Hong Kong: China gets more hands-on as Omicron cases soar
23 February 2022 | 8:27 am
Hong Kong is facing its toughest test yet in its "Dynamic Zero Covid" strategy. The number of cases this year is now higher than the number of infections seen in both 2020 and 2021. The city's health system is under pressure, suffering from a lack of hospital beds, inadequate testing capacities and over-strained quarantine centers. But the health crisis is turning political. For more on this, we turn to Jean-Pierre Cabestan, a political scientist at Hong Kong Baptist University.
Many schools in Germany are reopening their doors. Schools are hot spots for coronavirus transmission — and the number of cases is rising rapidly nationwide.
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.
Australia's vocal criticism of China's human rights record has long angered Beijing. When Canberra called for an investigation into the origin of the coronavirus in 2020, Beijing slapped high tariffs on some Australian products.
A new subtype of the omicron coronavirus variant is spreading in Denmark, the UK, India, Sweden and many other countries. The exact impact of the genome mutations is still unclear.
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.
With a slowly recovering economy, the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in India is affecting both the retail and service sectors.
Journalism teachers in Hong Kong can no longer teach freely amid an ongoing crackdown on free press by the government. Some are adapting to the new situation and changing their strategy.
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.
Can Xi Jinping's China pull it off? Can happy pictures of a torch relay reduced to 72 hours and tightly cropped images of top-level competitions make the world forget about the empty seats, the Covid bubble, the artificial snow, the tight security and the pressure on sponsors over human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Hong Kong?
We start with the British papers, which are reporting on "Black Thursday", after four of Boris Johnson's closest aides resigned and the government warned of major price hikes. Also, a US pastor in Tennessee makes headlines by burning Harry Potter and other fantasy books that he says threaten his religious rights. Finally, we take a look at some of the athletes who will be gracing us with their talents in Beijing!
China's decision to have a Uyghur athlete light the Olympic cauldron has drawn criticism from human rights groups, who saw it as cheap propaganda ploy to whitewash the oppression of the country's ethnic Uyghur minority.
With China gearing up for the Beijing Winter Olympics, other countries are sticking to their pledge of a diplomatic boycott on human rights grounds, especially after documentation of the government's treatment of Uyghurs. One LA business owner has turned his restaurant into a form of activism.
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