardy and Lazio region said those passengers will be quarantined at facilities secured by local health authorities. Hello again, 2020!
It is quite shocking nearly half of the passengers on a flight from China to Italy tested positive upon arrival at Milan. These passengers did not show any symptoms therefore Italian authorities are now increasingly sensitive as the country was battered with high cases and deaths during the early stages of the pandemic.
With this, I think more and more countries will be cautious about flights from China since anything can happen unexpectedly.