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Coronavirus digest: China city curbs movement amid outbreak

September 12, 2021

Bus and train services have been suspended to contain a COVID-19 outbreak. Meanwhile, Australia and New Zealand have purchased more vaccines as the countries struggle with new cases. DW has the latest.

Chinese wear face masks outside after being told to wear face masks outdoors again in Beijing
In 2020, China declared the virus was under control but has recently seen outbreaks of the contagious delta variantImage: STEPHEN SHAVER/newscom/picture alliance

Authorities in the Chinese city of Putian on Sunday suspended bus and train services and closed bars, cinemas and other facilities, as authorities try to curb a coronavirus outbreak.

Putian, a city of 2.9 million people, reported 19 new cases of COVID-19 infections on Sunday. All cases are believed to be locally acquired.

Residents of the city in Fujian province have been advised not to leave. Those who need to make essential trips away should provide proof of a negative coronavirus test within the past 48 hours.

Experts were sent to Putian to manage disease-control work, China's National Health Commission announced on Saturday.

In 2020, China declared the virus was under control , but the country has recently seen outbreaks of the contagious delta variant.


New Zealand has bought 500,000 vials of the BioNTech-Pfizer coronavirus vaccine from Denmark, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Sunday.

The move comes as the country witnesses a cluster of COVID-19 cases in its largest city, Auckland.

"There is now more than enough vaccine in the country to vaccinate at the world leading rates we were hitting earlier in the month, and I strongly encourage every New Zealander not yet vaccinated to do so as soon as possible," Ardern said in a statement.

The jabs are scheduled to arrive within days.

On Sunday, New Zealand reported 20 new locally acquired infections, all in the COVID-19 hotspot of Auckland.

Australia too has purchased an additional million doses of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine from the European Union as the country boosts its vaccine rollout amid record infections.

"Some good news today. A family-sized dose of hope for our vaccination program," Prime Minister Scott Morrison told the media in Sydney.

The purchase is a shot in the arm for the country's economy, which is at risk of sliding into its second recession in as many years due to strict virus lockdowns in the two most populous cities of Sydney and Melbourne.

Brazil's battle against the virus

These restrictions are slated to remain until 70% of the country's nearly 26 million population are fully inoculated, something that is not expected until the end of October.

On Sunday, the country's most populous states of New South Wales and Victoria saw a slight dip in the daily case tally, with 1,262 and 392 COVID-19 cases respectively.

The state of Queensland, meanwhile, managed to evade a lockdown after it detected zero COVID-19 cases over the past day.


South Africa will shorten nightly curfews and allow citizens to buy alcohol for longer as the spread of the third wave of the pandemic slowed around the country.

President Ramaphosa announced on Sunday that the country was going to level 2 of a five tier system of coronavirus restrictions as the threat receded.


United Kingdom Health Secretary Sajid Javid on Sunday canceled plans to bring in a vaccine passport for entry to nightclubs and other crowded events across England.

"We've looked at it properly and whilst we should keep it in reserve as a potential option, I'm pleased to say that we will not be going ahead with plans for vaccine passports," Javid told the BBC.

The U-turn comes after Conservative Party members objected to the measure on the grounds that it gives more work to businesses and is against people's human rights.

More than 120,000 people protested across France on Saturday, as per official data, against the COVID-19 health passes that they say discriminates against the unvaccinated.

Participants in the demonstration expressed their opposition to the health pass as well as the separatism and global security laws in France
Protesters put their views against the vaccine passport and forced vaccinations in MonacoImage: Cyril Dodergny/MAXPPP/picture alliance

Health passes are required in France to enter cafes, restaurants and other public places.

The interior ministry said 121,000 people had taken part in the demonstrations, 19,000 of them in Paris where police detained 85 people after clashes broke out.

In North Macedonia, hundreds of people marched on Saturday to commemorate the 14 people killed in a blaze at a COVID-19 field hospital earlier this week.

People took part in a silent march through central Tetovo and kneeled in front of the destroyed hospital.

The fire that broke out on Wednesday is believed to have started by accident, but a probe is still underway.

As COVID-19 cases continued to climb in Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel started an action week to encourage citizens to get vaccinated


A number of westland lowland gorillas tested positive for COVID-19 at Zoo Atlanta in Georgia, United States, vets at the zoo said.

After the gorillas started coughing and showed other coronavirus symptoms, preliminary tests on the animals came up positive, forcing vets to test and vaccinate all 20 gorillas at the zoo.

Several gorillas zoos have tested positive for the coronavirus in the United States
A number of gorillas caught COVID-19 at US zoos, leading to Zoetis animal vaccinationsImage: Ken Bohn/San Diego Zoo Safari Park/AP/picture alliance

Zoo Atlanta revealed that an asymptomatic worker was to blame but said "there is no data to suggest that zoo animals can transmit the virus to humans."

jc,dvv/rc (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)