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China Signals Shift Away From 'Zero COVID' Policy

Country faces 'new stage and mission' in pandemic fight, top official says

(Newser) - Chinese authorities have vowed to "resolutely crack down" on protests against the country's harsh "zero COVID" policies—but they also appear to be moving away from those same policies, despite rising case numbers. Dozens of districts in Shanghai and Guangzhou have been released from lockdown measures and...

Twitter Stops Enforcing COVID Misinformation Rule

Company updates its policy to reflect the change

(Newser) - Twitter has made a quiet but notable move in regard to COVID: The social media titan revealed it is no longer enforcing policies against spreading misinformation about the virus or vaccines. Per Politico , the change came in the form of a policy update , which some users noticed on Monday night....

In China, the 'Unthinkable': Protesters Call Out Xi

Anger over COVID lockdowns is boiling over

(Newser) - Anger over China's draconian COVID lockdown policies has led to what the BBC describes as heretofore "unthinkable" scenes across the country: Protesters openly calling for the resignation of President Xi Jinping. Demonstrators in Shanghai in particular turned out en masse, but protests also were reported at universities in...

After Protests, China Relaxes Lockdown in City

Anger over fatal fire leads to demonstrations in Xinjiang

(Newser) - Authorities in China's western Xinjiang region opened up some neighborhoods in the capital of Urumqi on Saturday after residents held extraordinary late-night demonstrations against the city's draconian "zero-COVID" lockdown that had lasted more than three months. The displays of public defiance were fanned by anger over a...

Fire Kills 10 in Locked-Down Region of China

Neighbors say COVID restrictions kept fire engines at a distance

(Newser) - A fire in an apartment building in northwestern China's Xinjiang region killed 10 people and injured nine, authorities said Friday, during the stringent lockdowns that have left many residents in the area stuck in their homes for more than three months. The fire broke out Thursday night in the...

Economic Outlook Sours as China Sees Record COVID Cases

Country has reported its first COVID deaths in 6 months

(Newser) - Some three years after the earliest cases of COVID-19 emerged, infections in China have hit a record high and many millions of people are under lockdowns. Some 31,444 new locally acquired infections were reported Wednesday, breaking a record set in April when a surge in cases led to Shanghai...

Unrest Spreads at Massive iPhone Plant

Workers are in 'closed loop' amid COVID measures at Foxconn complex in China

(Newser) - Last month, thousands of workers fled the vast Foxconn factory complex in Zhengzhou, China, as COVID lockdown measures were imposed. Their replacements are apparently not happy to be there. Videos posted online show thousands of workers clashing with police officers and security staff in white protective suits, the Wall Street ...

Ice Cube: Refusing the 'Jab' Cost Me $9M

He confirms he lost out on movie role because of his vaccination status

(Newser) - "I don't know how Hollywood feels about me right now," said Ice Cube in a Sunday podcast appearance, but he made it crystal clear how he feels about the COVID vaccine. While appearing on "Million Dollaz Worth of Game," Variety reports he confirmed murmurings that...

Girl's Death Increases Anger at 'Zero COVID' Policy

Infant died after becoming ill in quarantine in central China city

(Newser) - Chinese authorities faced more public anger Thursday after a second child's death was blamed on overzealous anti-virus enforcement, adding to frustration at controls that have confined millions of people to their homes and sparked fights with health workers. The 4-month-old girl died after suffering vomiting and diarrhea while in...

With Discontent Growing, China Slightly Eases COVID Measures

But 'zero COVID' policy isn't changing, authorities say

(Newser) - Authorities in China said this week that they have no intention of abandoning the country's "zero COVID" policy, but the easing of some measures was announced Friday despite rising case numbers. Quarantine in government facilities for close contacts of infected people will be cut from seven days to...

'Miracle' COVID Patient Heads Home —After 453 Days

Weaymon 'Dub' Crochet, after 15 months in Texas hospitals, says: 'God [gave] me all his angels'

(Newser) - The average length of a patient's stay in a hospital while being treated for COVID is about a week or so, per CDC stats from April. A Texas man has surpassed that length of time and then some, and his survival is now being hailed as a "miracle....

New Research: Some COVID Patients Are Like Turtles

Their unconscious brains behave in similar ways

(Newser) - In the sea of COVID-related studies to emerge over the last couple years comes a particularly unusual one that compares some COVID patients to painted turtles. As the New York Times reports, the study examines a "puzzling phenomenon" that's been observed among COVID patients who had to be...

Walensky Tests Positive Again

Walensky Tests Positive Again

CDC director returns to isolation with mild COVID-19 symptoms

(Newser) - The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is back in isolation at home, after testing positive again for COVID-19. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, 53, first had a positive test on Oct 21. She then tested negative after completing a regimen of the antiviral Paxlovid, but mild symptoms returned...

Shanghai Disney Visitors Just Got an Unpleasant Surprise

Park closed indefinitely on Monday, and guests inside can't leave till they show negative COVID test

(Newser) - An NPR headline from early Monday morning notes that, due to COVID, Shanghai Disney and its adjacent shopping community will be closed indefinitely from Halloween on forward. What that headline fails to mention is that all the visitors at the theme park when officials decided to abruptly close the gates...

One Theory on the Big Jump in Workers With Disabilities

Fed report suggests long COVID is the driver

(Newser) - Take a look at Axios' chart of how many disabled Americans are in the US workforce, and you'll see a decade where the number mostly fell between 4 million and 5 million. But since 2020 it's been a steady climb from just below 5 million to 5.73...

Walensky Tests Positive

Walensky Tests Positive

CDC director reports mild COVID-19 symptoms

(Newser) - The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has tested positive for COVID-19. Dr. Rochelle Walensky is dealing with mild symptoms, the agency said in a statement Saturday, USA Today reports. Walensky plans to attend CDC meetings virtually while isolating at home after testing positive on Friday night....

China Doubles Down on Zero-COVID Policies

Citizens had hoped party congress would signal a loosening of harsh policies

(Newser) - As China’s ruling Communist Party holds a congress this week, many Beijing residents are focused on an issue not on the formal agenda: Will the end of the meeting bring an easing of the at times draconian "zero-COVID" policies that are disrupting lives and the economy? It appears...

University's COVID Study Causes a Ruckus

Boston University makes hybrid version in lab, and federal agency is surprised to learn of it

(Newser) - Researchers at Boston University have a COVID controversy on their hands. As Mass Live reports, scientists there created a hybrid version of the virus in the lab in order to better understand the omicron variant. The experiment resulted in what the university calls inaccurate and sensationalized media coverage—particularly at...

Taiwan Lifts Last COVID Entry Restrictions
Taiwan: What COVID?
Come on In!

Taiwan: What COVID? Come on In!

No more mandatory quarantine for visitors

(Newser) - Taiwan lifted all its COVID-19 entry restrictions on Thursday, allowing tourists unfettered access to the self-ruled island after more than 2 1/2 years of border controls. Hong Kong and Taiwan, together with mainland China, required most visitors to complete a mandatory quarantine period throughout the pandemic, even as most countries...

FDA Clears Bivalent COVID Boosters for Kids 5 and Up

The CDC now has to sign off

(Newser) - The US on Wednesday authorized updated COVID-19 boosters for children as young as 5, seeking to expand protection ahead of an expected winter wave. Tweaked boosters rolled out for Americans 12 and older last month, doses modified to target today's most common and contagious omicron relative. While there wasn'...

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