EU offers to help China curb coronavirus spread

Shiva Singh
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Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) The European Commission has offered to help China curb the spread of coronavirus after the country scrapped its severe restrictions.

EC officials noted that the body made the offer in recent days as part of an initiative to prepare an EU response to a possible wave of COVID-19 infections in China, according to Financial Times reporting on Tuesday.

Stella Kyriakides, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, launched the initiative and “has reached out to her Chinese counterparts to offer solidarity and support, including public health expertise” and vaccine donations, one EC official noted.

The official pointed out that Beijing has not responded to the offer.

World Health Organization (WHO) Health Emergencies Programme head Mike Ryan warned that vaccine coverage in China is insufficient.

He stressed that Chinese vaccines are not as effective as Western ones and added that only 40% of Chinese citizens over the age of 80 have been fully vaccinated.

“That’s just not adequate protection in a population as large as the population in China,” he stressed and concluded, “in such a large population, with so many people in a vulnerable setting, with that coverage, we really have to focus on vaccination.”

Too many vaccines

The EU has a surplus of coronavirus vaccines as the bloc ordered excessive amounts, with EC officials pointing out that the excess could be sent to China.

As EU member states complain that the bloc is buying unwanted pharmaceuticals, Kyriakides is planning to modify the contracts with pharmaceutical companies in the coming weeks.

Some EU member states have announced restrictions on travel from China, fearing that new and unidentified variants could spread in the bloc.

However, last week EU officials decided against imposing restrictions, pointing out that the coronavirus is now endemic in the bloc. Officials are to meet later this week to discuss potential responses.

Beijing reported on Sunday that more than 90% of Chinese citizens have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, stressing that travelers from China do not pose a threat.

Chinese state media are playing down the surge of COVID-19 infections, with Beijing’s statistics coming under increasing scrutiny in China and abroad, according to Reuters reporting.

On Monday, China’s official COVID-19 death toll increased by 3 and reached 5,253, accounting for less than 0.1% of the global total of more than 6.6 million.

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Shiva is a professional digital marketer who covers the latest updates in the tech industry from across the globe. With an experience of over 5 years in the world of Information Technology, he likes to keep up with every major development and writes fact-based pieces backed by in-depth research.