Winter Olympics tickets will not be sold as China seeks to contain Covid

Tickets will instead by distributed to chosen groups amid first reported locally transmitted cases of Omicron

Tickets to the Beijing Winter Olympics will not be sold to the general public, but distributed to “targeted” groups, organisers have announced, in China’s latest attempt to control the spread of the highly-infectious Omicron Covid variant.

Beijing reported its first locally transmitted Omicron case over the weekend, piling renewed pressure on authorities in the run-up to the Games, which are due to start on 4 February and coincide with the lunar new year celebrations week, typically the biggest travel period of the year.

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from Coronavirus | The Guardian
via COVID-19 Alerts

China warns west against rapid interest rate rise

Xi Jinping says major economies need to be wary of ‘negative spillovers’ hitting global recovery

China has warned the US and Europe against a rapid rise in interest rates that would “slam on the brakes” of the global recovery from the pandemic.

Central banks should maintain the monetary stimulus or risk “serious economic consequences” from the spillover effects with developing markets bearing the brunt.

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from Coronavirus | The Guardian
via COVID-19 Alerts

Irish foreign minister orders inquiry into champagne party during lockdown

Photo shows department officials drinking Moët & Chandon in June 2020 while strict rules were in force

The Irish foreign minister, Simon Coveney, has ordered an inquiry into a champagne celebration involving officials in his department at the height of the first Covid lockdown.

A photo of the celebration in June 2020 showed about 20 officials drinking Moët & Chandon champagne, without wearing masks or social distancing.

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from Coronavirus | The Guardian
via COVID-19 Alerts

Sleep deprived NHS doctors: ‘I realised my error when the patient collapsed’

Exclusive: Four medics tell how extreme tiredness during pandemic has affected their ability to work

A survey has found that one in four doctors in the NHS are so tired that their ability to treat patients has become impaired. Here doctors reveal how tiredness, fatigue and sleep deprivation are affecting their ability to provide the best care for patients in the NHS.

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from Coronavirus | The Guardian
via COVID-19 Alerts

One in four NHS doctors tired to the point of impairment, survey finds

Exclusive: Patients suffering harm as a result of doctors being deprived of sleep during pandemic, says report

One in four doctors in the NHS are so tired that their ability to treat patients has become impaired, according to the first survey to reveal the impact of sleep deprivation on medics during the coronavirus pandemic.

Growing workloads, longer hours and widespread staff shortages are causing extreme tiredness among medics, leading to memory problems and difficulty concentrating, according to the report by the Medical Defence Union (MDU), which provides legal support to about 200,000 doctors, nurses, dentists and other healthcare workers.

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from Coronavirus | The Guardian
via COVID-19 Alerts

Schools rejecting offers of air filters that limit Covid spread, say parents

Some families say purifiers turned down by heads prioritising cleaning and open windows in absence of DfE guidance

Parents who offer to donate air filters that limit Covid transmission in their children’s classrooms are being turned down by some schools, say parents’ groups.

As headteachers report disruption caused by soaring staff absences, parents are buying high efficiency particulate air (Hepa) filters to supplement the 7,000 additional units that will be offered to schools in England by the Department for Education (DfE).

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from Coronavirus | The Guardian
via COVID-19 Alerts

Covid variants have led to worse global unemployment, says ILO

Joblessness will remain above 2019 levels until at least 2023 and damage will take years to repair, report says

The outlook for jobs globally this year has worsened markedly since last spring as new variants of the Covid-19 virus have slowed growth and restricted hiring, according to a report from the International Labour Organisation.

In its latest assessment of the state of the labour market, the Geneva-based ILO said unemployment would remain above 2019 levels until at least 2023 and the damage caused by the pandemic would take years to repair.

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from Coronavirus | The Guardian
via COVID-19 Alerts

Don’t buy from abroad, Chinese told as Covid threatens Olympics and holidays

Authorities claim recent Omicron case in Beijing came from package sent from Canada

Chinese authorities are urging citizens not to order goods from overseas, in the latest extreme measure aimed at curbing Covid outbreaks only weeks away from the biggest holiday of the year and the start of the Beijing Winter Olympics.

The advisory on overseas packages was issued after authorities claimed that a recent Omicron infection detected in Beijing came from an international package sent from Canada.

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from Coronavirus | The Guardian
via COVID-19 Alerts

UK politics live: Zahawi says Johnson is safe in his job and says Starmer should apologise for drink

Latest updates: education secretary refuses to answer question of whether PM is capable of changing the way he operates

Starmer says he knows Sue Gray, the civil servant doing the partygate inquiry. He says he respects here. But he says he is sure that her report will only establish the facts. It is not for her to decide whether or not the law was broken, he says.

Q: So the Sue Gray report will not be the end of this?

Once the public is now longer laughing with you, but at you, you are in a bad place as prime minister.

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from Coronavirus | The Guardian
via COVID-19 Alerts

Zahawi denies government is launching policy push to save Boris Johnson

Education secretary says he believes prime minister is safe in his job despite ‘partygate’ revelations

Nadhim Zahawi has denied the government is rushing out a series of policy ideas in an attempt to save Boris Johnson, arguing that the prime minister is safe in his job despite a string of Downing Street parties during lockdowns.

“I think Boris Johnson has done the right thing to apologise,” the education secretary told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, saying the prime minister should get credit for having correctly called “big, big decisions” in areas such as Brexit and vaccines.

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from Coronavirus | The Guardian
via COVID-19 Alerts

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