COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates: Sunday / Monday, Nov. 14-15


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TL, DR: Because they can — and have every reason to stick with a plan that’s working for the administration:

Dr Zhong Nanshan is seen as something of a medical hero in China. The specialist in respiratory medicine shot to global fame in 2003 for challenging the then-government’s line that the Sars outbreak was not so severe.

These days, people – including officials – listen to what he has to say.

In a recent interview, he said China’s strict Covid amelioration measures would remain for “a rather long time”.

He added that a global Covid-19 mortality rate of 2% was too high for China to accept even with vaccines in place. The cost of opening too quickly was not worth it, he said, adding that China would be watching the experience of other countries under their “living-with-Covid” plans.

It is also important to consider that China’s officials can be quite conservative in their approach. It is possible that they plan to “re-open” the country again and are simply in no great rush to do so…

While middle and upper class people may be lamenting the lack of freedom to move about internationally, many ordinary Chinese citizens seem content to allow the government to manage the situation if it keeps them healthy.

In the meantime, mass testing, centralised quarantine, transport controls, high-level surveillance, delivering track and trace as well as strict, localised lockdowns will remain a big part of life in China.

Chinese authorities said 32 new domestically transmitted infections with confirmed symptoms have been reported for Nov. 14, most of which were in northeastern Dalian city. That brings the tally of local cases since Oct. 17 to 1,308, Reuters calculations based on official data showed, surpassing the 1,280 local cases from a summer Delta outbreak.

This marks China’s most widespread Delta outbreak, which has affected 21 provinces, regions and municipalities. While it is smaller than many outbreaks in other countries, Chinese authorities are anxious to block any further transmissions under the government’s zero-tolerance guidance…

Since Dalian’s first local symptomatic patients from the latest outbreak was reported on Nov. 4, the port city of 7.5 million people has detected an average of about 24 new local cases a day, more than any other Chinese cities, according to Reuters calculations.

A few cities near Dalian, including Dandong, Anshan and Shenyang, have said people arriving from Dalian have to be quarantined at centralised facilities for 14 days before they can move freely, in an unusually cautious measure.

As of Nov. 14, mainland China had reported 98,315 confirmed coronavirus cases with symptoms, including domestically transmitted infections and those from overseas. There have been 4,636 deaths…

The Ngati Toa tribe, which has legal guardianship of the haka, issued a strong notice after protestors performed the war dance during demonstrations last week.

The notice comes as vaccination rates among the Maori people have been low.

Just 61% of eligible Maori people are fully vaccinated and 77% have received their first dose. This is short of New Zealand’s targeted rate of 90% among its eligible population.

“Ngati Toa condemns the use of the Ka Mate haka to push and promote anti-Covid-19 vaccination messages,” said its chief executive officer Helmut Modlik in a statement.

“Many of our tupuna [ancestors] lost their lives in previous pandemics… we are absolutely clear that the COVID-19 vaccine is the best protection we have available to us, and we are committed to supporting our whānau [family] to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”…

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From a long, illo-heavy thread:

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