(Reuters) – Taiwan reported that the daily number of confirmed domestic COVID-19 cases had topped 10,000 for the first time, in line with predictions, and the health minister said infections would continue to rise.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
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* Taiwan reported that the daily number of confirmed domestic COVID-19 cases had topped 10,000 for the first time, in line with predictions, and the health minister said infections would continue to rise.
* China’s “dynamic COVID-zero” policy is taking a heavy toll on economic growth, posing significant challenges for companies and causing fatigue and frustration among residents.
* Beijing closed some public spaces and stepped up checks at others on Thursday, as most of the city’s 22 million residents embarked on more COVID-19 mass testing aimed at averting a Shanghai-like lockdown.
* Shanghai is making more resources available to improve vaccination rates among the elderly as daily case numbers decline and it looks for a way out of four weeks of stringent lockdown restrictions.
* Nepal is putting a 21st-century spin on a tourism sector dominated by activities unchanged for generations as it looks to boost a vital part of an economy decimated by the pandemic and soaring import bills.
* Face masks will remain compulsory in Italy on public transport and in some indoor venues until June 15, the health minister said.
* Formula One race directors Eduardo Freitas and Niels Wittich have both tested positive for COVID-19, raising questions about who will take charge of next week’s inaugural Miami Grand Prix, British media reported.
* Africa is seeing an uptick in COVID-19 infections, largely driven by a doubling in cases reported in South Africa, the World Health Organization said, urging people across the continent to continue to get vaccinated.
* The head of the World Health Organization will present a shareholder resolution at the annual meeting of Moderna on Thursday, to study transferring knowledge to facilitate the production of COVID-19 vaccines in low- and middle-income countries.
* Moderna said it asked U.S. regulators to authorize its COVID-19 vaccine for children under the age of 6, which would make it the first shot against the coronavirus available for those under 5 years old.
* The U.S. dollar touched its highest since 2002 on Thursday as the Bank of Japan strengthened its commitment to ultra-low interest rates, while U.S. and European shares rose with strong earnings reports offsetting gloomy U.S. economic data.
* The employment rate in the European Union climbed back above 2019 levels last year, as the labour market started recovering from the pandemic, Eurostat said.
* Hungary sees no obstacles to the European Union releasing billions in economic stimulus funds to Budapest, Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s top aide said, but the bloc’s executive disagreed, quoting corruption and anti-LGBT policies.
* China’s Jilin province, in the northeast, saw its economy shrink by 7.9% in January-March from a year earlier in a rare contraction after being overwhelmed by a wave of COVID-19 cases towards the end of the quarter.
* China’s policymakers are struggling to find ways to ward off an economic slowdown that threatens job losses in a politically sensitive year, as COVID-19 lockdowns disrupt supply chains and jolt businesses.
* The head of South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol’s transition team said his government would compensate 5.5 million owners of small businesses for losses suffered from COVID-19 curbs.
(Compiled by Dina Kartit, Aditya Soni, Vinay Dwivedi and Uttaresh.V; Edited by Shounak Dasgupta and Lisa Shumaker)