A World Transformed.
News Items mulls CNN bid.
1. China saw more than 5,000 new Covid-19 infections for the first time since the early days of the pandemic, as outbreaks of the highly contagious omicron variant prompt officials to lock down more cities and impose further restrictions. The were a total of 5,154 new cases Tuesday, of which 1,647 were asymptomatic, the National Health Commission said. While not a large number if compared globally, it’s a significant tally for China which has kept cases low for most of the past two years through a strict Covid Zero strategy that is now being challenged by omicron. More than 4,000 of the infections were in the northeastern province of Jilin, bordering Russia. The region of some 24 million residents was locked down on Monday to try and stymie what has become an explosive outbreak by China standards. The virus is starting to encroach on some of China’s most important cities. Langfang, which borders Beijing, was locked down early Tuesday, and the tech hub of Shenzhen was shut on Sunday, the most significant Chinese city yet to be subject to movement restrictions. Altogether, more than 45 million people are now under some kind of lockdown. (Source: bloomberg.com)
2. Fallout from China’s race to halt its worsening coronavirus outbreak is growing as authorities order lockdowns and other restrictions across more of the country. All 24 million residents of northeastern Jilin province, which borders Russia and North Korea, were locked down on Monday, the first time since Covid-19 was first detected two years ago in Wuhan that such restrictions have been imposed on an entire province. Shenzhen city began a weeklong lockdown on Monday, closing public transport, nonessential businesses and schools, while companies in Shanghai began shutting down over the weekend. Whether authorities can swiftly end the outbreak will not only test China’s pandemic strategies against the more infectious Omicron variant behind the latest wave, but also has major implications for the rest of the world. (Source: wsj.com)
3. A wastewater network that monitors for Covid-19 trends is warning that cases are once again rising in many parts of the U.S., according to an analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data by Bloomberg. More than a third of the CDC’s wastewater sample sites across the U.S. showed rising Covid-19 trends in the period ending March 1 to March 10, though reported cases have stayed near a recent low. The number of sites with rising signals of Covid-19 cases is nearly twice what it was during the Feb. 1 to Feb. 10 period, when the wave of omicron-variant cases was fading rapidly. It’s not clear how many new infections the signs in the sewage represent and if they will turn into a new wave, or will be just a brief bump on the way down from the last one. (Source: bloomberg.com)
4. After quietly raising hundreds of millions of dollars and building a team stacked with genomics pros, Element Biosciences announced on Monday the commercial launch of its new DNA sequencer — and with it, plans to rival industry behemoth Illumina. In a virtual event featuring the company’s leadership and partner organizations, the biotech boasted that its sequencer, Aviti, has the right blend of affordability, accuracy, and flexibility to disrupt the current sequencing landscape. And the startup’s executives — a number of them Illumina alums — say that’s just the beginning, adding that their technology could be adapted to study RNA, proteins, and cells. Pay attention. This is a big deal. (Source: elementbiosciences.com, statnews.com)
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