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China province in wartime mode, New Zealand’s first quarantine-free flight & other Covid news

As the Covid-19 pandemic shows no signs of letting up, ThePrint highlights the most important stories on the crisis from across the globe.

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New Delhi: The novel coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate countries across the world — the latest count being over 8.6 crore cases and more than 18 lakh deaths.

China’s Hebei province tackles a new wave of coronavirus infections. Iran reports its first case of the new strain of Covid-19 that emerged in the UK and a Canadian mink breeder euthanises 1,000 animals on his farm, just months after Denmark culled over 15,000 million mink.

ThePrint brings you the most important global stories on the coronavirus pandemic and why they matter.

Chinese province enters ‘wartime mode’ to contain new cases

China’s Hebei province, which reported 20 of the 23 new locally transmitted Covid-19 cases in mainland China Tuesday, has entered “wartime mode” to contain the new wave of infections, reports Reuters.

Shijiazhuang, the province’s capital, has begun a mass testing drive, shut down a long-distance bus terminal, banned gatherings and will also bar non-residents from entering residential compounds.

Hebei also reported 43 of the 64 new asymptomatic cases reported in mainland China.

A day earlier, the number of new mainland cases, including those from abroad, had dropped to 32 from 33.

China has reported 87,215 cases and 4,634 deaths, so far.

Also read: Why travelling abroad during holidays has upended careers of Canadian politicians

Iran reports first case of UK Covid strain

Iran, which is the worst-hit country by Covid-19 in the Middle East, has reported its first case of a highly contagious strain of coronavirus that emerged in the UK, reports Al Jazeera. According to the country’s health minister Saeed Namaki, the case was an Iranian traveller returning home from the UK.

The patient was admitted to one of Iran’s private hospitals, Namaki was quoted as saying.

The announcement came the day the country’s health ministry recorded 98 coronavirus deaths in 24 hours — the lowest figure since 18 June.

Iran has reported 1,255,620 cases and 55,748 deaths.

Arizona has highest rate of new virus cases in US, more than double the summer peak

Arizona has seen a higher rate of new cases than any other state in the US, reports The New York Times. The state has reported more than 8,000 cases a day in the past week, which is double the number of daily cases that emerged during its summer peak in June.

According to some of Arizona’s health care leaders, cases have been climbing in the state for a while now, and there is limited public vigilance on the virus. The state’s vaccine-rollout rate is also one of the lowest in the country.

With over 4,600 Covid-19 patients presently hospitalised across the state, hospitals have come under strain and have had to operate at over 120 per cent of licensed bed capacity.

The US has reported 21,578,606 cases and 365,620 deaths.

Also read: UK lockdown another setback for airlines as they begin scrapping flights

New Zealand’s first quarantine-free flight to Australia’s Queensland to leave Thursday

The first quarantine-free flight from New Zealand to the Australian state of Queensland is set to touch down in Brisbane Thursday, reports The Guardian.

Passengers on board Air New Zealand’s flight will not need to quarantine on arrival as long as they fill out a declaration form saying they have been in New Zealand for 14 days. Those returning to New Zealand will still need to quarantine for two weeks and register and pay for managed isolation.

“New Zealand has eliminated the local transmission of the virus, with its last local case recorded on 18 November, while the state of Queensland in December celebrated 100 days with no new coronavirus cases,” adds the report.

Canadian mink breeder culls 1,000 animals after tests return positive

The operator of a mink farm in in British Columbia, Canada, euthanised 1,000 mink on his farm after tests on three dead animals confirmed Covid-19, reports The Globe and Mail.

It was the operator’s “personal decision” and was not ordered by the provincial government, said the province’s chief veterinarian Dr. Gunvaldsen.

This is the second farm in British Columbia to report a Covid-19 outbreak. Last month, eight workers tested positive at a separate farm where about 200 minks died over a five-day period.

In November, Denmark, the world’s largest supplier of mink fur, culled about 15 million of its farmed mink due to the spread of Covid-19.

Canada has reported 6,18,646 cases of Covid-19 and 16,233 deaths.

What else we are reading:

‘Ladino’s Renaissance’: For This Dying Jewish Language, COVID Has Been an Unlikely Lifesaver: Haaretz

Covid vaccinations have produced 110 allergic reactions: Mexico News Daily

Also read: Singapore Police access contact tracing data, Canada politicians lose jobs & other Covid news


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