Ahead of the February opening of the Winter Olympics in China, authorities are attempting to contain an outbreak of the omicron coronavirus variant in a southern city.
Officials in Zhuhai suspended the city’s bus service after uncovering seven cases of the highly contagious variant and advised residents to stay home.
In the next week or two, Americans will begin receiving free rapid home coronavirus tests from the U.S. government. Residents will have to request the tests on a designated website. The tests have been almost impossible to find in stores.
India’s health ministry on Saturday said it had recorded 268,833 new COVID cases, which is 4,631 more cases than were recorded Friday.
The Russian government on Friday delayed approving unpopular legislation that would have restricted access to public places without proof of COVID-19 vaccination, amid a surge in new infections.
The Associated Press reports the bill would have required Russians seeking to enter certain public places to have a QR code either confirming vaccination, recent recovery from COVID-19 or a medical exemption from immunization.
Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said the measure was pulled due to uncertainty regarding its effectiveness as it was drawn up in response to the delta variant of the virus that causes COVID-19. The omicron variant is currently driving a surge in new infections in the country.
She said 783 omicron variant cases have been confirmed across Russia. Moscow officials reported 729 confirmed omicron cases in the capital since Dec. 20.
Meanwhile, a French court suspended an outdoor mask requirement in the streets of Paris. The requirement had been imposed Dec. 31 in an effort to suppress the spread of the omicron variant.
A court in Versailles on Wednesday suspended a similar outdoor masking requirement for the Yvelines region.
The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reported early Saturday that 323.7 million COVID cases have been recorded and 5.5 million deaths. The center said 9.6 billion vaccines have been administered.