COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates: Thursday / Friday, Jan. 13-14


Beijing has ordered children at international schools to be tested starting next week and is barring air passengers who transited via a third point. Citizens are being told only to travel if absolutely necessary, with no guarantee they will be permitted to return if found to have visited a city or region where an outbreak occurred.

The city of Tianjin, about an hour from the capital, has ordered a third round of mass testing starting Saturday morning to be completed within 24 hours.

A port and manufacturing center with 14 million people, Tianjin is one of a half dozen cities where the government is imposing lockdowns and other restrictions as part of a policy to track down every virus case.

It’s proximity to Beijing is particularly worrying and authorities have cut off all travel links between it and the Olympic host city following the discovery of 126 cases in recent days, all apparently of the highly contagious omicron variant.

Elsewhere, more than 20 million people are under lockdown, many restricted to their homes amid concerns over supplies of food and other daily necessities. Factories have been closed, affecting supplies of computer chips and other products…

Even the city of Zhuhai in the far south has suspended flights to Beijing and bus service with the Guangdong provincial capital of Guangzhou.

Zhuhai has ordered citywide testing and barred residents from leaving without good reason and a negative COVID-19 test, despite the National Health Commission reporting no cases of local transmission in the city, which lies just across the border from the gambling mecca of Macao.

China has also banned dozens of overseas flights from Europe, Canada, the U.S., Indonesia and elsewhere after passengers tested positive for the virus upon arrival.

The financial hub of Shanghai, which has recorded relatively few cases, has also suspended some travel links…

“China correspondent, BBC”:

Hundreds of thousands of Hindu worshippers gathered on the banks of India’s Ganges river on Friday for a holy bathe despite a 30-fold rise in coronavirus cases in the past month.

Hindus believe a bathe in the holy river on the Jan. 14 Makarsankranti festival washes away sins.

A large number of devotees were taking a dip in the sacred river where it flows through the eastern state of West Bengal, which is reporting the most number of cases in the country after Maharashtra state in the west.

In the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, thousands of devotees, few wearing masks, thronged the river’s banks in the holy city of Prayagraj…

Doctors had appealed unsuccessfully to the West Bengal state high court to reverse a decision to allow the festival this year, worrying it will become a virus “super spreader” event.

Last year, a big religious gathering in northern India contributed to a record rise in coronavirus cases.

On Friday, the health ministry reported 264,202 new cases of the coronavirus in the previous 24 hours, taking India’s total tally to 36.58 million.

Deaths from COVID-19 rose by 315, with total now at 485,350, the ministry said.


This is an update on the announcement last month:

??? (Great news, if it can be replicated, but that’s a big ‘if’):


Sen. RonJon is no longer the dumbest legislator in Wisconsin:

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