(Reuters) – China sent the military and thousands of healthcare workers into Shanghai to help carry out COVID-19 tests for its 26 million residents as cases continued to rise on Monday, in one of the country’s biggest-ever public health responses.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
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* Italy reported 53,588 COVID-19 related cases on Sunday, against 70,803 the day before, the health ministry said, while the number of deaths fell to 118 from 129.
* Brazilian health agency Anvisa issued a new set of rules for incoming international travelers, easing restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic as the health crisis subsides in the South American nation.
* Facebook-owner Meta is no longer requiring employees to have COVID-19 boosters to enter its offices in the United States, a company spokesperson said.
* Shanghai ordered its 26 million residents to undergo two more rounds of tests for COVID-19 as public anger grows over how authorities in China’s most populous city are tackling a record coronavirus surge.
* A recent rise in Taiwan’s domestic COVID-19 cases will not affect plans to gradually re-open as hardly any of the new infections have caused serious illness, Premier Su Tseng-chang said.
* China’s latest response to the Omicron variant is causing a chill. It suggests politicians pushing hardline COVID measures have the upper hand and that more anti-Omicron shock-and-awe may follow. That will lay a frost over the country’s budding economic spring.
* China’s transport ministry expects a 20% drop in road traffic and a 55% fall in flights during the three-day Qingming holiday due to a flare-up of COVID-19 cases in the country.
** Roche said the U.S. Food and Drug administration granted priority review to its Actemra/RoActemra for the treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalised adults.
* The World Health Organization said it has suspended supply through United Nations agencies of COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin, produced by India’s Bharat Biotech, to allow the manufacturer to upgrade facilities and address deficiencies found in an inspection.
* Chinese vaccine developer CanSino Biologics Inc said on Monday its potential COVID-19 vaccine using the messenger RNA (mRNA) technology has been approved by China’s medical products regulator to enter clinical trials.
* Singapore’s central bank is likely to tighten its policy settings at its review this month, the third time in a row, as inflationary pressures intensify due to global supply-side disruptions and an easing of the city-state’s border controls.
* The coronavirus pandemic’s grip on the U.S. job market notably loosened in March, two years after a state of emergency was declared, as the number of people homebound by COVID-19 concerns hit a new low and fewer people reported having to work remotely.
* Mexico’s government forecast economic growth of 3.4% for 2022, far below what the nation’s President was aiming for, a finance ministry document showed, as Latin America’s second-largest economy claws back losses from the COVID-19 pandemic.
(Compiled by Sherry Jacob-Phillips; Editing by Arun Koyyur)