COVID-19: Hong Kong officials say too early to determine if outbreak is under control

A Hong Kong government pandemic adviser has said that the territory’s Omicron outbreak could end as early as next month, around Chinese New Year. The situation is expected to improve, provided there are no untraceable infections. Only five new locally transmitted cases have been reported. But that is enough for officials to question whether the city’s outbreak has been brought under control.

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Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam rejects criticism of her govt’s handling of Omicron outbreak

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has rejected criticism that her government was slow to react to the city’s growing Omicron outbreak. Dozens of Hong Kong residents have been forced into quarantine after experts found the virus was spreading in a residential building. Health authorities have also raised concerns about new clusters of infections. Mrs Lam was sparring with new lawmakers at the Legislative Council’s first meeting since Beijing’s electoral overhaul. She has announced plans to outlaw more crimes under the city’s sweeping national security law.

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Morrison says Australia must ‘push through’ Omicron outbreak

Australia must ‘push through’ the fast-moving Omicron outbreak, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said as infections surpassed 1 million, and growing hospital admissions forced officials to restore curbs in some states.

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China says COVID-19 outbreak in Xi’an ‘effectively controlled’ as cases decline

The COVID-19 outbreak in China’s Xi’an has been "effectively controlled". Officials said the city has largely been cleared of community spread, even as over 60 fresh local infections have been confirmed. The city of 13 million people has been locked down for just over two weeks. Xi’an has suspended all international and domestic passenger flights until further notice. China is racing to stamp out the coronavirus as the Beijing Winter Olympics loom, as well as the peak Chinese New Year travel season on the horizon.

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Cruise off Portugal cut short after COVID outbreak

A German cruise ship ended its voyage early in Lisbon on Sunday due to an outbreak of coronavirus cases on board

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