Workers making test kits clash with police at factory in China
The protest started on Saturday after a sudden announcement of layoffs and disputes over wages in the south-western city of Chongqing, the BBC reported. Some videos were filmed at Zybio, a company specialising in in-vitro diagnostic reagents and equipment.
Scores in China will be heading back to their ancestral homes amid ongoing wave of infections
Officials have warned of a fresh surge in coronavirus cases brought to rural areas by city residents traveling back home to welcome in the Year of the Rabbit, state broadcaster CGTN reported. "We are extremely worried about the potential COVID-19 surge in rural areas
Japan reports another record high of 463 Covid deaths in a day
The country reported 238,654 new coronavirus cases, down 6,888 from Friday, reports Japan Today. Tokyo reported 19,630 new cases, down 1,090 from Friday. The number of infected people hospitalised with severe symptoms in Tokyo was 55, up two from Friday. Nationwide, the figure was 668, up nine.
Chinese academics facing huge backlash for studies on how Marxism can help fight Covid
Prominent Chinese academics are facing a huge backlash online for their studies on how Marxism can help fight Covid-19, with critics accusing them of wasting time and money at a time when the country is battling a surge in infections, according to a media report.
Not hiding Covid infections or death figures, claims China
According to South China Morning Post, Beijing's embassy in Washington, DC, countered allegations after several countries, including the World Health Organisation (WHO), criticised China for withholding actual Covid figures, requesting the country to come clean on the infection surge and hospitalisations. "China has always shared its information and data responsibly with the international community," Liu Pengyu, spokesman for Beijing's Washington embassy, said in a news briefing. Chinese scientists are "now working with WHO to have further discussions about the data," he said,
EU 'strongly' urges Covid testing for arrivals from China
Wednesday's recommendation on negative tests came from the EU's Integrated Political Crisis Response group (IPCR), a body made up of officials from the bloc's 27 governments, reports the BBC. France, Spain and Italy have already introduced testing, but others, such as Germany, had been monitoring the situation. England, outside the EU, requires pre-flight testing on China arrivals from Thursday. Despite the recommendation, it remains unclear if an EU-wide policy will be introduced. Individual states however, can set their own policy.
EU to require travellers from China to take pre-departure Covid tests
France, Italy and Spain already require pre-departure tests on travellers from China and have been urging other EU member states to follow suit. EU officials meeting later on Wednesday in the "integrated political crisis response" format are expected to issue a recommendation of mandatory testing, despite warnings from Beijing of retaliation, The Guardian reported.
Australia's population smaller, older following Covid-19 pandemic
According to the data released on Wednesday from the government's annual population report, the Australian population grew by just 0.1 per cent, or 33,000 people, in the first full financial year of Covid-19, Xinhua news agency reported. The Centre for Population now projects the population will grow to 26.3 million by the end of financial year 2022-23, down 600,000 from pre-pandemic expectations.
Widespread pressure on funeral homes in China amid Covid outbreak
Social media comments in China took issue with recent death figures, which admitted to just one death on December 26, as many people know family and friends who have died and are having trouble booking cremations, RFA reported. "Ask your conscience - do you believe this?" one comment read, while another quipped: "Is this the department of disease control or the ministry of magic?"
People dying from Covid 16 times higher in Japan than last year
According to the country's national daily The Mainichi, this year's numbers are on a different scale compared to the last. Japan is currently going through its eighth wave of the pandemic. From December 23 to December 29 last year, daily deaths stood at: 3, 0, 1, 0, 0, 2, and 4 -- for a weekly total of 10. Deaths over the same week this year were: 315, 339, 306, 217, 271, 415 and 420 -- for a total of 2,283, based on data released by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.