China locks down Peking University for COVID case, showing commitment to zero COVID policy

China locks down Peking University for COVID case, showing commitment to zero COVID policy

Chinese authorities have closed Peking University after finding a single case of COVID, evidence of their continued commitment to the country’s zero COVID policy.

Beijing has reported more than 350 new cases in the past 24 hours, which is a small fraction of its population of 21 million, but still enough to trigger localized lockdowns and quarantines under the zero- COVID from China, as reported by The Associated Press. Nationally, China has reported around 20,000 cases, up from around 8,000 a week ago.

Authorities are trying to move away from lockdowns, like those seen earlier this year in Shanghai, which have frustrated residents and sparked protests. And revised national guidelines released last week called on local governments to follow a focused, science-based approach that avoids unnecessary measures. But that doesn’t mean the end of zero-COVID, a policy that has hurt the country’s economy.

Peking University has over 40,000 students across multiple campuses, mostly in Beijing. It is unclear how many have been affected by the new lockdown. The 124-year-old institution is one of China’s top universities and has been a center of student protest in previous decades. Its graduates include leading intellectuals, writers, politicians and businessmen.

The news comes as known US cases of COVID are rising again for the first time in months. The daily average for new cases stood at 39,414 on Tuesday, according to a New York Times tracker, up 2% from two weeks ago.

Cases are climbing in 29 states, as well as Washington, DC, Guam and Puerto Rico. They were up 868% in Nebraska two weeks ago, with an average of 16 cases per 100,000 people. Cases rose 77% in Utah, 54% in Oklahoma and 53% in Arizona.

Average daily U.S. hospitalizations are up 2% at 27,807, but are up by higher rates in western states, led by Colorado at 67%, Arizona at 60 % and Nevada at 45%.

On a more positive note, the daily death toll continues to fall and is now down 15%, to 292, from two weeks ago.

Doctors are reporting high numbers of respiratory illnesses like RSV and influenza earlier than the typical winter peak. Brianna Abbott of the WSJ explains what the early surge means for the winter months. Photo illustration: Kaitlyn Wang

Coronavirus update: MarketWatch’s Daily Roundup organizes and reports all the latest developments each day of the week since the start of the coronavirus pandemic

Other COVID-19 news you should know:

• A federal judge has approved a nearly $58 million settlement in a class action lawsuit filed in response to the deaths of dozens of veterans who contracted COVID-19 at a Massachusetts veterans’ home, the report reports. ‘AP. “It is with heavy hearts that we have come to the finish line in this case,” plaintiffs’ attorney Michael Aleo said Tuesday, the day after a U.S. District Court judge approved the settlement. Springfield. The coronavirus outbreak at the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke in the spring of 2020 was one of the deadliest outbreaks in a long-term care facility in the United States.

• Australian health authorities have recommended against receiving a fifth COVID vaccine, although they have urged those who are eligible to register for their remaining booster doses as the country’s latest wave of COVID grows rapidly, reported Reuters. Average daily cases were 47% higher last week than the previous week, Health Minister Mark Butler told a news conference on Tuesday, announcing the new vaccination recommendations. But cases remain 85% below the previous peak in late July.

• A federal judge on Tuesday ordered the Biden administration to lift Trump-era asylum restrictions that have been a cornerstone of border enforcement since the pandemic began, the AP reported separately. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled in Washington that the app must stop immediately for families and single adults, calling the ban “arbitrary and capricious.” The administration did not apply it to children traveling alone. Within hours, the Justice Department asked the judge to let the order take effect on Dec. 21, giving him five weeks to prepare. The plaintiffs, including the American Civil Liberties Union, did not object to the delay.

Here’s what the numbers say:

The global tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases topped 635.9 million on Wednesday, while the death toll topped 6.61 million, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University.

The United States leads the world with 98 million cases and 1,075,112 deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracker shows that 227.8 million people living in the United States, or 68.6% of the total population, are fully immunized, meaning they have received their first shots.

So far, only 31.4 million Americans have had the updated COVID booster that targets the original virus and omicron variants, or 10.1% of the overall population.

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