COVID digest: Denmark lifts almost all restrictions
01 February 2022 | 1:05 pm
Denmark is lifting restrictions it had imposed to try to control the COVID-19 pandemic. Officials in Beijing are reporting more cases around the Olympics, just days before the Games open.
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With China scrapping its strict COVID restrictions, several countries have introduced mandatory testing on travelers from China. Italy is calling for EU-wide measures.
The inter-ministerial watchdog set up to monitor and fight against sects in France has released its latest findings on everything from online coaches to conspiracists, neo-Shamans and would-be healers. The alarming report from MIVILUDES states that since 2020 – and especially since the coronavirus pandemic – such movements are on the rise and are spreading worrying quantities of misinformation when it comes to healthcare.
In China, there are fears not just of a Covid wave but maybe a tsunami. Funeral parlours are overwhelmed and hospitals are packed with elderly patients on respirators. This comes after the lifting of China's zero-Covid restrictions following protests. The World Health Organization, meanwhile, is pointing the finger, saying China's official virus data is being under-reported.
On Sunday, tens of thousands of travelers flew in and out of China without having to submit to stringent centralised quarantine requirements. The change in policy is raising hope in neighboring countries that this will signal the return of Chinese tourists. Holiday bookings have already increased and markets are trading higher on the news, but as we explain, it will take some time for travel to return to what it was before the pandemic.
Beijing has started retaliatory moves against countries which have imposed restrictions on Chinese travelers, with Japan also reportedly targeted.
As families and friends reunite around China, the milestone is bittersweet for the coronavirus threat remains high and authorities have used the pandemic to develop a more efficient set of tools to crack down on society.
20,000 paramedics, ambulance drivers and support staff have gone on strike in England and Wales as a standoff over pay deepens. Unions are calling for better wages to deal with double-digit inflation. PM Rishi Sunak, meanwhile, is defending his government's plans to enforce minimum service levels in certain sectors, even during union-led walkouts.
Chinese police have arrested scores of "white paper" protesters more than a month after unprecedented demonstrations nationwide. Many fear detained protesters are being psychologically and physically abused.
It is the first Lunar New Year celebration since China's communist leadership lifted the country's strict measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
French luxury goods giant LVMH is not feeling the post-Covid pinch. The group has released its figures for 2022, which show revenue just below the bar of €80 billion. Meanwhile, shipments of smartphones have dropped to a near-decade low. Finally, we find out about a lawsuit that involves King Charles III and Elon Musk.
In November 2022, thousands of young Chinese people took to the streets to protest repeated Covid-19 lockdowns, constant PCR tests and to demand greater freedom. The movement was stifled in a few days and authorities abandoned their strict zero-Covid policy. But if China's youth took the risk to voice their anger, it's because their frustration goes well beyond Covid rules. FRANCE 24's Lou Kisiela, Antoine Morel and Yan Chen report.
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