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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.

Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 

World

North Korea fires short-range ballistic missile

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The launch continues a provocative streak in weapons testing as a US aircraft carrier visits South Korea

The launch was detected by South Korean and US militaries, who are currently conducting their annual joint military exercises in the region.

The US aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson is also taking part in the exercises, in a show of force against North Korea’s continued nuclear and missile testing.

North Korea's push to improve the lives of citizens

North Korea’s push to improve the lives of citizens

North Korea has conducted a series of missile and nuclear tests in recent months, despite international condemnation and UN sanctions.

The latest launch comes just days after North Korea test-fired a new type of anti-aircraft missile, and as the US prepares to deploy its THAAD anti-missile system in South Korea.

The US has also sent a naval strike group to the region in a show of force, and is reportedly considering additional sanctions against North Korea.

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Super Typhoon Noru smashes into the Philippines

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Super Typhoon Noru is continuing to strengthen as it approaches the northern Philippines.

The storm is expected to make landfall late Sunday afternoon local time and could bring damaging winds and heavy rains to the region.

Noru is currently a Category 3 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph (185 km/h).

The typhoon is expected to bring heavy rains and strong winds to the Philippines, which could lead to significant damage.

If you are in the path of Super Typhoon Noru, be sure to take all necessary precautions to protect yourself and your property from the storm.

Stay tuned to local news and weather reports for the latest information on the typhoon’s path and expected impacts.

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Iran cuts internet access over “hijab violation”

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Iranian authorities say they will restrict internet access in the country until calm is restored to the streets

Protests over the death of a young woman in the custody of the morality police continue to rock the Islamic Republic.

Thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets in protest since the death last week of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was apprehended in Tehran and taken to a “re-education center,” apparently for not wearing her hijab properly.

Amini’s death has sparked outrage among Iranian women, who have long been subject to repressive rules mandating their dress and behavior.

In recent years, the government has stepped up its enforcement of these rules, with morality police attacking women for offenses such as wearing loose headscarves or talking to men in public.

The death of Amini, who was reportedly beaten in custody, has galvanized young Iranians who are fed up with the repression they have faced for their entire lives.

In addition to taking to the streets, they are using social media to spread the word about the protests and to call for an end to the government’s oppressive policies.

It remains to be seen whether the current wave of protests will lead to lasting change in Iran. But one thing is clear: the country’s young people are no longer willing to tolerate the status quo.

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