June 17 (Reuters) – Beijing on Thursday declared an initial victory in its latest battle with COVID-19 after testing millions of people and quarantining thousands in the past week to stem an outbreak prolonged by a sudden wave of cases linked to a bar. read more
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
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* Mainland China reported 157 new coronavirus cases for June 16, of which 54 were symptomatic and 103 were asymptomatic, the National Health Commission said on Friday.
* The Omicron variant of coronavirus is less likely to cause long COVID than previous variants, according to the first peer-reviewed study of its kind from the United Kingdom. read more
* The Swiss parliament failed to finance the government’s plan to buy COVID-19 vaccines in 2023, forcing the cabinet to try to renegotiate contracts with Moderna and Pfizer/Biontech for millions of doses. read more
* The United States’ ambassador to China, Nicholas Burns, said on Thursday he expects Beijing’s “zero COVID” policy to persist into early 2023, and that U.S. businesses were reluctant to invest in the country until restrictions ease. read more
* CVS Health, Walmart and Rite Aid plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to young children in the United States if they are authorised by authorities, the companies said.
* Chilean President Gabriel Boric suspended in-person activities for the remainder of the week due to a viral infection and side effects from a fourth dose of the coronavirus vaccine he received earlier in the week, the presidential office said. read more
AFRICA & MIDDLE EAST
* King Mohammed VI of Morocco has tested positive for COVID-19 but has exhibited no symptoms, his doctor said on Thursday. read more
* Advisers to the U.S Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday unanimously recommended the agency authorise COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech for millions of the youngest American children. read more
* The European Medicines Agency on Wednesday launched a rolling review of a variant-adapted COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, as cases of new sub-variants of the coronavirus’s Omicron lineage are on the rise. read more
* Shanghai’s economy contracted for a second month in May although at a somewhat slower pace, data from the local statistics bureau showed on Friday, weighing on the commercial hub’s recovery prospects following a two-month COVID lockdown.
* Global central bankers, who shared the limelight for skirting a pandemic-driven depression with quick action two years ago, are now stumbling through the aftermath as they try to quell an inflation surge none predicted or have been able to forestall. read more
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