Covid COVER UP: Tory chairman slams China for withholding data as tests introduced for arrivals in UK
China has submitted less than 1,000 Covid samples in the last four weeks as the virus runs rife across the country
A Tory health committee chairman has slammed China over its decision to not share more information about the true number of Covid cases in the country.
China face accusations of not releasing Covid data after it was revealed that it has submitted less than 1,000 samples of the virus to the international scientific community in the last four weeks.
The UK by contrast shared 7,325 Covid sequences from 138,041 cases with Gisaid, a global pathogen database used by scientists to identify and track Covid and its variants.
The sequences contain details about the genetic compositions of the virus variations are made.
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Health experts have shared concerns that China’s lack of clarity could mean new testing methods will have to be created in order to detect new variants of the virus.
Now, a Tory chairman has criticised the country for not sharing more data with the rest of the world.
Defending the UK’s decision to test arrivals from China for Covid, Steve Brine said: ““What we are doing is introduce some pre-departure testing which will simply help reduce the number of infectious people on the flight and therefore arriving in the UK.
“This wouldn’t be happening if China was upfront and open and shared its data as many, many other countries do.
“This is not about reintroducing domestic restrictions in this country. We have a largely successfully vaccinated population. We have long ago learned to live with Covid. There is no creep here.” He told BBC Radio 4.
Around 9,000 people in China are probably dying each day from Covid, UK-based health data firm Airfinity said on Thursday, nearly doubling its estimate from a week ago, as infections ripped across the world's most populous nation.
COVID infections started to sweep across China in November, picking up pace this month after Beijing dismantled its zero-COVID policies including regular PCR testing on its population and publication of data on asymptomatic cases.
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