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International News


Visitors to a mall with a monster-themed festival wear masks to protect from the coronavirus in Beijing on December 26, 2020. Beijing has urged residents not to leave the city during the Lunar New Year holiday in February, implementing new restrictions after several coronavirus infections last week. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Beijing tells residents to stay put for holidays

The Associated Press

BEIJING (AP) — Beijing has urged residents not to leave the city during the Lunar New Year holiday in February, implementing new restrictions after several coronavirus infections last week.

Two domestic cases were reported on Friday — a convenience store worker and a Hewlett Packard Enterprise employee. Another two asymptomatic cases were discovered in Beijing earlier in the week.

Beijing is conducting testing on a limited scale in the neighborhoods and workplaces where the cases were found.

To contain any new outbreaks, the Beijing government cancelled big gatherings such as sports events and temple fairs. It says applications will be strictly reviewed for any major events. Venues such as cinemas, libraries, and museums have to operate at 75% capacity, the government said.

It also called on companies not to arrange business trips outside the city and abroad.

The Lunar New Year is February 12.

Separately, officials in the northeastern port city of Dalian say they tested more than 4.75 million people for the coronavirus after 24 confirmed infections this month.

Authorities have shut schools and all public spaces in five neighborhood divisions in Dalian, and only essential workers can leave their compounds to go to work.

Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region:

Thailand

Health officials in Thailand say two new clusters of coronavirus cases have been found that appear to be linked to a major outbreak discovered a week earlier among migrant workers in an industrial province near Bangkok. The new cases were found in 19 members of a motorcycling club who held a holiday gathering on Lanta island in the southern province of Krabi, and in nine people who were in a gambling den in the eastern province of Rayong. On Saturday morning, 110 new coronavirus cases were reported, bringing Thailand’s total to 6,020. Sixty of the 110 were linked to the outbreak among migrant workers.

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