Health News Roundup: UK to require COVID negative tests for arrivals from China; France urges EU peers to test Chinese travellers for COVID and more – Devdiscourse

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Hong Kong eyeing Jan 8 to resume cross-border travel with mainland China
Hong Kong is working to resume quarantine-free travel with mainland China by as early as Jan. 8, Chief Secretary Eric Chan Kwok-ki said in a Facebook post on Sunday. Chan, the city’s No.2 official, said quotas will be set in the first stage of the plan to limit the number of people who can travel between the city and the mainland.
France urges EU peers to test Chinese travellers for COVID
France on Sunday urged European Union peers to test Chinese travellers for COVID after Paris decided to do so amid an outbreak sweeping the country. Only Italy and Spain also require tests in the 27-nation, largely border-free EU and health officials from across the bloc failed last week to agree on a joint course.
UK to require COVID negative tests for arrivals from China
The UK said on Friday that passengers arriving in Britain from China will require a negative COVID-19 test after a surge in infections in China. Starting on Jan. 5, Chinese travellers will need to show a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than two days prior to departure, UK’s Department of Health and Social Care said in a statement.
WHO urges China to share specific data regularly on COVID situation
The World Health Organization on Friday once again urged China’s health officials to regularly share specific and real-time information on the COVID-19 situation in the country, as it continues to assess the latest surge in infections. The agency has asked Chinese officials to share more genetic sequencing data, as well as data on hospitalizations, deaths and vaccinations.
Exclusive-Drugmakers to raise prices on at least 350 drugs in U.S. in January
Drugmakers including Pfizer Inc, GlaxoSmithKline PLC, Bristol Myers Squibb, AstraZeneca PLC and Sanofi SA plan to raise prices in the United States on more than 350 unique drugs in early January, according to data analyzed by healthcare research firm 3 Axis Advisors. The increases are expected to come as the pharmaceutical industry prepares for the Biden Administration’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which allows the government’s Medicare health program to negotiate prices directly for some drugs starting in 2026. The industry is also contending with inflation and supply chain constraints that have led to higher manufacturing costs.
Australia to require negative COVID tests for travellers from China
Australia said on Sunday that travellers from China will have to provide negative COVID-19 test results from Jan. 5, joining a growing number of nations that have implemented similar restrictions as cases surge in China. Citing a lack of epidemiological information and genomic sequencing data from China, Australian health minister Mark Butler said the government has decided out of an abundance of caution to require visitors to present a negative test taken within 48 hours of their departure.
India monitoring pharma exports to China amid COVID surge – source
India’s Ministry of Commerce has been asked to monitor exports of medicinal products and equipment to China to ensure domestic availability for any COVID-19 surges, according to a source familiar with the matter. India’s Health Minister, Mansukh Mandaviya, asked pharma companies and senior government officials to review availability of medicines, and monitor their stocks and prices in a meeting on Thursday, the source told Reuters.
Chinese state media seek to reassure public over COVID-19
Thousands of Chinese took to the streets to mark the New Year as authorities and state media sought to reassure the public that the COVID-19 outbreak sweeping across the country was under control and nearing its peak. Though many people in major cities have continued to isolate as the virus spreads through the population, New Year revelries appeared to be mostly unaffected as people celebrated the end of 2022 and the turn into 2023.
(With inputs from agencies.)
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