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China locks down 9mn city to contain spread of virus

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

Health officials reported 4,770 new infections nationwide, the bulk in the northeastern province of Jilin, as the city of Shenyang in neighboring Liaoning province was ordered closed late Monday.

China has moved rapidly in recent weeks to sniff out virus clusters with hyper-local lockdowns, mass testing and citywide shutdowns. It reported two Covid-19 deaths on Saturday, the first in more than a year.

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

‘Restrictions ruthlessly lifted in some European countries’

World Health Organization Europe director Hans Kluge said on Tuesday that several European countries, including Germany, France, Italy and Britain, have also “brutally” lifted their COVID restrictions and are now likely to increase cases due to the more transmissible BA2 variant. is being viewed.

He said that Kovid is increasing in 18 out of 53 countries of the WHO European region.

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

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

WH Press Secretary Jen Psaki tests positive for Covid

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

Saki tweeted that he did a test to prepare for Wednesday’s trip and it came back positive. She said she would follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and would no longer accompany Biden to Belgium and Poland.

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