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COVID-19

France registers more than 10 million COVID infections

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(Last Updated On: January 2, 2022)

France became the sixth country in the world to report more than 10 million COVID-19 infections since the outbreak of the pandemic, according to official data published on Saturday.

French health authorities reported 219,126 new confirmed cases in a 24-hour period, the fourth day in a row that the country has recorded more than 200,000 cases, Reuters reported.

France joined the United States, India, Brazil, Britain and Russia in having had more than 10 million cases.

Saturday’s figure was the second highest after the 232,200 record on Friday when French President Emmanuel Macron warned the next few weeks would be difficult.

In his New Year’s Eve address, Macron did not mention a need for more restrictive health measures than those already announced, adding that the government should refrain from further limiting individual freedoms, Reuters reported.

The number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 has increased by 96 over 24 hours, standing at a more than the seven-month peak of 18,811. But that figure is still almost half the record 33,497 reached in November 2020.

The COVID-19 death toll in France increased by 110 over 24 hours to 123,851.

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.

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Beijing extends work-from-home guidance in several city districts

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(Last Updated On: May 15, 2022)

Beijing on Sunday extended guidance to work from home in four districts of the Chinese capital, including the largest, Chaoyang, as the city tries to stop a COVID-19 outbreak.

Beijing found 55 new cases in the 24 hours to 3 p.m. (0700 GMT) on Sunday, 10 of which were outside areas that under quarantine, officials said. The city is scrambling to stamp out such community infections.

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern tests positive for COVID

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(Last Updated On: May 14, 2022)

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern tested positive for COVID-19 with moderate symptoms, her office said in a statement on Saturday.

She will not be in parliament for the government’s emissions reduction plan on Monday and the budget on Thursday, but “travel arrangements for her trade mission to the United States are unaffected at this stage,” the statement said.

Ardern had been symptomatic since Friday evening, returning a weak positive at night and a clear positive on Saturday morning on a rapid antigen test, it said.

She has been in isolation since Sunday, when her partner Clarke Gayford tested positive, it said.

Due to the positive test, Ardern will be required to isolate until the morning of May 21, undertaking what duties she can remotely.

Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson will address media in her place on Monday.

“This is a milestone week for the Government and I’m gutted I can’t be there for it,” Ardern said in the statement.

“Our emissions reduction plan sets the path to achieve our carbon zero goal and the budget addresses the long-term future and security of New Zealand’s health system,” she said. “But as I said earlier in the week isolating with COVID-19 is a very kiwi experience this year and my family is no different.”

Ardern also said on Saturday that her daughter Neve had tested positive on Wednesday.

“Despite best efforts, unfortunately I’ve joined the rest of my family and have tested positive for COVID 19,” Ardern posted on her official Instagram page.

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