Robert Jenrick urges Londoners to ‘splash cash and get back to work’ — as Bank of England warns of one million job losses



A cabinet minister today issued an unprecedented plea to people to return to central London to work and spend in shops, restaurants and cafés to save thousands of jobs.

Robert Jenrick said people with secure jobs “should be safely going out to shop and to use cafés and restaurants and getting back to work to support the economy”.

The strongly worded intervention from the Communities Secretary came as the Bank of England warned that the recovery from the worst slump in almost a century would be slower than initially forecast, though the downturn will not be as deep as feared.


In a further grim forecast, the Bank also suggested more than a million jobs could be lost by Christmas.

The Evening Standard has launched a Saving Central London investigation because so many jobs and businesses are under threat with so few workers, tourists and day-trippers visiting the city.

Asked about the centre of the capital being “hollowed” out, Mr Jenrick told LBC Radio: “I’m very concerned about London and city centres more generally. Many of our city centres are very quiet and we need to get back into them, using the Chancellor’s Eat Out To Help Out scheme, going to visit shops safely, it can be done.

“Shops and the hospitality industry are going to great lengths to make sure they are following social-distancing guidelines and those of us who can do so need to get out and support them now or else we will see, I’m afraid, further job losses and a loss of some of those fantastic businesses that we see in our cities.”

The minister urged those with “secure” jobs to go out and spend in shops, bars, cafes and restaurants (PA)

In a direct appeal to millions of people whose jobs are not under threat, he added on BBC Breakfast: “Those of us who can, who do have secure jobs, should be safely going out to shop and to use cafés and restaurants and getting back to work to support the economy.”

The economy has been gradually revving up as lockdown has been eased. Many firms in central London as well as some Whitehall departments are bringing staff back into their offices, but at a cautious rate.

However, concerns are now rising that some of the relaxation of the Covid-19 restrictions may have to be reversed as the number of cases rises, with several towns in the north — including Preston today, as well as Aberdeen — already bringing in measures to combat local surges in infections.

The Bank of England said today that economic output will not return to levels seen before the start of the pandemic until the end of next year.

In its quarterly Monetary Policy Report, it said the recovery from the deepest slump in almost 100 years would be slower than initially forecast.

The Bank expects GDP to contract by 9.5 per cent in 2020, less than the 14 per cent it originally predicted, with a nine per cent bounce in 2021. This compares with a forecast of 15 per cent growth in the last report in May.

The bank said the recovery had been “earlier and more rapid” than it had forecast in its last report in May, with lockdowns lifted more quickly than anticipated and online spending stronger.

However, unemployment is expected to nearly double to about 7.5 per cent by the end of the year as employers react to the downturn and the end of the furlough scheme with mass redundancy programmes. The forecast suggests that more than one million jobs will be lost by Christmas.

The bank’s Monetary Policy Committee unanimously voted to leave the benchmark interest rate at the record low level of 0.1 per cent and said there would not be a rise until there was “clear evidence” of a strong recovery. Forecasters Capital Economics said they expected the cost of borrowing to remain at this level or even lower for “at least five years”.

The committee also said it was currently considering whether interest rates could go below zero to help stimulate the economy.

Laura Suter, personal finance analyst at investment platform AJ Bell, said: “The bank now forecasts that UK GDP will return to its 2019 levels by the end of next year, meaning it’s expecting two lost years of growth for the UK.

“It’s buoyed by the fact that people are getting out and spending more, no doubt fuelled by the summer holidays and lots of people staycationing, while Rishi Sunak’s stamp duty giveaway has also put the rocket boosters under the housing market, with the bank saying it has returned homebuying to near-normal levels.

“However, the bank paints a bleaker picture on the outlook for employment and business spending and cautions that the UK’s future is ‘unusually uncertain’ thanks to the continued spread of the coronavirus.”

The UK construction industry expanded for the second month in a row in July.

The IHS Markit/CIPS construction purchasing managers’ index hit 58.1 last month, compared with 55.3 in June. Any reading above 50 represents an expansion in business activity.

Tim Moore, economics director at IHS Markit which compiles the survey, said: “Construction companies took another stride along the path to recovery in July as a rebound in house building helped to deliver the strongest overall growth across the sector for nearly five years.”



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Village Roadshow secures $70 million lifeline


Village Roadshow has secured a further $70 million in funding from its banks and the Queensland government as coronavirus pandemic-related restrictions continue to put financial pressure on the family-run business.

The theme park and cinema operator, which is in exclusive takeover talks with private equity firm BGH Capital, told the ASX on Thursday that it was still losing money despite re-opening Sea World and Warner Bros Movie World. It said that the new funding from the lenders and the Queensland Treasury Corporation would be used to keep the business operating over the next 12 months.

Sea World on the Gold Coast has re-opened, but parent company Village Roadshow is still strapped for cash.

The company’s theme parks were given the go-ahead to reopen at 50 per cent capacity after three months in June. The restrictions, which forced the company to close the parks, wiped about 80 per cent off the company’s value and pushed its shares down to a near-decade low of 77 cents.

Village, which had net debt of $280 million at the end of the last financial year, also announced a $35 million shareholder equity raise on Thursday to improve liquidity. The raise needs to be completed by February next year or, in the event a deal with BGH does not occur, three months after termination of a transaction.



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Latin America exceeds 5 million COVID-19 cases, Reuters tally shows



FILE PHOTO: People run at Ibirapuera Park after it was reopened as the city eases the restrictions imposed to control the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Sao Paulo, Brazil July 13, 2020. REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli

August 4, 2020

ASUNCION (Reuters) – Latin America broke through 5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Monday, a Reuters tally showed, underscoring that the region is the area of the world hardest hit by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The coronavirus was initially slower to reach Latin America – home to about 640 million people – than much of the world. But health experts say it has been hard to control the virus due to the region’s poverty and densely packed cities.

The more than 10,000 new cases reported by Colombia’s health ministry on Monday pushed the region past the 5 million mark, a day after the Andean nation reported a record 11,470 cases.

Latin America has now topped 200,000 deaths. Brazil’s total approached 96,000 on Monday and Mexico surpassed 48,000. The two countries have the world’s second and third highest death tolls, after the United States.

North America is the region with the second highest number of cases, with 4.8 million infections, according to a Reuters tally, followed by Europe and Asia, which have around 3 million infections each.

Latin America is particularly vulnerable to the virus due to high levels of poverty, urbanization and labor informality, according to a July 30 report by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean and the Pan American Health Organization.

More than 100 million people across Latin America and the Caribbean live in slums, according to the United Nations Human Settlements Programme. Many have jobs in the informal sector with little in the way of a social safety net and have continued to work throughout the pandemic.

“The pandemic has become an precedented economic and social crisis and, if urgent measures are not taken, it could transform into a food, humanitarian, and political crisis,” the report warned.

Latin America has also a high death rate from the virus, likely due to a number of factors, including high levels of underlying conditions such as diabetes and obesity.

(Reporting by Daniela Desantis in Asuncion and Oliver Griffin in Bogota; Writing by Adam Jourdan and Laura Gottesdiener; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Leslie Adler)





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Queensland prepares $150 million rescue package for state’s struggling universities

The Queensland governing administration will supply $150 million in loans to the state’s university sector, which has endured in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Countless numbers of persons right throughout regional Queensland count on universities for a task,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said on Sunday.

“This package will aid to hold all our universities open, safeguarding these positions.”

Universities will be able to implement for financial loans with five-calendar year compensation terms to support dollars stream, retain employees and retain exploration assignments.

Queensland universities, and universities throughout the region, have dropped profits for the duration of the pandemic soon after Australia’s borders were being shut, limiting the movement of global learners.

The Queensland university sector has reported it will drop much more than $1 billion this 12 months, putting 4000 work at hazard.

Until finally the pandemic strike, the worldwide university student current market in the state was well worth $3 billion a yr.

Individuals in Australia must continue to be at the very least 1.5 metres absent from other people. Look at your state’s limitations on accumulating restrictions.

If you are encountering cold or flu signs or symptoms, keep dwelling and set up a exam by contacting your doctor or speak to the Coronavirus Health and fitness Facts Hotline on 1800 020 080. Information and facts is offered in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus



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More than five million locked out of Queensland as border slams shut to Sydneysiders


Extra than five million New South Wales inhabitants can no longer enter Queensland after the point out closed its border to travellers from Bigger Sydney.

At 1am on Saturday morning, NSW residents who are living in the zone stretching from Campbelltown to the Central Coastline grew to become barred from coming into Queensland.

Queensland people returning from those locations will have to isolate in self-funded lodge quarantine.

Travellers on Friday queuing to check out in for flights to Queensland at Sydney Domestic Airport.

AAP

NSW recorded 21 new COVID-19 scenarios on Friday and shut 4 additional venues for deep cleaning and make contact with tracing.

With seven new conditions noted in Queensland this 7 days, other jurisdictions have moved to bolster border restrictions on the Sunshine Condition.

The Northern Territory selected Increased Brisbane, Ipswich and Logan as coronavirus hotspots as of Saturday morning.

Travellers who have frequented those people areas in the earlier 14 times will be essential to undertake two weeks of obligatory resort quarantine.

The NT had earlier declared Victoria, Larger Sydney, and the Eurobodalla Shire and Port Stephens in NSW as hotspots.

On Friday, Tasmania also introduced it would ban travellers from Queensland who visited premises linked to coronavirus conditions. 

The island state at the moment demands all non-vital travellers to quarantine but will lift that restriction on 7 August to residents from South Australia, the NT and Western Australia.

South Australian authorities have also urged residents to reconsider travelling to Queensland and warned new constraints could be imposed at shorter detect.

Authorities on superior alert

Queensland recorded a person new coronavirus scenario on Saturday, a Brisbane aged treatment employee who may perhaps have been infectious while at work.

The Pinjarra Hills facility she works at experienced presently been put into lockdown after her spouse tested optimistic to the virus on Friday. 

All 150 staff members and inhabitants are becoming analyzed.

Community health alerts have also been issued for 15 a lot more spots frequented by a 27-calendar year-previous Ipswich person joined to 3 females less than investigation for illegally getting into the point out.

Authorities imagine he contracted the virus after eating with his loved ones at the Madtongsan IV Korean restaurant at Sunnybank on 23 July.

“Alongside with 5 many others who are staying COVID-19 analyzed, they dined on a table adjacent to just one of the just lately identified cases who returned from Victoria,” a Queensland Health and fitness spokesperson said in a assertion.

Authorities say the guy visited the Garden Metropolis Purchasing Centre in Mount Gravatt on Sunday and Bunnings stores in Springfield and Oxley on Monday, as effectively as companies at Wacol, Richlands and Forest Lake.

The man and his spouse and children are now in self-isolation, with inhabitants who frequented the 15 spots urged to watch their wellbeing and get tested if they display coronavirus indications.

Friday’s circumstance was the second of neighborhood transmission linked to the traveller cluster, just after a sister of 1 of the women analyzed beneficial previously this week.

Wellbeing Minister Steven Miles mentioned the new circumstance underscores the significance of men and women offering precise get in touch with aspects.

“It underlines just how essential make contact with tracing initiatives are,” he reported on Friday. “More than 1500 contacts have now been traced related to these a few conditions.”

The three gals at the centre of the cluster allegedly lied on their border declaration passes when they arrived at Brisbane Airport from Melbourne, via a short stopover in Sydney, on 21 July.

Two of them examined beneficial eight times afterwards, sending elements of Brisbane into lockdown and sparking fears of a 2nd wave in Queensland.

All a few have considering that been billed with fraud and delivering wrong or misleading documents beneath the Community Health Act and are thanks to seem in Brisbane Magistrates Court docket on 28 September.

A criminal investigation unrelated to their journey to Victoria is also underway.

People in Australia will have to keep at the very least 1.5 metres absent from other people. Verify your state’s limits on gathering boundaries.

If you are going through chilly or flu indications, remain household and prepare a test by calling your medical doctor or make contact with the Coronavirus Wellbeing Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

Information and facts is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus

With AAP.





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Drugs worth $1.5 million seized in SA after police bust truck driver’s alleged ‘essential worker’ transport plan


Police will allege an interstate truck driver in South Australia was planning to use his status as an essential worker to transport more than a million dollars’ worth of drugs around the country.

Detectives raided an address in Lipson Street, Port Adelaide, on Tuesday, allegedly seizing 160 kilograms of cannabis, 500 grams of cocaine and $20,000 cash.

Officers from the Serious and Organised Crime Branch and the Australian Federal Police arrested a 52-year-old Mount Compass man at the scene.

They arrested a 43-year-old man at another address in Urrbrae.

Officers then searched a property at Evanston Park in Adelaide’s north, where they arrested a 37-year-old man and allegedly seized another $25,000 in cash.

All three men appeared in the Elizabeth Magistrates Court on Wednesday afternoon charged with drug trafficking and money laundering.

More than $1.3 million of cannabis and about $175,000 of cocaine was seized in the joint operation between SA Police and the AFP.(Supplied: SA Police/AFP)

Police alleged the value of the cannabis seized was about $1.325 million, while the cocaine was valued at about $175,000.

AFP Superintendent Gail McClure said the arrests showed that criminals should not think they could exploit the global health crisis.

“Police will allege an interstate truck driver was planning to use his status as an essential worker to transport drugs around the country.

“These arrests and seizures show that we are one step ahead and will continue disrupting criminal ventures and put people before the courts.”

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Exclusive: Scott Morrison’s high-flying $3.1 million travel and accommodation costs revealed


Scott Morrison has come to be Australia’s best-flying new Key Minister, paying extra than $3 million on intercontinental flights and lodging throughout his first 15 months in office.

It has been formerly exposed by SBS that Mr Morrison embarked on a lot more overseas journeys in his initially calendar year in place of work than just about every of his predecessors.  

New figures show the Primary Minister produced 17 global excursions to 19 nations throughout his very first 15 months in business, at a price of $3,105,537.

Figures released by the Department of Primary Minister and Cabinet and Defence show Scott Morrison’s Condition Go to to the United States of The united states was his most highly-priced international excursion, costing $527,840, together with $328,176 in Royal Australian Air Power flights.

Key Minister Scott Morrison and spouse Jenny get there for a condition go to in Washington DC.

AAP

The check out, in September 2019, was the initial abroad by a Key Minister onboard the new KC-30A aircraft, dubbed ‘Shark One’ by Scott Morrison’s aides.

The former business Qantas and JetStar plane was refurbished at a cost of $250 million.

The paperwork clearly show flights to Wapakoneta in Ohio, the place the Key Minister appeared on phase with President Trump at the Australian-owned Pratt Industries Paper Mill, price $17,553.

Ten of the Key Minister’s 17 global excursions value in extra of $100,000.

Scott Morrison’s minimum costly intercontinental pay a visit to was a $41,154 day journey to Auckland to fulfill with New Zealand Primary Minister Jacinda Ardern in February 2019. 

Top 10 PM Trips

  1. US State Go to, September 2019 – $527,840
  2. Uk / Singapore, June 2019 – $391,970
  3. G20 Argentina, November 2018 – $350,572
  4. G7 France, August 2019 – $291,747
  5. G20 Osaka, June 2019  – $287,735
  6. East Asia Summit Thailand, November 2019 – $174,504
  7. President Widodo Inauguration, Oct 2019 – $135,951
  8. UAE / Iraq, December 2018 – $181,135
  9. Pacific Island Forum, August 2019 – $119,450
  10. ASEAN Singapore, November 2018 – $115,851

“Every vacation the Key Minister makes is to advance Australia’s interests strengthening our investing associations and strengthening our countrywide security,” a spokesperson for the Key Minister advised SBS Information.

“As the Prime Minister has mentioned, he only travels abroad when it is needed and will deliver outcomes that reward Australian households and organizations.”

The spokesperson said the journey schedule bundled “additional outings to the common Prime Ministerial schedule” and did not involve deducting the cost of journalists accompanying the Prime Minister on abroad visits.

 

US President Donald J. Trump and Prime Minster Scott Morrison during a rally in Wapakoneta, Ohio.

US President Donald J. Trump and Prime Minster Scott Morrison through a rally in Wapakoneta, Ohio.

EPA

The COVID-19 pandemic has intended the Prime Minister has not produced any intercontinental visits due to the fact he attended the East Asia Summit in Thailand in November 2019, cancelling planned visits to Japan and India, co-internet hosting a sequence of “virtual summits” in its place.

“I hope that digital summits are section of the foreseeable future,” the Primary Minister told reporters in Canberra.

“I believe there is not often been a more frenetic time period in which an Australian Key Minister has engaged with other leaders but the traditional technique of leaders coming together also are not able to be underestimated.

“I suggest, I you should not assume it truly is a question of ‘either’ ‘or’, I seem forward to a time the place you can do equally.”

The bills have raised eyebrows in Canberra, notably provided the Prime Minister’s community critique of what he identified as “negative globalism”.

“Most Australians will see these travel charges as really significant and will not likely realize how it is that a Prime Minister could spend this amount of money on journey in just fifteen months”, Labor Senator Tim Ayres told SBS News.

“This Key Minter and his close friends in the authorities have been very vital of preceding Labor Prime Ministers who invested much less travelling all over the world putting Australia’s fascination to start with.”

 

Michael Shoebridge from the Australian Strategic Coverage Institute told SBS News the investment decision in meeting international counterparts in human being has probably served all through the pandemic. 

“If you want Australians to be risk-free and prosperous, then you want our government and our management to be engaged with the environment and that is a cheap rate for individuals outcomes,” he explained.

“Scott Morrison was at the G20 meeting in the center of last year and he fulfilled a bunch of earth leaders there.

“That intended that when the pandemic hit and folks couldn’t meet up with encounter to experience, he already experienced that reservoir of associations and rapport, he’s already achieved them physically, and that helps make the digital meeting far a lot more effective.”



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Coronavirus border and quarantine measures costing NT Police $2 million a month, Commissioner says


Northern Territory Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker says 16,000 people have crossed into the Territory since the NT reopened its borders on July 17, and nearly 400 people are now in mandatory supervised quarantine.

Anyone who enters the NT from a coronavirus hotspot — which includes Port Stephens, the Eurobodalla Shire, Victoria and Greater Sydney — must undergo two weeks of supervised quarantine upon their arrival at a personal cost of $2,500.

Last week, two men were flown out of a remote Northern Territory town and placed in supervised quarantine after they “falsely declared” they had not been in a designated coronavirus hotspot.

Commissioner Chalker said in a separate incident there was another person who may have also misled police.

“There’s another individual that we’re currently looking at as well who has gone back into mandatory quarantine … we’re just gathering the further evidence to refer a charge,” he said.

The NT Government says police will remain on the border “indefinitely”.(ABC: Samantha Jonscher)

$2 million in COVID-19 response

It is costing NT Police about $2 million a month to patrol the Territory’s borders and ensure people are complying with COVID-19 restrictions, Commissioner Chalker says.

“We’re probably doing that far more cost-effectively than most because we have the advantage of the Australian Federal Police cost not being worn by the Northern Territory Government,” he said.

This Friday, the number of AFP officers helping enforce the NT’s COVID-19 measures will be cut by more than half.

“At their peak, there was 102, they’re now going to reduce down to 30 by conclusion of business this Friday,” Commissioner Chalker said.

“That’s a transfer we need to pick up.”

Commissioner Chalker said Darwin watch house had closed to make sure there were enough officers tasked to the coronavirus response.

“We do need to prioritise our resource deployment,” he said.

“There’s a number of services that we have to diminish because of that.”

Silhouettes of a family walk past an airport window as a plane takes off outside.
Commissioner Chalker said most people who had entered the NT since borders opened were travelling by road.(Supplied: Adobe Stock)

131 additional police promised

On Monday, NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner announced additional police staff, including auxiliary and community liaison officers, to help patrol the NT’s borders.

The announcement includes 66 frontline constables, 30 Aboriginal Liaison Officers, 10 Aboriginal community police officers and 25 support staff.

And while the Northern Territory Police Association welcomed the announcement, its president Paul McCue is calling for a funding breakdown to make sure there is enough money for what is being promised by Government.

“The government must ensure our members have the staffing and resourcing to provide a sustainable, long-term policing model on our borders and to undertake monitoring and quarantine compliance duties while ensuring day-to-day policing is not adversely impacted,” Mr McCue said.

“Border locations must also have an appropriate infrastructure investment, to cater for this new long-term policing function.”

Mr Gunner said police would remain on the border “indefinitely”.



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Number of global COVID-19 cases tops 16 million


The global number of coronavirus cases crossed 16 million on Sunday, according to renowned resource centre Johns Hopkins University and AFP tallies.

The pandemic has killed more than 645,715 people worldwide since it surfaced in China late last year.

The United States is the worst hit country with the highest infection rate, registering 4,178,021 infections and 146,460 dead.

Brazil has the second highest rate of infection, with 2.3 million cases while India places third, with 1.3 million.

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Latin America and the Caribbean have recorded 4,328,915 cases and 182,501 dead followed by Europe on 3,052,108 cases and 207,734 dead. Figures remained worryingly high in South Africa after confirming more than 12,000 new coronavirus cases. The total in the country has reached more than 434,000 and 6,60 deaths.

Meanwhile, Australia suffered its deadliest day since the pandemic began, with 10 fatalities and a rise in new infections despite an intense lockdown effort.

State Premier Daniel Andrews said the deaths included seven men and three women. A man in his 40s became one of the youngest COVID-19 fatalities in Australia.

The spread of the pandemic continues to accelerate and more than five million cases — nearly a third — have been declared since July, which represents a third of the total number of cases since the pandemic began.

The World Health Organization says more than a million cases had been recorded in each of the last five weeks while experts say the number is likely much higher than those reported.

There were more than 280,000 new cases recorded globally on both Thursday and Friday last week, the highest daily rises since the virus emerged in China late last year, according to an AFP count based on official sources — an alarming uptick in the spread of the virus.

“While no country is unaffected, this rise is driven by high transmission in large and populous countries in the Americas and South Asia,” WHO said in a statement on Saturday.

North Korea declared its first suspected coronavirus case on Sunday, becoming one of the last countries to do so as the number of people infected worldwide passed 16 million.

The isolated, impoverished state had until now insisted it had not detected a single COVID-19 case — even as the pandemic swept the planet, overwhelming health systems and trashing the global economy.

“The vicious virus could be said to have entered the country,” leader Kim Jong Un said, according to the official KCNA news agency.

Africa now has more than 828,000 cases. The true number of cases on the continent of 1.3 billion people is unknown because of testing shortages and insufficient data.

The World Health Organization has said more than 10,000 health workers in Africa have been infected, many of them nurses, further challenging efforts to contain the virus spread.

The country with the highest number of deaths compared to its population is Belgium with 85 fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Britain with 67, Spain 61, Italy 58, and Sweden 56.

The spiralling numbers are particularly worrying because the tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the WHO, probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections.

Many countries are testing only symptomatic or the most serious cases while others still have limited testing capacity.

As governments worldwide struggle to contain the virus despite long and economically crippling lockdowns imposed on millions of people, a new survey suggested that faith in authorities is dwindling in six rich nations.

Populations in France, Germany, Britain, Japan, Sweden and the US widely believed death and infection figures to be higher than recorded, according to the study, which polled 1,000 people in each nation.

“In most countries this month, support for national governments is falling,” said the report by the Kekst CNC communications consultancy.

Fresh clusters, meanwhile, were emerging across Asia.

South Korea on Saturday reported its highest infections figure in nearly four months, while Vietnam recorded its first locally transmitted case in nearly 100 days.

Officials in China said they would introduce fresh measures and testing in the port city of Dalian, home to about six million people, after detecting fresh infections thee.



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