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COVID-19

China removes some COVID test rules on travellers from U.S.

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(Last Updated On: May 18, 2022)

Travellers flying to China from U.S. cities including Los Angeles, New York and San Francesco from May 20 will no longer need a RT-PCR test seven days before flights, notices issued late on Tuesday by the Chinese embassy and consulates showed.

Previous requirements on antibody tests before flights will be removed as well, the notices said.

Travellers still need to do two RT-PCR tests within 48 hours or 24 hours of their flights – depending on which airport they are flying out of – plus another antigen test, those notices showed.

COVID-19

COVID-19 cases on the rise world-wide: WHO

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(Last Updated On: July 1, 2022)

The number of new coronavirus cases globally rose by 18 percent last week, as more than 4.1 million cases were reported, according to the World Health Organization. 

The number of deaths due to the virus remained relatively constant with the week prior at about 8,500, WHO said in its latest report. 

Deaths due to the virus primarily rose in three regions – the Middle East, Southeast Asia and the Americas.

The biggest weekly rise in cases was recorded in the Middle East, where they increased by 47 percent. Europe and Southeast Asia saw a 32 percent rise in infection level, and the Americas reported a 14 percent rise. 

The rise, according to WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus occurred in 110 countries and is being driven mostly by the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron variants.

The pandemic, he said, “is changing, but it’s not over.”

Ghebreyesus also said that as countries relax their surveillance of the virus, the ability to track its evolution has become more limited. 

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COVID-19

South Korea says leaflets sent by defectors unlikely to be cause of COVID in North Korea

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(Last Updated On: July 1, 2022)

South Korea’s unification ministry said on Friday there is “no possibility” of COVID-19 entering North Korea via contaminated balloons sent by activists in the South.

North Korea said earlier in the day the country’s first outbreak began with patients touching “alien things” near the border with South Korea, apparently shifting blame to its neighbour for the wave of infections that hit the isolated country, Reuters reported.

The North’s state media did not directly mention South Korea, but North Korean defectors and activists have for decades flown balloons from the South across the heavily fortified border, carrying leaflets and humanitarian aid.

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COVID-19

India records spike in daily COVID cases and 21 deaths in 24 hours

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(Last Updated On: June 27, 2022)

India logged 17,073 new COVID-19 cases early Monday morning, raising its tally to 43,407,046, and 21 deaths in the past 24 hours, the health ministry reported.

The death toll now stands at 525,020.

The national COVID-19 recovery rate was 98.57 percent, the ministry said.

Pakistan’s ministry of health meanwhile reported Monday that it had recorded 382 new cases in the last 24 hours.

This took Pakistan’s COVID-19 total case count to over 1.53 million. Two deaths were also reported in the past 24 hours.

However, experts say Pakistan may potentially witness another COVID-19 wave as the country continues to see an uptick in new cases.

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