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A man and woman wearing masks to help protect themselves from the coronavirus share a smartphone on the street in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. A global team of researchers for the World Health Organization arrived Thursday in the Chinese city where the coronavirus pandemic was first detected to conduct a politically sensitive investigation into its origins amid uncertainty about whether Beijing might try to prevent embarrassing discoveries. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

The Latest: China says COVID-19 hospitalizations above 1,000

Jan. 14, 2021 9:40 PM EST

BEIJING — China says it is now treating more than 1,000 people for COVID-19 as numbers of cases continue to surge in the country’s north. The National Health Commission said Friday that 1,001 patients are under care for the disease, 26 of them in serious condition. It says 144 total new cases were...

A woman wearing mask to help protect herself from the coronavirus stands in the sun as she walks her dogs in Beijing on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. With next month's Lunar New Year travel rush looming, the government is telling people to stay put as much as possible and not travel to or from the capital Beijing. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

The Latest: 2 Chinese cities urge people to stay at home

Jan. 9, 2021 12:33 AM EST

BEIJING — Chinese authorities are asking residents in two cities south of Beijing to stay home for seven days as they try to stamp out a coronavirus outbreak in which more than 300 people have tested positive in the past week. According to official notices on social media, the cities of Shijiazhuang and...

People wearing face masks to protect against the spread of the coronavirus walk through an upscale shopping mall in Beijing, Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. A city in northern China is offering rewards of 500 yuan ($77) for anyone who reports on a resident who has not taken a coronavirus test. The offer from the government of Nangong comes as millions in the city and the surrounding province of Hebei are being tested as part of efforts to control China's most serious recent outbreak of infections. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Asia Today: China city offers cash for tip on test evaders

Jan. 8, 2021 6:40 AM EST

BEIJING (AP) — A city in northern China is offering rewards of 500 yuan ($77) for anyone who reports on a resident who has not taken a recent coronavirus test. The offer from the government of Nangong comes as millions in the city and its surrounding province of Hebei are being tested as part of efforts to...

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, a medical staff in a protective suit prepares to take a swab from a child near a residential area in Shijiazhuang in north China's Hebei province on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. Lockdown measures were being imposed in a northern Chinese province where coronavirus cases more than doubled in the region near Beijing that's due to host some events in next year's Winter Olympics. (Mu Yu/Xinhua via AP)

The Latest: China city offers rewards to root out untested

Jan. 7, 2021 11:07 PM EST

BEIJING — A city in northern China is offering rewards of 500 yuan ($77) for anyone who reports on a resident who has not taken a coronavirus test. The offer from the government of Nangong comes as millions in the city and the surrounding province of Hebei are being tested as part of efforts to control...

Shoppers wear masks as they walk around a shopping precinct in Sydney, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021. Masks have been made mandatory in shopping centers, on public transport, in entertainment venues such as a cinema, and fines will come into effect on Monday as the state government responds to the COVID-19 outbreak on Sydney's northern beaches, which is suspected to have also caused new cases in neighboring Victoria state. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

The Latest: Australia moves up vaccination start to February

Jan. 6, 2021 11:38 PM EST

CANBERRA, Australia — Australia is advancing the start of its coronavirus vaccination program to mid-February, with plans to inoculate 15% of the population by late March. The government had argued there was no reason for an emergency rollout that cut short usual regulatory processes as has occurred in the...

A woman wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus walks through a bar street Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. The Japanese capital confirmed more than 1500 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Asia Today: Tokyo cases hit record as gov't mulls emergency

Jan. 6, 2021 7:23 AM EST

TOKYO (AP) — Tokyo on Wednesday reported a daily record of 1,591 coronavirus cases as the national government prepares to declare a state of emergency this week to cope with a new wave of infections. Those needing critical care in the capital also reached a record 113 people, according to the metropolitan...

Migrant workers watch as other migrant workers and their families are carried in trucks to a field hospital for COVID-19 patents in Samut Sakhon, South of Bangkok, Thailand, Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. For much of 2020, Thailand had the coronavirus under control. After a strict nationwide lockdown in April and May, the number of new local infections dropped to zero, where they remained for the next six months. However, a new outbreak discovered in mid-December threatens to put Thailand back where it was in the toughest days of early 2020 (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

Thailand scrambles to contain outbreak, secure vaccines

Jan. 6, 2021 12:24 AM EST

BANGKOK (AP) — For much of 2020, Thailand had the coronavirus under control. After a strict nationwide lockdown in April and May, the number of new local infections dropped to zero, where they remained for the next six months. Thailand closed its borders, enforcing mandatory quarantines for its own...

A man wearing a face mask to protect against the spread of the coronavirus walks past a display of lanterns at a public park in Beijing, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021. China has designated parts of Hebei province near Beijing as a coronavirus high danger zone after 14 new cases of COVID-19 were found. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

The Latest: China's Hebei toughens virus rules over outbreak

Jan. 5, 2021 9:19 PM EST

BEIJING — China’s Hebei province is enforcing stricter control measures following a further rise in coronavirus cases in the province, which is adjacent to the capital Beijing and is due to host events for next year’s Winter Olympics. The National Health Commission on Wednesday reported 20...

Migrant workers and their families ride in the back of a truck as they wait to be admitted to a field hospital for COVID-19 patents, Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, in Samut Sakhon, South of Bangkok, Thailand. Thailand reported on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021, over 500 new coronavirus cases, most of them migrant workers who already were isolated, and the government said it was tightening movements of people around the country. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

Asia Today: Thailand counts more virus cases, limits travel

Jan. 5, 2021 8:34 AM EST

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand reported 527 new coronavirus cases, most of them migrant workers who already were isolated, and the government said it was tightening movements of people around the country. Thailand has been struggling with a sudden virus surge after months of hardly any cases of domestic...

Commuters wearing face masks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus crowd inside a subway train during a rush hour in Beijing, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021. Wary of another wave of infections, China is urging tens of millions of migrant workers to stay put during next month's Lunar New Year holiday, usually the world's largest annual human migration. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

The Latest: China makes parts of province high danger zones

Jan. 5, 2021 12:39 AM EST

BEIJING — China has designated parts of Hebei province near Beijing as a coronavirus high danger zone after 14 new cases of COVID-19 were found. Eleven of those cases were in Shijiazhuang city, where some events for the 2022 Winter Olympics will be held. An additional 30 people tested positive for the...