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Dozens of officials punished in China over COVID outbreak

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China has punished around a dozen officials for failing to curb a Covid-19 outbreak

The recent cluster that’s spawned nearly 900 symptomatic infections across the country in less than a month is a resurgence that complicates Beijing’s strategy of keeping the virus out entirely.

The eastern Chinese city of Yangzhou issued warnings to five officials for mishandling mass testing that they said allowed the virus to continue spreading.

The city now has overtaken nearby Nanjing – a city where the delta-driven outbreak first started.

China is dealing with its broadest outbreak of Covid since it crushed the virus that first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019.

If any positive cases were to die it would be China’s first Covid death in more than six months.

More than 30 officials nationwide, ranging from mayors and local health directors to the heads of hospitals and airports, have been punished for negligence and mishandling local outbreaks, according to the state-backed media outlet Global Times.

Wuhan tests 11 million residents

The Chinese city of Wuhan has completed mass COVID-19 testing of almost its entire population, in just a week.

Wuhan was the initial epicentre of the pandemic, and a week ago there was confirmation that virus had returned there, for the first time in over a year,

Local authorities promised to test the city’s entire population, and that has now happened.

More than 11.28 million people in the city of 11.3 million people have been tested.

Officials say the tests provide “basically full coverage” of the population except for college students on summer break and children under the age of 6 years

Nine positive cases were found as a result of the testing.

The first reported COVID-19 cases were in Wuhan in November 2019. The outbreak was quashed through a strict lockdown that lasted 76 days.

But the exact origin of the virus remains unclear.

The World Health Organisation has proposed a second phase of its investigation into the origins of COVID-19.

But Beijing has rejected the WHO’s proposal for a more rigorous probe.

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. 

Tech

Porn floods Twitter “China” search

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Twitter users have been finding it hard to search for information on the social media platform due to an explosion of pornographic spam.

While thousands of protests against extended lockdowns, a digital bot army has roared into action on Twitter, with long-dormant Chinese language accounts suddenly tweeting links to escort services and other adult content.

Anyone trying to track the spontaneous protest movement on Twitter complained about the deluge of spam pornographic content making flooding the search for information.

The China protests come at a time when Twitter’s content and moderation teams have been pared back drastically following Elon Musk’s $44 billion takeover of the social media giant.

Twitter, along with other international social media services like Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram, is blocked by Beijing’s internet censors within Mainland China.

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World

Biden silence on China protests

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As citizens across China revolt against the country’s “zero Covid” policy, the White House issued a statement about the growing protests.

“‘We’ve long said everyone has the right to peacefully protest, in the United States and around the world,’ a White House National Security Council spokesperson said in a statement.

‘This includes in the [People’s Republic of China.]’

“‘Zero COVID is not a policy we are pursuing here,’ the spokesperson said.

‘And as we’ve said, we think it’s going to be very difficult for the People’s Republic of China to be able to contain this virus through their zero COVID strategy.’”

Commentators have noted that the statement came from the White House, and not President Biden himself.

Demonstrators are calling on President Joe Biden to take a stance and publicly support their cause.

The protests have continued despite numerous attempts by the Chinese government to quell them.

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Business

China protests hit global markets, crypto

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Investor watches markets

The protests in China are having a negative impact on cryptocurrencies and markets around the world.

Bitcoin failed to break its descent and fell more than 3 percent.

The global crypto market cap fell over 2%, sending major cryptos into the red.

Over the last 24 hours, overall crypto market volume grew by 22%.

It comes amid a round of investor nervousness in global markets spurred by protests in China against Covid restrictions.

Protesters outraged by harsh COVID-19 regulations called for China’s strong leader to quit.

China is the world’s second-largest economy and has a significant impact on global financial markets.

Stocks and cryptos aren’t considered safe havens, leading to bearing price action.

Analysts are hoping for a sharp bullish reversal if and when the protests end.

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