The people’s Republic of China has officially blocked the entry of foreign nationals from Canada in the country, Beijing embassy in Ottawa said on February 1. The latest move aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 mutations come as the caseload of coronavirus rose to 89,564 with 4,636 reported fatalities across the Chinese mainland. As of now, the country has reported the presence of the UK variant of the SARS-CoV-2 with the health officials imposing several lockdowns to curb its spread.
According to the embassy, the new regulation would apply on all incoming travellers from Canada who hold valid Chinese resident permits for work, personal matters and reunion. In addendum, it said that the move is temporary and has been imposed keeping in view the COVID-19 pandemic. Those excluded from the list include those with diplomatic stamps, courtesy of C visas amongst others.
“In view of the current Covid-19 situation and the need of epidemic prevention and control... all foreign nationals who hold valid Chinese residence permits for work, personal matters and reunion are temporarily not allowed to enter China from Canada," the embassy said in a statement on Saturday.
With the Lunar New Year celebrations set to begin in less than two weeks, China is bracing for potential spread of the lethal respiratory disease. Meanwhile, a visit by WHO experts is taking place in China to investigate the origin of coronavirus. However, it still remains unclear if the experts will be allowed to talk either to the patients or the families of the victims.
Notice on the Temporary Suspension of Entry into China of Foreign Nationals Holding Valid Chinese Residence Permits of Three Categorieshttps://t.co/qQJHkBtys6— ChineseEmbassyOttawa (@ChinaEmbOttawa) January 29, 2021
The WHO has insisted that the visit will be tightly tethered to the science of how the virus, which has killed more than two million people and laid waste to the global economy, jumped from animals to humans. However, former WHO official Keiji Fukuda earlier this month had cautioned against expecting any breakthroughs. He had said that it may take years before any firm conclusions can be made on the virus’ origin.