China's COVID policy adjustment comes at right time: Tanzanian ambassador
The recent adjustment of China's epidemic prevention and control policy was made at the right time and well received around the world, including in Tanzania, Tanzanian ambassador to China Mbelwa Kairuki said in an interview with Xinhua.
China has recently optimized its COVID-19 response measures, downgraded its management of COVID-19 from a Class-A infectious disease to Class-B, and shifted the focus of the response from stemming infection to caring for health and preventing severe cases.
"It was a decision taken at the right time because, after three years, China has acquired enough experience, scientific knowledge, and expertise to deal with COVID-19," said Kairuki.
He added that the timing of the reclassification of the virus is perfect because the current COVID-19 variant is less pathogenic and deadly.
In accordance with the decision to manage COVID-19 with measures against Class-B infectious diseases, relevant departments have formulated and released provisional measures on cross-border travel.
Kairuki said the provisional measures to make cross-border travel easier have been well received in Tanzania and around the world. "We are now looking forward to the resumption of the movement of people to and from China," he said.
"We are optimistic that China's optimization of entry and exit policies, leading to stability of the international industrial and supply chain, will help ease the global economic slowdown," the diplomat added.
In recent days, some countries have imposed restrictions targeting travelers arriving from China, including testing upon entry and quarantine for those who test positive for COVID-19. Kairuki said that, in the effort to combat COVID-19, every government around the world has to protect its citizens by putting the people and life first using a science-based and targeted approach.
"If there is one lesson that we got from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is the fact that the virus does not segregate," he said.
China has been firmly supporting the Tanzanian government in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. Through support from China and other friendly countries, Tanzania has provided COVID-19 vaccines to 40 percent of its population. By the end of the year 2022, a total of 5.61 million doses of China-donated COVID-19 vaccines had been received by Tanzania, Kairuki said.
"In 2023, we will see increased engagement between Tanzania and China," he said, adding that with the recent adjustment of China's epidemic prevention and control policy, there will be more economic activity between the two nations.
"This year we are going to see an increased number of passenger and cargo direct flights from Tanzania to China through Air Tanzania," said Kairuki, adding that he expects a steady resumption of tourist travel from China to Tanzania.