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COVID-19 situation in China stable, controllable: Official

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Swedish PM, others test positive after debate
Australia close to peak of Omicron wave
Protesters hit French streets over new vaccine pass
Protesters hold placards and French flgas during a demonstration against the health pass and COVID-19 vaccines, on Trocadero Plaza in Paris on Saturday.
Protesters hold placards and French flgas during a demonstration against the health pass and COVID-19 vaccines, on Trocadero Plaza in Paris on Saturday.

CHINA,SWEDEN, AUSTRALIA, FRANCE: The recent COVID-19 resurgence in China has been in general stabilized, as the country managed to bring the outbreaks in some areas under control in a timely manner, the National Health Commission said Saturday.

China is now facing challenges mainly from imported cases and a domestic travel rush in the upcoming holiday season, said He Qinghua, an official with the commission, at a press conference.

Most of the COVID-19 cases in Tianjin in the past three days were found among people under quarantine, indicating that the possibility of virus spread in the city is declining, said He.

The official highlighted continuous efforts to manage quarantine spots, adding that the State Council inter-agency task force for COVID-19 response had sent a working group to guide anti-epidemic work in Tianjin.

He added that the outbreak in Xi’an, capital of Shaanxi Province, has basically subsided, while Henan is still facing risks of community infections

Meanwhile, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson has tested positive for COVID-19, her office said Friday.

The Swedish leader had taken part in a debate in Parliament with other party leaders earlier this week and at least two other top politicians have also tested positive since.

Her office told Swedish news agency TT that Andersson is following “the current recommendations and will carry out her work from home.” Andersson is doing fine, her office said.

Following Wednesday’s debate in the 349-seat Riksdagen, Center Party leader Annie Loof and Per Bolund, head of the small Green Party, also tested positive. The latter coughed when speaking to the media afterward.

On Twitter, Bolund wrote Thursday that a quick test gave him the result and he immediately went into isolation as recommended by the Swedish Public Health Agency.

Other party leaders who took part in the debate, have all tested negative, Swedish broadcaster SVT said.

Meanwhile, Australia’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Paul Kelly on Saturday said he was optimistic that the country’s Omicron COVID-19 wave was close to its peak.

Kelly said there were “signs for hope” that the record-breaking wave that has accounted for more than 1 million cases since December 2021 has peaked, reports Xinhua news agency.

Australia on Saturday reported more than 100,000 new COVID-19 cases and over 50 deaths, which increased the overall infections and fatalities to 1,632,958 and 2,627, respectively.

Meanwhile, Thousands demonstrated in cities across France on Saturday against tighter restrictions on people not vaccinated against Covid-19, as parliamentary wrangling continued over a draft law.

But turnout was significantly lower than the previous weekend’s demonstrations according to official estimates, with interior ministry estimates putting the national figures at half that of last week.

In the capital Paris, the largest single gathering set off from near the Eiffel Tower, called by far-right anti-EU presidential candidate Florian Philippot.

Other demonstrations harked back to the 2018-19 “yellow vests” protests against President Emmanuel Macron’s perceived favouring of the wealthy. There were also marches in major cities including Bordeaux, Toulouse and Lille. -XINHUA,IANS, JAPAN TODAY

Monday, January 17, 2022 – 01:00

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