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Travel restrictions in Hong Kong can have dire consequences

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International business groups are urging Hong Kong to resume international flights after an assessment team warned that travel restrictions, imposed last week due to COVID-19 outbreaks, could have devastating effects on the territories’ economy.

Fitch Ratings said a new wave of restrictions on various social activities within Hong Kong and a further tightening of controls on international travel … are likely to dampen economic growth prospects.

Some Hong Kong executives who traveled overseas for the winter holidays found that they could not return to Hong Kong due to new restrictions that are designed to take effect for at least two weeks, but may last longer. Fitch said: “We believe that tightening restrictions on international arrivals will create further obstacles to the territories’ ability to serve as a regional headquarters for multinational foreign companies.”

of Cyprus Post reports that a scientist from the University of Cyprus and his team have discovered a new variant of COVID. Dr. Leontios Kostrikis told the publication that the deltacron has the genetic background of the delta variant and some of the omicron mutations.

The frequency of mutations was higher among those in the hospital, which could mean there is a correlation between deltacron and hospitalizations, Kostrikis said. COMMUNICATIONS.

The Australian state of New South Wales reported 16 deaths from COVID-19 on Sunday, its deadliest day in the two-year pandemic. The state, Australia’s most populous, already has 200,000 people in isolation and reported more than 30,000 new cases.

On Sunday, New South Wales Health issued a statement allowing essential workers to return to work if they have no symptoms, if their employer says they are needed. They should wear a mask and pass a quick daily antigen test. Some employers are reporting that half of their workers are staying home because they have had contact with an infected person.

Victoria, Australia’s second largest state, reported more than 44,000 new cases and four deaths, Reuters reported. The entire country will pass 1 million infections sometime Sunday, according to Australian Broadcasting Corp.

On Saturday, more than 100,000 people took to the streets across France to protest proposed new restrictions that would require vaccination evidence to eat out, travel on intercity trains or attend a cultural event . The turnout was four times higher than what the governments estimate of the 25,000 protesters who marched on December 18, Agence France-Presse reported.

People wearing face masks as a precaution against coronavirus wait for a bus in Hyderabad, India, January 9, 2022.

People wearing face masks as a precaution against coronavirus wait for a bus in Hyderabad, India, January 9, 2022.

Protesters also marched in several German cities on Saturday, demanding a ban on those not vaccinated against the coronavirus. The main demonstrations took place in Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Magdeburg.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced on Friday that vaccination proof or a recent negative test for COVID-19 will now be required to enter bars and restaurants in the country. Currently, vaccination certification is required to access many public spaces.

Protests against government restrictions on the coronavirus also took place on Saturday in Turin, Italy and Beirut.

Global growth

The number of deaths in the UK from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic reached 150,000 on Saturday, more deaths than any other European country except Russia. Britain reported a record 146,390 new cases on Saturday.

“The coronavirus has taken a terrible toll in our country and today the number of registered deaths has reached 150,000,” said Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a statement. “Our way out of this pandemic is for everyone to get their booster or first or second dose if they have not yet.”

India’s capital, New Delhi, closed on Saturday to stop the spread of the coronavirus, following a nearly quadrupled nationwide increase in infections over the past week alone. Most of the shops were closed, but some essential services remained open.

More than 140,000 new cases across the country were reported on Saturday, the most since the end of May, the health ministry said. It also reported more than 280 new deaths, for a total of nearly 484,000 since the pandemic began.

The rise in infections in India is fueled by the highly contagious variant of omicron, as political rallies attended by tens of thousands of people continue to be held by candidates before state elections are held later this year.

Some information about this report was provided by the Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.

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