China reported 20,472 new daily Covid cases for Tuesday, as widespread lockdowns and mass testing in Shanghai and other parts of the country turn up a rising number of infections.
The current outbreak has already surpassed the number of infections found in the early days of the pandemic, before testing was easily available, and encompasses a much broader swath of the nation. While President Xi Jinping is committed to getting the conflagration under control, his request to do so with limited economic consequences is getting harder to implement.
Shanghai remains the hotspot for the current flareup, despite a sweeping lockdown of its 25 million people. Originally intended to be carried out in two parts, the rising number of infections led to expanding the restrictions in the eastern portion of the city that were initially expected to be lifted last week.
There were 311 local infections and 16,766 asymptomatic cases in Shanghai, and another 973 infections and 1,798 asymptomatic cases in Jilin, a northeastern province that has been locked down since mid-March.
The Canadian government has tabled a legislation in parliament that will compel digital media giants to enter into revenue sharing agreements with news organisations. Called Bill C-18, it will be the Online News Act once passed, and that is a likely outcome as it enjoys broad support cutting across party lines. Among the digital behemoths that the bill will impact are Google and Meta, the parent company of Facebook.
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will not resign from his post despite the countrywide protests calling for the leader to step down over his handling of the ongoing economic crisis, minister Johnston Fernando told the Parliament on Wednesday. “May I remind you that 6.9 million people voted for the president,” said the chief government whip and highways minister in Parliament amid outrage by the opposition in the Sri Lankan Parliament, according to news agency Reuters.
Police in Romania’s capital, Bucharest, said on Wednesday that a car crashed into the gates of the Russian embassy in the city, bursting into flames, and killing the driver. The incident took place a day after Romania expelled as many as 10 Russian diplomats from the Russian embassy in the capital city. In recent days, several European nations have expelled Russian diplomats due to Moscow’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24.
Pakistan’s supreme court is meeting for the third time Wednesday to rule on the legality of political manoeuvres that led Prime Minister Imran Khan to dissolve the national assembly over the weekend and call for fresh elections. The court says it will only rule on whether the deputy speaker acted against the constitution in refusing to allow a vote on a no-confidence motion against Khan — although that would affect the dissolution of the assembly.
Canadian health authorities have recommended a fourth dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, or a second booster, for vulnerable demographic groups. The target groups to be prioritised will include adults over 80, seniors living in long-term care facilities or congregate settings. Nearly 57% of those above 18 have received a booster. Several provinces have relaxed Covid-19 restrictions, including dropping mask mandates or doing away with vaccine passports for certain activities.