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via finance.yahoo04/13/2021

Credit Suisse nominates Christian Gellerstad to board of Swiss entity - Yahoo Finance

Credit Suisse Group said it nominated wealth management expert Christian Gellerstad for election to the board of directors of its Swiss entity at the annual general meeting on April 30. Urs Rohner, who is not standing for re-election as chairman of the group, is also stepping down from the board of directors of the Swiss entity, Credit Suisse said in a statement on Tuesday.

via finance.yahoo04/12/2021

Coronavirus pandemic 'a long way from over', WHO's Tedros says - Yahoo Finance

Confusion and complacency in addressing COVID-19 means the pandemic is a long way from being over, but it can be brought under control in months with proven public health measures, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday. The decline in cases and deaths during the first two months of the year shows that this virus and its variants can be stopped, he added, saying transmission was being driven by "confusion, complacency and inconsistency in public health measures."

via menafn04/11/2021

Switzerland- Covid crisis heightening factors that can lead to youth suicide - MENAFN.COM

The pandemic and measures taken by authorities to fight it have exacerbated feelings of loneliness, sadness and anxiety among children, says the chief psychologist at Zurich Children's Hospital, where more than twice as many suicide attempts by young people were recorded in 2020 than in the previous year.

This content was published on April 11,

via skiracing04/09/2021

Austrians Schwarz, Kriechmayr recount breakthrough seasons - SkiRacing.com

Overall World Cup titles may have been claimed by France and Slovakia, and although it was Switzerland atop the nations’ ranking, Austrian ski racers surged to one of the team’s most successful seasons in recent times. Marco Schwarz, 25, Vincent Kriechmayr, 29, and Katharina Liensberger, 24, all found the speed and maintained consistency in breakthrough […]

via republicworld04/08/2021

WFEB discusses role of media during COVID-19, experts weigh in on cultural shift - Republic TV

Stay informed with today’s latest news from India & around the world. Get all the breaking news & current Indian news on politics, sports and entertainment only on Republic World. We provide the most in-depth coverage of top national news with timely breaking of all the recent news on politics, sports & entertainment

via swissinfo.ch04/08/2021

Tokyo governor says will ask government for emergency measures to stem COVID-19 rise - swissinfo.ch

By Rocky Swift TOKYO (Reuters) - Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said on Thursday she would ask the central government to impose emergency measures in the capital region to stem a surge of COVID-19 infections. Koike made the comments after a meeting with medical experts who warned of an explosive surge in cases that could exceed the third and most deadly wave of the pandemic so far. Experts also warned of a rise in more infectious mutant strains of the virus. This is a very worrisome situation, Koike said. And we need to be more vigilant of the increase in the number of people infected with the mutant strains. Osaka, Hyogo and Miyagi prefectures started a month of targeted lockdown measures on Monday to rein in a more virulent strain of the virus. The new measures are based on a revised infection control law and can be applied to a narrower area than a state of emergency that Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga declared for most of the country in early January. The controls allow regional governments to order businesses to shorten hours and to impose fines of 200,000 yen ($1,820) or publish the names of those that do not comply. Additionally, residents are being asked to work from home and to refrain from activities such as karaoke. Cases are on an uptrend in Tokyo, which is due to host the Summer Olympic Games from late July, with Wednesday's 555 new infections the highest since early February. On Thursday, the tally was 545. Japan has also been relatively slow in inoculating its citizens, with just 1 million people having received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine - the only one approved so far - since February out of a population of 126 million. ($1 = 109.6300 yen) (Reporting by Rocky Swift; Editing by Michael Perry and Kim Coghill)

via voxeu.org04/08/2021

Central bank swaps in the age of Covid-19 | VOX, CEPR Policy Portal - voxeu.org - voxeu.org

Facing acute strains in the offshore dollar funding markets during Covid-19, the Federal Reserve implemented measures to provide US dollar liquidity. This column examines how the Fed reinforced swap arrangements and established a ‘financial institutions and monetary authorities’ repo facility in response to the crisis. Closer pre-existing ties with the US helped economies

via menafn04/13/2021

Switzerland- Government faces growing pressure to relax Covid measures - MENAFN.COM

Pressure is building on the Swiss government to ease restrictions imposed to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This content was published on April 12, 2021 - 12:05 April 12, 2021 - 12:05 swissinfo.ch/urs

The Federation of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises on Monday called for a review of the current situation, saying the gov

via finance.yahoo04/12/2021

CBD of Denver Reports Highest Single-Day Sales Since Start of Switzerland's COVID-19 Lockdowns - Yahoo Finance

Denver, Colorado--(Newsfile Corp. - April 12, 2021) - CBD of Denver, Inc. (OTC Pink: CBDD), a full-line CBD and hemp oil company and a producer and distributor of cannabis and CBD products in Switzerland, Europe, and the US, generated USD $293,000 in sales on Thursday, April 8, 2021, the highest single-day sales figure for the Company since the start of COVID-19 lockdowns in Switzerland, and building on the momentum of CBDD's strong first quarter ...

via science.sciencemag.org04/08/2021

Estimated transmissibility and impact of SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7 in England - Science

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has the capacity to generate variants with major genomic changes. The UK variant B.1.1.7 (also known as VOC 202012/01) has many mutations that alter virus attachment and entry into human cells. Using a variety of statistical and dynamic modeling approaches, Davies et al. characterized the spread of the B.1.1.7 variant in the United Kingdom. The authors found that the variant is 43 to 90% more transmissible than the predecessor lineage but saw no clear evidence for a change in disease severity, although enhanced transmission will lead to higher incidence and more hospital admissions. Large resurgences of the virus are likely to occur after the easing of control measures, and it may be necessary to greatly accelerate vaccine roll-out to control the epidemic. Science , this issue p. [eabg3055][1] ### INTRODUCTION Several novel variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19, emerged in late 2020. One of these, Variant of Concern (VOC) 202012/01 (lineage B.1.1.7), was first detected in southeast England in September 2020 and spread to become the dominant lineage in the United Kingdom in just a few months. B.1.1.7 has since spread to at least 114 countries worldwide. ### RATIONALE The rapid spread of VOC 202012/01 suggests that it transmits more efficiently from person to person than preexisting variants of SARS-CoV-2. This could lead to global surges in COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths, so there is an urgent need to estimate how much more quickly VOC 202012/01 spreads, whether it is associated with greater or lesser severity of disease, and what control measures might be effective in mitigating its impact. We used social contact and mobility data, as well as demographic indicators linked to SARS-CoV-2 community testing data in England, to assess whether the spread of the new variant may be an artifact of higher baseline transmission rates in certain geographical areas or among specific demographic subpopulations. We then used a series of complementary statistical analyses and mathematical models to estimate the transmissibility of VOC 202012/01 across multiple datasets from the UK, Denmark, Switzerland, and the United States. Finally, we extended a mathematical model that has been extensively used to forecast COVID-19 dynamics in the UK to consider two competing SARS-CoV-2 lineages: VOC 202012/01 and preexisting variants. By fitting this model to a variety of data sources on infections, hospitalizations, and deaths across seven regions of England, we assessed different hypotheses for why the new variant appears to be spreading more quickly, estimated the severity of disease associated with the new variant, and evaluated control measures including vaccination and nonpharmaceutical interventions. Combining multiple lines of evidence allowed us to draw robust inferences. ### RESULTS The rapid spread of VOC 202012/01 is not an artifact of geographical differences in contact behavior and does not substantially differ by age, sex, or socioeconomic stratum. We estimate that the new variant has a 43 to 90% higher reproduction number (range of 95% credible intervals, 38 to 130%) than preexisting variants. Similar increases are observed in Denmark, Switzerland, and the United States. The most parsimonious explanation for this increase in the reproduction number is that people infected with VOC 202012/01 are more infectious than people infected with a preexisting variant, although there is also reasonable support for a longer infectious period and multiple mechanisms may be operating. Our estimates of severity are uncertain and are consistent with anything from a moderate decrease to a moderate increase in severity (e.g., 32% lower to 20% higher odds of death given infection). Nonetheless, our mathematical model, fitted to data up to 24 December 2020, predicted a large surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths in 2021, which has been borne out so far by the observed burden in England up to the end of March 2021. In the absence of stringent nonpharmaceutical interventions and an accelerated vaccine rollout, COVID-19 deaths in the first 6 months of 2021 were projected to exceed those in 2020 in England. ### CONCLUSION More than 98% of positive SARS-CoV-2 infections in England are now due to VOC 202012/01, and the spread of this new variant has led to a surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths. Other countries should prepare for potentially similar outcomes. ![Figure][2]</img> Impact of SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Concern 202012/01. ( A ) Spread of VOC 202012/01 (lineage B.1.1.7) in England. ( B ) The estimated relative transmissibility of VOC 202012/01 (mean and 95% confidence interval) is similar across the United Kingdom as a whole, England, Denmark, Switzerland, and the United States. ( C ) Projected COVID-19 deaths (median and 95% confidence interval) in England, 15 December 2020 to 30 June 2021. Vaccine rollout and control measures help to mitigate the burden of VOC 202012/01. A severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variant, VOC 202012/01 (lineage B.1.1.7), emerged in southeast England in September 2020 and is rapidly spreading toward fixation. Using a variety of statistical and dynamic modeling approaches, we estimate that this variant has a 43 to 90% (range of 95% credible intervals, 38 to 130%) higher reproduction number than preexisting variants. A fitted two-strain dynamic transmission model shows that VOC 202012/01 will lead to large resurgences of COVID-19 cases. Without stringent control measures, including limited closure of educational institutions and a greatly accelerated vaccine rollout, COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths across England in the first 6 months of 2021 were projected to exceed those in 2020. VOC 202012/01 has spread globally and exhibits a similar transmission increase (59 to 74%) in Denmark, Switzerland, and the United States. [1]: /lookup/doi/10.1126/science.abg3055 [2]: pending:yes

via media.ifrc.org04/08/2021

New Red Cross Red Crescent analysis shows deep inequalities in COVID-19 response across Middle East and North Africa - International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

Beirut, 8 April 2021 (IFRC) – The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is seeking “urgent and sizeable investment” to ensure the region’s pandemic response leaves no one behind. While no one has been spared from the effects of COVID-19, the consequences of […]

via swissinfo.ch04/08/2021

Rallies, religious gatherings aggravate India's worst COVID-19 surge - swissinfo.ch

By Krishna N. Das and Sachin Ravikumar NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's COVID-19 cases have soared 13-fold in barely two months, a vicious second wave propelled by open disregard for safety protocols in much of the vast country. Election rallies led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other major figures, as well as crowded festivals and religious gatherings, have characterised the record resurgence of the new coronavirus. After quelling the first surge late last year, India's leaders let down their guard. Allowing or even encouraging dangerous behaviour, they underestimated the virus, reopening the economy too fast and too broadly, experts say. With daily infections hitting a record 127,000 on Thursday, the most in the world and the third day this week over 100,000, the third-hardest hit country is soaring past its mid-September peak of around 98,000 cases a day. Days after the health minister declared India's COVID-19 outbreak contained in late January, Mumbai reopened its massive suburban train network and authorities let tens of thousands of visitors into stadiums for international cricket matches. Many of the South Asian nation's 1.35 billion people ignored masks and social distancing, while politicians including Modi and Interior Minister Amit Shah greeted hundreds of thousands of mostly mask-less supporters at election rallies. When daily infections fell below 10,000 in early February, some experts predicted India would see only a modest second wave at most. We were really premature to celebrate, said University of Michigan epidemiologist Bhramar Mukherjee. This is a lesson, said Mukherjee, who leads a team of researchers modelling the trajectory of India's outbreak. The really treacherous thing about this virus is how silently it casts its footsteps. By the time you see the cases and deaths, the damage is done. Health Minister Harsh Vardhan told officials of 11 of the worst-hit states this week that people largely gave up on COVID-appropriate behaviour, became very careless as activity resumed. There have been elections, religious gatherings, reopening of offices, lots of people travelling, attending social functions, not following rules, little mask-wearing in functions like weddings, even on crowded buses and trains, he told a video conference. Vardhan himself has faced criticism for tweeting dozens of images and videos of party rallies. With 12.9 million cases, India remains close behind Brazil and well below the United States, which has recorded more than 30 million infections. India's COVID-19 deaths are above 166,000, although its fatality rate is one of the lowest in the world, partly because of its relatively young population. New Zealand on Thursday suspended entry for all travellers from India, including its own citizens, for about two weeks. GRAPHIC-India's daily COVID-19 case load - https://graphics.reuters.com/HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/INDIA/jznpnokqbvl/chart.png Authorities have imposed some curbs on movement, but federal ministers and industrialists have advised against another national lockdown. Last year's curbs thrashed the economy and threw millions of poor people out of jobs. Instead, an increasing number of states are imposing local curbs, including night curfews in mega-cities such as Delhi and Mumbai. Authorities have refused to call off a weeks-long Hindu festival, held once every 12 years on the banks of the Ganga river in the northern state of Uttarakhand. A successfully run Mahakumbh, which is expected to draw millions of devotees, is seen as crucial for the campaign of Modi's Hindu nationalist party in the state, which votes next year. Political parties have largely flouted COVID-19 rules during campaigns for multi-phase elections in four big states and one federal territory that started last month. Political leaders are themselves responsible for the resurgence by allowing the packed rallies, said Subhash Salunke, a former World Health Organization official who advises the worst-hit state, Maharashtra. The upward trend is going to be there for another couple of weeks. Shashank Tripathi, a professor at the Centre for Infectious Disease Research at the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru, said that even if most people are eventually exposed to the virus, there is no guarantee that it will not come back and infect you again. The lesson is the same for any country. (Reporting by Krishna N. Das in New Delhi and Sachin Ravikumar in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Neha Arora; Editing by William Mallard)

via swissinfo.ch04/08/2021

New Zealand suspends entry for travellers from India due to high COVID-19 cases - swissinfo.ch

By Praveen Menon WELLINGTON (Reuters) -New Zealand on Thursday temporarily suspended entry for all travellers from India, including its own citizens, for about two weeks following a high number of positive coronavirus cases arriving from the South Asian country. The move comes after New Zealand recorded 23 new positive coronavirus cases at its border on Thursday, of which 17 were from India. We are temporarily suspending entry into New Zealand for travellers from India, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a news conference in Auckland. India has recorded 12.8 million COVID-19 cases, the most after the United States and Brazil. It is now battling a deadly second wave of infections, and this week the number of daily new cases passed the peak of the first wave seen last September. The suspension will start from 1600 local time on April 11 and will be in place until April 28. During this time the government will look at risk management measures to resume travel. The suspension applies to anyone who has been in India during the past 14 days. It is the first time that New Zealand has extended any bar on entry to its own citizens and residents. I want to emphasize that while arrivals of COVID from India has prompted this measure, we are looking at how we manage high risk points of departure generally. This is not a country specific risk assessment..., Ardern said. New Zealand has virtually eliminated the virus within its borders, and has not reported any community transmission locally for about 40 days. But it has been reviewing its border settings as more infected people have been arriving recently, most of them from India. Pre-departure testing requirements reduced the number of positive cases coming from other countries but that's not been the case with India, Ardern said. We have looked into whether or not we have issues with accuracy of the pre-departure tests. That has not demonstrated that that's where the problem lies. So this suspension gives us the time to look at the problem more generally, she said. New Zealand on Thursday also reported one new locally infected case in a worker who was employed at a coronavirus managed isolation facility. (Reporting by Praveen MenonEditing by Shri Navaratnam & Simon Cameron-Moore)

via swissinfo.ch04/07/2021

Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus - SWI swissinfo.ch - swissinfo.ch

(Reuters) - Italy has recommended that AstraZeneca's COVID-19 shot only be used on those over 60 and Britain that people under 30 should get an alternative, due to possible links between the vaccine and very rare cases of blood clots. DEATHS AND INFECTIONS EUROPE * European countries should make their own decisions about how to handle the risk of rare blood clots from AstraZeneca's vaccine, based on prevailing infection rates and the availability of alternative vaccines, the EU drugs regulator said. * Germany is about to start bilateral negotiations with Russia to obtain its Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine, a source told Reuters. * Norway hopes to gradually unwind many restrictions by the end of June, but must see a decline in infection rates and hospitalisations before it does so, its prime minister said. AMERICAS * The highly contagious variant of COVID-19 first discovered in the United Kingdom has become the most common strain of the virus in the United States. * The Biden administration is in extended discussions with U.S. airlines and other travel industry groups to provide technical guidance for vaccine passports. * Brazil has recorded its first confirmed case of the highly contagious coronavirus variant discovered in South Africa. * Chile's health regulator has approved emergency use of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Chinese company CanSino. ASIA-PACIFIC * India reported a record 115,736 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, a 13-fold increase in just over two months, raising pressure on the government to expand its vaccination campaign. * Taiwan accused China of using an offer of vaccines to lure Paraguay to break off diplomatic relations. MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA * Algeria will start producing Russia's Sputnik V vaccine in September in partnership with Moscow, and part of the production will be intended for African countries. * Tunisia will extend its nighttime curfew hours and will prevent all gatherings and weekly markets, as intensive care units near maximum capacity in most hospitals. * Dubai will offer vaccines to official representatives of countries participating in Expo 2020 Dubai, due to be held from October this year to March 2022. MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS * Moderna Inc Chief Medical Officer Tal Zaks said the company should be able to provide a booster shot for protection against variants of the coronavirus by the end of this year. * The U.S. National Institutes of Health has begun a mid-stage study to determine the risk of allergic reactions to COVID-19 vaccines made by Moderna Inc and Pfizer Inc. * One in three COVID-19 survivors in a study of more than 230,000 mostly American patients were diagnosed with a brain or psychiatric disorder within six months, suggesting the pandemic could lead to a wave of mental and neurological problems. ECONOMIC IMPACT * Federal Reserve officials remain wary about the ongoing risks of the pandemic and are committed to bolstering the economy until its recovery is more secure, minutes of the U.S. central bank's latest policy meeting showed. * The U.S. trade deficit surged to a record high in February as the nation's economic activity rebounded more quickly than that of its global rivals and could remain elevated this year. * The S&P 500 and the Dow closed modestly higher and Treasury yields reversed slight losses after the Federal Reserve said that economic recovery remains far from complete despite showing signs of progress. (Compiled by Ramakrishnan M. and Juliette Portala; Editing by Barbara Lewis and Anil D'Silva)

via floorball.sport04/12/2021

Kloten-Dietlikon Jets Women's champion in Switzerland - IFF Main Site - International Floorball Federation

Kloten-Dietlikon Jets successfully defended their title from the 2018/19 season against the UHV Skorpion Emmental Zollbrück in the Swiss Women’s Superfinal. The Jets won the tight final 4-2 and also secured a ticket to the Champions Cup. No Swiss champions were crowned last season due to the Covid-19, but this year’s Women’s Superfinal took place […]

via schengenvisainfo04/10/2021

Slovenia Continues to Keep in Place its Border Restrictions Due to COVID-19 - SchengenVisaInfo.com - SchengenVisaInfo.com

Slovenia’s Ministry of Interior has announced that traffic-related measures imposed at the border will remain effective due to the current Coronavirus situation. However, there could be some changes applied, based on the epidemiological situation in other countries, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports. Due to the Coronavirus situation, authorities in Slovenia have narrowed down the list of countries the […]

via fodors04/08/2021

As the COVID Pandemic Took Over the World, I Experienced the Strangest Travel Day of My Life - Fodor's Travel

When we left New York on March 10, 2020, the strangest manifestation of the novel coronavirus so far was the mysterious and mostly annoying toilet paper shortage. Grateful to leave the anxiety of bathroom-stocking aside for a few days, we flew to Europe for an idyllic Swiss ski vacation. And so it was that we found ourselves approximately 4,000 miles from home when Trump announced a national emergency and subsequent travel ban and the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel coronavirus a global pandemic.

via finance.yahoo04/08/2021

Germany regulator sticks to age limit for AstraZeneca COVID shot - Yahoo Finance

Germany's vaccine regulator said on Thursday it would stick to its guidance to limit the use of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine to those aged over 60. The European Union's drug regulator on Wednesday left it up to individual countries on how to handle the risk of rare blood clots from AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine. The Paul Ehrlich Institute said in a statement its recommendation was based on intensive analyses of the current data situation, as well as the current pandemic situation.

via swissinfo.ch04/08/2021

Asia's rising coronavirus cases a worry as vaccine doubts cloud campaigns - swissinfo.ch

Singapore (Reuters) - India, South Korea and Thailand faced mounting coronavirus infections on Thursday, undermining cautious hopes that Asia might be emerging from the worst of the pandemic as worries about safety threatened to delay vaccination drives. India reported a record 126,789 new cases, the third day this week tallies have surged to more than 100,000, catching by surprise authorities who have blamed crowding and a reluctance to wear masks as shops and offices reopen. More infectious variants of the virus may have played a role in India's surge, some epidemiologists say, with hundreds of cases found of variants first detected in Britain, South Africa and Brazil. The alarming numbers have led to New Zealand putting a temporary ban on anyone arriving from India, even for the first time blocking New Zealand citizens from coming home, for about two weeks. We are temporarily suspending entry into New Zealand for travellers from India, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told a news conference in Auckland. New Zealand, which has virtually eliminated the virus within its borders, recorded 23 new cases at its border on Thursday, 17 from India. Two other countries that managed to largely keep the coronavirus under control during the first year of the pandemic were also grappling with new waves, though smaller than India's. South Korea reported 700 new cases on Thursday, its highest daily figure since early January, and the prime minister warned that new social distancing rules would likely be needed. Thailand, which has been planning a cautious re-opening of its tourist industry, reported a rise in new daily infections to 405 on Thursday, taking its total number of infections to 30,310, with 95 deaths. Adding to Thai worries, it has detected 24 cases of a highly contagious virus variant first detected in Britain, its first reported domestic transmission of the variant. Cases are also rising in parts of Europe but South America is the most worrying region of the world for infections, with cases mounting in nearly every country, the director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said on Wednesday. SUSPENDING SHOTS Asia's increasing cases comes as worries are growing over the safety of one of the most prominent vaccines aginst the virus. The European Medicines Agency on Wednesday said it found rare cases of blood clots among some adult recipients of AstraZeneca Plc's COVID-19 vaccine, although it said the vaccine's advantages still outweighed the risks. Both South Korea and the Philippines have suspended use of the vaccine for people under 60 because of possible links to blood clots, while Australia and Taiwan said they would continue to use it. Worry about the vaccine could delay immunisation drives in Asia, some of which are already dogged by supply problems. Campaigns in most parts of Asia lag those in places like Britain and the United States. Australia's programme to vaccinate its near 26 million people is more than 80% behind its original schedule. Authorities there had pledged to administer at least 4 million first doses by the end of March but could only deliver 670,000. The government blamed supply issues from Europe. While India's cases mount, vaccine centres in several parts of the country, including hardest-hit Maharashtra state, have been running out of supplies. China, where the novel coronavirus emerged in late 2019, is driving ahead with its vaccination campaign, administering about 3.68 million doses on Wednesday, taking its total number of doses given to 149.07 million, authorities said. Japan's vaccinations are far behind those in most major economies, with only one vaccine approved and about 1 million people having received a first dose since February, even as it struggles with new cases. Infections in Tokyo spiked by 545 cases on Thursday, adding to worries about the Olympics and Paralympics, delayed from last year and now due to start at the end of July. The government scrambled to calm a social media furore saying it was not looking to prioritise vaccines for its Olympic athletes, dismissing a media report that it was considering doing so. Japan is not insisting that arriving athletes be vaccinated but there will be frequent tests while they are in Japan. There will be no foreign spectators and a decision on domestic ones has yet to be made. (Reporting by Reuters staff; Writing by Robert Birsel; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

via swissinfo.ch04/08/2021

Chinese border city's Communist Party chief dismissed over COVID-19 outbreaks - swissinfo.ch

BEIJING (Reuters) - The top Communist Party official of a city in China's southwestern Yunnan province was dismissed from his post due to what the provincial government called a serious dereliction of duty in failing to prevent COViD-19 outbreaks in recent months. Yunnan's government said in a statement on Thursday that three separate COVID-19 outbreaks occurred within a half-year period in Ruili city, which borders Myanmar, under the watch of city's party chief, Gong Yunzun. The outbreaks, including a cluster that emerged last week, severely affected Yunnan and China's epidemic prevention efforts and harmed the province's economic and social development, the statement said, adding that Gong's dismissal should serve as a warning. News of the dismissal came as China reported 24 new confirmed COVID-19 cases for April 7, including 11 locally transmitted infections reported in Yunnan, doubling the total reported a day earlier. Ruili has imposed home quarantine, launched mass testing drives and began vaccinations in a bid to stop the disease spreading further. The city is a key transit point for Yunnan, which has struggled to monitor its rugged 4,000 km (2,500-mile) border with Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam for illegal immigration amid a wave of unauthorised crossings last year by people seeking a haven in China from the pandemic. The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, fell to six from eight cases a day earlier. The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in mainland China to date now stands at 90,365, while the death toll remained unchanged at 4,636. (Reporting by Beijing newsroom; Writing by Se Young Lee; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)