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China scrambles to contain further COVID outbreaks, sticking to zero-COVID policy

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China is scrambling to contain its most widespread COVID outbreak since the nation’s first wave that began in Wuhan in 2019

Though subsequent flare-ups have seen higher total case numbers, the current outbreak has spread the furthest.

According to the National Health Commission, 19 of China’s 31 provinces which makes up more than half the country have reported cases since the outbreak began in mid-October.

On Wednesday, the NHC reported 93 new symptomatic cases, the highest daily count in three months.

This approach, which aims to stamp out the virus completely within China’s borders, means even a handful of cases are viewed as a dire threat.

A medical worker takes a swab sample from a resident to be tested for the COVID-19 coronavirus in Wuhan in China’s central Hubei province on May 14, 2020. – Nervous residents of China’s pandemic epicentre of Wuhan queued up across the city to be tested for the coronavirus on May 14 after a new cluster of cases sparked a mass screening campaign. (Photo by STR / AFP) / China OUT

The ongoing outbreak began on October 16

Infections were detected among a tour group of fully vaccinated senior citizens from Shanghai travelling in northern China.

Cases have since quickly ballooned and spread across northern provinces.

By week after October 16, officials from the National Health Commission warned of “multiple scattered local outbreaks” in the north and northwest that were “expanding rapidly.”

Authorities immediately jumped into action, following the playbook that has successfully contained previous outbreaks: mass testing, snap lockdowns, quarantines, travel suspensions and vigilant surveillance.

Officials banned cross-provincial tours across the affected regions. In one popular tourist destination, all residents and tourists were forbidden from leaving their homes.

The capital of Beijing has also tightened entry restrictions into the city, and punished rule-breakers by placing them in criminal detention.

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TikTok implements stricter guidelines on weight-loss drug promotion

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TikTok is tightening its regulations on influencers who promote weight-loss drugs like Ozempic.

With over 170 million users in the US, the app aims to prevent the spread of potentially harmful content related to rapid weight loss.

Starting in May, TikTok will prohibit influencers from posting “before-and-after” photos and restrict minors from accessing weight-loss content deemed risky. The crackdown extends to any content promoting drastic weight loss methods, aiming to combat the promotion of unrealistic body standards.

However, some influencers, like Dave Knapp and Kim Carlos, criticise the move, arguing it discriminates against those with health conditions. Others fear losing their income as TikTok takes down their content, prompting concerns about the platform’s future amid potential US bans.

As TikTok enforces stricter guidelines, influencers may seek alternative platforms to share weight-loss content. Despite the popularity of drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy, the crackdown reflects growing concerns about the impact of such promotions on user health.

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Game on with indie devs celebrated by Nintendo

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Nintendo Switch fans rejoice! The recent Indie World Showcase unveiled 17 new titles coming in 2024.

Including in the rundown is the adorable “Little Kitty, Big City” and explosive platformer “Anton Blast.” In other news, “Stellar Blade” confirms an uncensored release on PlayStation 5, Fallout’s TV adaptation gears up for Season 2, and Keanu Reeves joins the cast of Sonic 3 as Shadow. New releases this week include “Tales of Kenzera: Zau” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants,” while “Fallout 4” gets a next-gen update. With “Stellar Blade” topping the list, gamers have plenty to look forward to in the coming weeks.

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What are the major takeaways from day one of Trump’s trial?

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The first day of Donald Trump’s criminal hush money trial that the former president broke the law and corrupted the 2016 election, while his defence lawyer said he committed no crime.

On this episode of Ticker Today – Former President Donald Trump’s hush money trial is officially underway, President Joe Biden makes cannibal claims, TikTok US ban enters the next phase and Gen Z’s are dropping degrees and picking up tools to become blue-collar workers.

Ticker’s Ahron Young and Veronica Dudo discuss.

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