COVID: South Africa gradually ‘returns to normalcy’
09 February 2022 | 10:47 am
The world was shocked when the Omicron variant was discovered in South Africa last year. But life is almost back to normal there. The government has lifted most lockdown restrictions, and tourists are flocking back.
As German authorities reported a record number of new daily COVID cases, Chancellor Olaf Scholz told lawmakers a planned vaccine mandate was an essential element of his government's strategy to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
The omicron variant of COVID-19, which was first detected in South Africa, has so far resulted in fewer deaths and hospitalizations than previous waves. Though some experts warn not to take the variant lightly, life has almost returned to normal in cities such as Cape Town, where restaurants and bars are open for the first time since the pandemic began.
After the violent unrest of early January, calm has returned to Kazakhstan. Many people, however, have complained of excesses during the state of emergency — including illegal arrests and searches.
People arriving in England from abroad will no longer have to take Covid-19 tests if they have been vaccinated, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday, ahead of an expected announcement.
Two years ago, the Chinese city of Wuhan became the epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic and its 11 million inhabitants were forced to stay home for 76 days. Today, not a single positive Covid-19 case has been reported in Wuhan for months and health rules there remain among the strictest in the country. Above all, authorities are focusing on their victory over the virus. According to the official version of events, the virus did not even originate in Wuhan but was imported from abroad. Our correspondents report.
New coronavirus infections remain high in Europe, with the omicron variant quickly becoming dominant. It's feared the numbers will climb even further as more testing is done following holiday travel and gatherings.
Abubakar Yusuf, an informal Nigerian trader, said he was scared to get a COVID-19 shot after hearing the country had stocks of expired vaccines. That changed, however, when health authorities destroyed more than a million expired doses last month.
New Zealand's first COVID-19 case in six months prompted a snap nationwide lockdown. But the country's 'Zero COVID' policy is starting to come under criticism amid growing pressure on the economy.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said COVID cases were falling in some states as more and more people get jabs. Meanwhile, China sealed off more neighborhoods in Beijing. DW has the latest.
Spotify will roll out an advisory to COVID-related podcasts, directing listeners to scientific resources about the pandemic. The streaming giant has been under pressure to tackle falsehoods about COVID on the platform.
Music streaming giant Spotify has published its content policies, which have not been changed, and said it would add a content advisory to any podcasts discussing Covid-19. The move comes after a backlash over a recent episode of prominent vaccine skeptic Joe Rogan, which prompted musicians Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, as well as some other artists, to pull their works off the platform. Plus, China's factory activity slowed in January as Covid lockdowns weighed on manufacturing and demand.
Authorities enraged pet lovers with an order to cull more than 2,200 hamsters after tracing an outbreak to a worker in a shop where 11 hamsters tested positive. Imported hamsters from Holland into the Chinese territory had been cited as the source. All hamster imports remain banned.
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