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The Spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry answered questions on epidemic containment

Beijing Daily: I have three questions on epidemic containment. First, can you tell us the considerations behind the recent notices published by Chinese embassies overseas that require more strict measures on passengers taking international flights to China? Second, among all the recent measures people are most focusing on the requirement of "certificates of negative nucleic acid and IgM anti-body test results". Can you tell us if there are some specific considerations? Third, people are also following the requirement that travelers going to China via connecting flights will need to test twice. Could you tell us why this is necessary?

Wang Wenbin: On your first question, as the epidemic situation overseas is getting worse, China is facing greater risks of imported cases. In October, the number of imported cases grew by 45 percent compared with that in September. In the meantime, some domestic cases were also found. Under such circumstances, we have learned from other countries' practices and further strengthened pre-departure prevention and control measures for travelers coming to China. This helps not only preserve the hard-won epidemic containment results in China, but also minimize the risk of cross infection during the travel and safeguard people's health and security.

On your second question, the pre-departure nucleic acid testing for China-bound travelers has been essential in preventing epidemic importation. However, none of the existing test methods can be 100 percent accurate at the moment. According to the competent authorities, IgM anti-body test results are stable, and the passengers' test results can be a lot more accurate if the test methods are combined. That's why we now need IgM anti-body testing, too. We tried this in some countries earlier, and the effect was good. As I know, similar measures have been taken by some other countries, too.

On your third question, as I just said, the epidemic situation overseas is very serious. Every time a passenger traveling to China transits in one more place, he or she will face greater risks of infection. Judging from previous imported cases, many people who had tested negative before traveling got infected later, the number of which accounted for nearly half of the imported cases. Therefore, an additional test in the transit place is necessary for epidemic prevention and control. At the same time, if you really need to make cross-border trips, we advise you to properly plan your route and try to choose direct flights and avoid transit as much as possible.

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