Japan imposes mandatory Covid-19 testing for arrivals from China
The measure applies to travellers from mainland China and those who visited it within the past seven days.
TOKYO: Mandatory testing for Covid-19 is being introduced by the Japanese government from December 30 upon arrival for travellers from China due to an increase in the number of confirmed cases there, the Kyodo news agency reported on Tuesday.
The measure applies to travellers from mainland China and those who visited it within the past seven days. They are required to take a Covid-19 test upon their arrival in Japan.
Those who test positive will be quarantined for seven days. The Kyodo news agency said Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced the decision on Tuesday.
In November, China saw a record increase in local Covid-19 outbreaks. Due to the deterioration of the epidemiological situation, the authorities introduced partial lockdowns in some areas while also forcing their residents to undergo PCR testing on a daily basis.
In particular, starting from November 24, restrictive measures were tightened in a number of China's major cities, including Beijing and Shanghai.
Against this background, some Chinese cities -- Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Wuhan, and others -- were hit by mass protests. The rioters demanded the immediate lifting of lockdowns, the abolition of regular PCR testing, and the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
On Friday, media reported that about 37 million people in China could have contracted Covid-19 on a single day last week, making the country's outbreak the largest in the world. It was noted that up to 248 million people, or nearly 18 per cent of the population, were likely to have contracted the coronavirus in the first 20 days of December.
The Embassy of Japan in Beijing has said that many employees of Japanese firms operating in China are getting infected with Covid-19 and are being asked to work from home, NHK World reported.
Plants are also functioning with lower capacities in China. Speaking to NHK, Yoshikawa Akinobu, head of the Japan External Trade Organization's office in Qingdao, said that Covid-19 began spreading quickly around December 16.
According to Yoshikawa, there are Japanese firms where 30-40 per cent of the workforce has tested Covid-19 positive. Here production capacities have been reduced by nearly half.
However, the companies continue to make efforts to maintain operations with workers, according to NHK World. Last Friday, health authorities in China's Qingdao, and Shandong provinces estimated that Covid-19 cases have been rising by 490,000 to 530,000 people per day.
According to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the new Covid-19 cases across the nation reached 2,637 on Sunday.