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What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:

Millions more under lockdown in China

China posted its biggest daily jump in COVID cases in more than five months on Wednesday, stepping up containment measures that have seen four cities put under lockdown.

Most of the new cases were reported near the capital, Beijing, but a province in the far northeast also saw a rise in infections, amid a resurgence that has seen more than 28 million people put under home quarantine.

While the Chinese city of Wuhan was the initial epicenter of the novel coronavirus, which emerged there in late 2019, China had in recent months largely kept it at bay.

U.S. to require negative tests for air passengers

Nearly all air travelers will need to present a negative coronavirus test to enter the United States under expanded testing requirements announced on Tuesday.

All travelers aged 2 and older must comply except passengers who are only transiting through the United States. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will also consider waivers of testing requirements for airlines flying to countries with little or no testing capacity, including some places in the Caribbean.

The order dramatically broadens a requirement imposed on Dec. 28 for travelers arriving from the UK as a more transmissible variant of the virus circulated there.

Bolsonaro sabotaged anti-COVID efforts, says rights body

Brazil’s right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro has tried to sabotage efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 in his country and pursued policies that undermine the rights of Brazilians, Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday.

Other institutions have stepped up to protect Brazilians and blocked some of Bolsonaro’s most damaging policies, the rights group said in the Brazil chapter of its annual world report.

Bolsonaro wanted to remove the authority of states to restrict people’s movements, as they sought to contain the world’s second-deadliest coronavirus outbreak after the United States, but the Supreme Court ruled against him.

Working people jabbed first in Indonesia’s vaccination drive

Indonesia launched one of the world’s biggest COVID-19 vaccination campaigns on Wednesday with President Joko Widodo getting the first shot of a Chinese vaccine as his country fights one of the worst outbreaks in Asia.

The drive aims to inoculate 181.5 million people, with the first to be vaccinated receiving the CoronaVac vaccine from China’s Sinovac Biotech, which Indonesia authorised for emergency use on Monday.

Unlike many countries, Indonesia intends to inoculate its working population first, rather than the elderly, partly because it does not have enough data from clinical trials on CoronaVac’s efficacy on older people.

Japanese cool to holding Olympics

Japan expanded a state of emergency in the Tokyo area to seven more prefectures on Wednesday amid a steady rise in cases as a survey by public broadcaster NHK showed most people want to cancel or postpone the already delayed Summer Olympics.

The governors of Osaka, Kyoto and other hard-hit prefectures asked the government to announce the emergency, which gives local authorities the legal basis to curb movement and business.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has been wary about taking measures that would hamper economic activity, while he has put on a brave face against the mounting challenges of hosting the Olympics, delayed from 2020, in Tokyo.

(Compiled by Linda Noakes; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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