The Spanish Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, has announced the latest measures concerning COVID 19 for the next weeks. The announcement of these measures is understood as an immediate reaction to the sudden change of course taken by the communist government of the People’s Republic of China regarding its zero COVID policy, and emulates the rapid reaction of the government of Giorgia Meloni.
From the beginning of the pandemic, the state that exported the virus to the rest of the world was relentless and inflexible in dealing with the virus. While in the West a progressive lifting of restrictions has led to a greater control of the pandemic through the monitoring of contagions and a greater general immunization of the population, China has not been able to combine a progressive return to reality. It is well known to the European citizen that the Chinese PR has not been characterized by being an example of transparency, since it has published official data that are frankly surprising when compared with the difficult situation that other countries in the world have gone through. An example of this is the latest official report issued by the Chinese administration, which reportedly recorded only 4,100 infected and 0 COVID-related deaths.
The protests of the Chinese population in recent months have led to a considerable change of course in the policy of the Asian giant. If until now the Government had been ruthless regarding the freedom of its citizens to contain the advance of the disease, the weariness expressed by its citizens in very harsh protests -in which they have even questioned the government- has led to a radical change: lifting of the restrictions of the “zero COVID policy”. This sudden lifting, which poses a serious threat to tourist-receiving countries (including almost all EU countries), has provoked various reactions from European governments.
Giorgia Meloni, an example for Spain
Facing this danger, the Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, reacted immediately by imposing a requirement to present a negative test for all travelers coming from China. This immediate reaction of Italy even preceded a meeting of the European Commission’s Health Security Committee. Italy does not intend, in this way, to restrict mobility, but to give an efficient and forceful response to an imminent danger such as the one that has arisen, while waiting for the other European countries to coordinate. Now european countries need coordination and close collaboration among themselves.
This quick reaction of Meloni has had its replica in Spain. It is only one day after the announcement of the Italian measures that Minister Darias has appeared to explain the reaction of the Spanish Government. As in Italy, the Minister announced that the Government will review the recommendation to request the COVID Digital certificate for citizens from China. In addition, as proposed by the Meloni Government, controls will be applied at airports and full vaccination guidelines will be required. While waiting for the European countries to coordinate a joint, coordinated and efficient response, the different governments have had to give a state response. Facing the risk of a sudden opening by the most populated country in the world and cradle of the pandemic against which the world has been fighting for three years, it is the real leaders who inspire the rest of the governments to take the reins of the crisis. In this case, Meloni has been that inspirational leader.