How Asia, Once a Vaccination Laggard, Is Revving Up Inoculations

how asia once a vaccination laggard is revving up inoculations

Then came the Delta variant. Despite keeping their countries largely sealed off, the virus found its way in. And when it did, it spread quickly. In the summer, South Korea battled its worst wave of infections; hospitals in Indonesia ran out of oxygen and beds; and in Thailand, health care workers had to turn away patients. With cases surging, countries quickly shifted their vaccination approach. Sydney, Australia, announced a lockdown in June after an unvaccinated limousine driver caught the Delta variant from an American aircrew. Then, Prime Minister Scott Morrison,…

China Will Create ‘Closed-Loop’ Bubble for Winter Olympics

china will create closed loop bubble for winter olympics

The International Olympic Committee on Wednesday released a preliminary set of health protocols for the upcoming Winter Games in Beijing that suggested that the next Olympics, set to start on Feb. 4, could be the most extraordinarily restricted large-scale sporting event since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games will take place in what organizers called a “closed-loop management system,” a bubblelike environment in which athletes, officials, broadcasters, journalists and a large Games work force will be forced to eat, sleep, work and compete, without…

At U.N., Biden Calls for Diplomacy, not Conflict, but Some Are Skeptical

at u n biden calls for diplomacy not conflict but some are skeptical

President Biden, fighting mounting doubts among America’s allies about his commitment to working with them, used his debut address to the United Nations on Tuesday to call for “relentless diplomacy” on climate change, the pandemic and efforts to blunt the expanding influence of autocratic nations like China and Russia. In a 30-minute address in the hall of the General Assembly, Mr. Biden called for a new era of global action, making the case that a summer of wildfires, excessive heat and the resurgence of the coronavirus required a new era…

China Says It Has Vaccinated 1 Billion People

china says it has vaccinated 1 billion people

China said on Thursday that it had fully inoculated 1 billion people, a milestone for the world’s most populous country that brings it closer to its goal of vaccinating 80 percent of its population by the end of the year. It was a significant accomplishment, representing 71 percent of China’s population of 1.4 billion. China has administered 2.16 billion doses, nearly triple that of India, which is ranked second for shots given and has doled out 752.7 million doses, according to Our World in Data, which tracks vaccination figures. More…

China’s Fujian Province Reports Delta Outbreak

chinas fujian province reports delta outbreak

China has logged its highest number of coronavirus cases in nearly a month, prompting one county to shut down public transportation and test hundreds of thousands of people. On Sunday, the Chinese authorities reported 22 new locally transmitted infections, all in the southern province of Fujian and caused by the Delta variant. The number was the highest since Aug. 14, when 24 cases were recorded. The outbreak over the weekend bucked a downward trend of cases, which had fallen for more than a month since Aug. 9, when China reported…

Biden Speaks With Xi Amid Low Point in U.S.-China Relations

biden speaks with xi amid low point in u s china relations

WASHINGTON — In their first conversation in seven months, President Biden spoke on Thursday with President Xi Jinping of China, expressing concern over China’s cyberactivities while arguing that the leaders of the world’s two largest economies could set aside their differences to work together on climate change. The call amounted to a break in what experts have called one of the lowest points in the relationship between the two countries in decades. It was only the second time that the leaders have spoken since Mr. Biden’s inauguration; the lack of…

China Promises Aid to Afghanistan in Cautious Courtship

china promises aid to afghanistan in cautious courtship

China this week pledged to give $30 million in food and other aid to the new Taliban government in Afghanistan as well as three million Covid-19 vaccine doses, in a cautious overture to a potentially dangerous neighbor that Beijing is eager to influence. Speaking to a meeting of officials from Afghanistan’s neighbors on Wednesday, Wang Yi, China’s foreign minister, blamed the United States for the situation in the troubled country. But in a sign of China’s competing priorities, he also urged the Taliban to contain terrorist groups and asked Afghanistan’s…

The Delta Variant and China’s Need to Change Its Covid-19 Policy

the delta variant and chinas need to change its covid 19 policy

“How lucky I was born in China,” a young Chinese scholar declared last month in his WeChat. He was proud: Following the worst domestic Covid-19 outbreak since Wuhan, China had brought daily new case counts down to a few dozen. The case numbers — when contrasted with the United States, which has less than a quarter of China’s population yet daily average cases above 130,000 — might not seem too concerning on their own. But they illustrate that China’s zero-infections policy is no longer working as designed. At the outset…

Intelligence Review Yields No Firm Conclusion on Origins of Coronavirus

intelligence review yields no firm conclusion on origins of coronavirus

WASHINGTON — American intelligence agencies have not been able to determine if the coronavirus pandemic was the result of an accidental leak from a lab or if it emerged more naturally, according to declassified portions of a report to the White House that were released on Friday. The nation’s spy agencies, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said, are unlikely to reach a conclusion without more cooperation from China or new sources of information. In a statement, President Biden said the United States would continue working to understand…

Rejecting Covid-19 Inquiry, China Peddles Conspiracy Theories Blaming US

rejecting covid 19 inquiry china peddles conspiracy theories blaming us

Wary of independent scrutiny, Beijing has tightly controlled efforts by the World Health Organization to investigate the origin of the outbreak, and it rejected the health agency’s recent call for a second phase of an inquiry that would look more closely at the lab theory. China has been ramping up its disinformation campaign ahead of the results of an investigation by American intelligence agencies, ordered by President Biden. The agencies delivered their report on the origin of the pandemic to the president on Tuesday but have not yet concluded whether…

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