China locks down city of 9mn to curb virus spread.

China locked down an industrial city of nine million people overnight and reported more than 4,000 virus cases on Tuesday, as the nation’s “zero-Covid” strategy is confronted by an Omicron wave.

Health authorities reported 4,770 new infections across the country, the bulk in the northeastern province of Jilin, as the city of Shenyang in neighbouring Liaoning province was ordered to lock down late Monday.

China has moved fast in recent weeks to snuff out virus clusters with a pick-and-mix of hyper-local lockdowns, mass testing and citywide closures. It reported two Covid-19 deaths on Saturday, the first in over a year.

Shenyang, an industrial base home to factories, reported 47 new cases on Tuesday as authorities put all housing compounds under “closed management” and barred residents from leaving without a 48-hour negative test result.

‘Curbs lifted brutally in some European nations’

Several European countries, including Germany, France, Italy and Britain, lifted their Covid curbs too “brutally” and are now seeing a rise in cases likely due to the more transmissible BA2 variant, the World Health Organization Europe director Hans Kluge said on Tuesday.

Covid is on the rise in 18 out of 53 countries in the WHO European region, he said.

He said the main reason behind the increase was likely the BA2 variant, which is more transmissible, but not more dangerous than other variants.

Meanwhile, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife Elke Buedenbender tested positive for Covid. Both have mild symptoms and immediately went into isolation.

WH press secretary Jen Psaki positive for Covid

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that she has tested positive again for Covid-19 and will not accompany President Joe Biden to Europe for meetings on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Psaki tweeted that she took a test in preparation for Wednesday’s trip and it came back positive. She said she will follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and no longer accompany Biden to Belgium and Poland.

Source- Hindustan Times.

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