Italian health authorities will begin testing all arrivals from China for Covid after almost half of the passengers on two flights to Milan were found to have the virus.
(Bloomberg) -- Italian health authorities will begin testing all arrivals from China for Covid after almost half of the passengers on two flights to Milan were found to have the virus.
They are also sequencing the Milan tests to see if there are new variants, the Health Ministry said in a statement. If a new strain is found, officials may impose stricter curbs on travel from the country.
China has seen outbreaks of the virus since the government there abandoned its strict zero-Covid policies. Uncertainty over the scale of the spread has prompted countries, including the US, to consider new restrictions on entry.
Italy’s government is set to discuss the Milan passenger numbers at a cabinet meeting later Wednesday, when Health Minister Orazio Schillaci may present information on the tests.
Most of those who tested positive weren’t showing symptoms. But local media reported that there’s increasing concern among health officials about new Covid variants emerging from China.
Italy was the first European country to be hit hard by Covid in early 2020.
While the high rate of passengers with the virus has put authorities on alert, one factor in Italy’s favor is its high vaccination rate.