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North Korea reports its first coronavirus infection

May 11th, 2022
North Korea reports its first coronavirus infection

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has called for raising Covid-19 preventive measures to maximum levels as the country announced its first coronavirus infection more than two years into the pandemic.The Korean Central News Agency said Thursday tests from an unspecified number of people in the capital, Pyongyang, confirmed that they were infected with the omicron variant.Download the NBC News app for breaking news and politics The agency said Kim called a meeting of the ruling Korean Workers’ Party’s Politburo where members decided to raise its anti-virus measures.During... Read More

Nearly 15 million deaths associated with Covid, World Health Organization says

May 5th, 2022
Nearly 15 million deaths associated with Covid, World Health Organization says

LONDON — The World Health Organization is estimating that nearly 15 million people were killed either by the coronavirus or by its impact on overwhelmed health systems in the past two years, more than double the official death toll of 6 million. Most of the fatalities were in Southeast Asia, Europe and the Americas.In a report released on Thursday, the U.N. agency’s chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus described the figure as “sobering,” saying it should prompt countries to invest more in their capacities to quell future health emergencies.Scientists tasked by WHO with calculating the actual... Read More

Judge plans to hit pause on Biden effort to end Trump-era Covid restriction at border

April 25th, 2022
Judge plans to hit pause on Biden effort to end Trump-era Covid restriction at border

A federal judge said Monday he intends to temporarily block the Biden administration from lifting the coronavirus border restriction known as Title 42.It would be a victory for Republican-led states and some led by Democrats that sued to keep the immigration policy, which was initiated in the Trump administration.U.S. District Judge Robert R. Summerhays of the Western District of Louisiana announced his intention to grant the motion in a virtual status conference Monday.Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt celebrated the judge’s decision Monday afternoon on Twitter.”This is a huge... Read More

U.K. lawmakers OK probe into PM Boris Johnson’s alleged ‘partygate’ lies

April 21st, 2022
U.K. lawmakers OK probe into PM Boris Johnson’s alleged ‘partygate’ lies

British lawmakers on Thursday ordered a parliamentary investigation into Prime Minister Boris Johnson for allegedly lying about whether he broke coronavirus restrictions by attending illegal gatherings during the pandemic.The move, approved by cries of “aye” and without a formal vote in the House of Commons, means Parliament’s Committee of Privileges will investigate whether Johnson knowingly misled Parliament — historically a resigning offense if proven.The probe piles more pressure on a Conservative prime minister whose grip on power has been shaken by claims he flouted the pandemic rules... Read More

Pope leads crowds in first outdoor Easter Mass since pandemic

April 17th, 2022
Pope leads crowds in first outdoor Easter Mass since pandemic

Pope Francis celebrated Easter Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Square for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic, making Christianity’s most joyous day at a time when the war in Ukraine has weighed heavily on his heart.Francis made an anguished plea for peace in the “senseless” war in Ukraine and in other armed conflicts raging in the world, and cited the “troubling” risk of nuclear warfare.“May there be peace for war-torn Ukraine, so sorely tried by the violence and destruction of this cruel and senseless war into which it was dragged,” Francis said, speaking from the central... Read More

Shanghai reports record virus cases as Xi says no change in ‘zero-Covid’ strategy

April 14th, 2022
Shanghai reports record virus cases as Xi says no change in ‘zero-Covid’ strategy

SHANGHAI — China’s financial hub Shanghai reported over 27,000 coronavirus cases on Thursday, setting a record a day after President Xi Jinping said that the country must continue with its strict “dynamic Covid clearance” policy and pandemic control measures.Shanghai is battling China’s worst Covid-19 outbreak since the virus first emerged in Wuhan in late 2019, with the city’s 25 million residents remaining largely under lockdown, though restrictions were partially eased in some areas this week.Download the NBC News app for breaking news and politics Raising hopes for a shift in policy,... Read More

Shanghai starts China’s biggest Covid lockdown in 2 years

March 27th, 2022
Shanghai starts China’s biggest Covid lockdown in 2 years

BEIJING — China began its most extensive lockdown in two years Monday to conduct mass testing and control a growing outbreak in Shanghai as questions are raised about the economic toll of the nation’s “zero-Covid” strategy.China’s financial capital and largest city with 26 million people, Shanghai had managed its smaller, past outbreaks with limited lockdowns of housing compounds and workplaces where the virus was spreading. But the citywide lockdown that will be conducted in two phases will be China’s most extensive since the central city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus was first detected... Read More

What is the hybrid ‘deltacron’ variant of the coronavirus?

March 16th, 2022
What is the hybrid ‘deltacron’ variant of the coronavirus?

A hybrid variant of the coronavirus that has characteristics of both the delta and omicron strains has been detected in the United States and several European countries, scientists say.The delta-omicron hybrid, informally dubbed “deltacron,” is what’s known as a recombinant virus, meaning it has melded-together genetic information from both variants. Cases are thought to be rare, but researchers say studying the hybrid and tracking other potential recombinants is crucial for understanding how the coronavirus is changing as the pandemic grinds on.Here’s what to know about... Read More

China locks down business center of Shenzhen amid Covid surge

March 13th, 2022
China locks down business center of Shenzhen amid Covid surge

BEIJING — China’s government responded Sunday to a spike in coronavirus infections by shutting down its southern business center of Shenzhen, a city of 17.5 million people, and restricted access to Shanghai by suspending bus service.Everyone in Shenzhen, a finance and technology center that abuts the Chinese territory of Hong Kong, will undergo three rounds of testing after 60 new cases were reported Sunday. All businesses except those that supply food, fuel and other necessities were ordered to close or work from home.Case numbers in China’s latest infection surge are low compared with other... Read More

NYC Marathon to return to full capacity this fall with 50,000 runners

February 24th, 2022
NYC Marathon to return to full capacity this fall with 50,000 runners

The New York City Marathon will return to full capacity with 50,000 runners this year after the race was canceled in 2020 and limited last fall due to the coronavirus.The announcement for the Nov. 6 event was made Thursday by New York Road Runners, which operates the marathon.After the 2019 NYC Marathon set a world record with 53,627 finishers, the 2020 race was called off that June as the city dealt with a public health crisis created by Covid-19.The marathon returned for its 50th running in November with a shrunken field of 25,010 runners, all of whom were required to show either proof of vaccination... Read More