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The border with China is open. Gennady Onishchenko on whether a new covid will arrive in Russia

Gennady Onishchenko

Gennady Onishchenko

A photo: Ivan MAKEEV

… – Gennady Grigoryevich, information has come that passenger buses have already crossed the border between Russia and China at the Kraskino checkpoint in Primorye – for the first time since February 2020. Two there, two back. And from that side, a heavy truck arrived – also the first after the restrictions were lifted. But in China, not so long ago there was an outbreak of covid … And we have removed many restrictions and there is no mask regime … what to expect now, what to be afraid of?

– Let’s start with the fact that we are not talking about an outbreak, but about the ongoing fourth year of the pandemic. This is a very important fact, right?

– So.

– Second general remark. Chinese scientists, professionals, epidemiologists, as early as January 4 (this year) reported to the technical advisory group on the evolution of the virus. (It was created during that period, at the beginning of 2020, when all borders were closed.)

– What kind of group is this?

– It includes all the world’s leading experts who deal with this problem.

And our Chinese colleagues reported in great detail what was happening in their country.

– And what?

– First of all, the emphasis was on professional issues. And Chinese scientists have presented convincing data that omicron BF.7 and BA.5 2 viruses circulate in China today – in 97.5% of cases.

But XVV.1.5., which worries everyone today, which is very contagious and therefore powerfully spreading in the northeast of the United States, is not in China.

– Then – how can we be?

– Of course, we must control the arriving Chinese citizens – as you understand, not only two buses and a heavy truck will come to us. Dozens or even hundreds of thousands of people are expected.

Because our border trade with China in the pre-Soviet times was super intensive – along the entire line of contact: both along the Amur, starting from the Amur Region and ending with Primorye, and on the land border in the Transbaikal region.

I think our border authorities will continue the work that was carried out with the onset of the pandemic. That is, first of all, it is the temperature regime and so on.

But, by and large, the opening of the border with China does not threaten us with any complications associated with falling ill with covid.

And, in general, we have the same viral landscape with China today.

Now, if HVV.1.5 comes in. – not from China, but from somewhere in Europe.

By the way, now our tourists are returning from Turkey, the Emirates, where they had very close contact with vacationers from Europe.

And – the danger of infection with this HVV.1.5. increases dramatically because this strain of coronavirus is the most contagious.

I mean, it’s contagious.

– Yes. Now we need to think more about this, and not about China and the flows of its inhabitants – here, they say, they are now destabilizing the established epidemic situation for us.

– That is, it is precisely those tourists who came into contact with Europeans in warm countries that should be taken under strict sanitary control – both at the border, and while moving around Russia, and – at their place of residence.

– Of course.

In any case, the ear must be kept sharp.

– Understood. Thank you.

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