Fri, 21 Jan 2022

SYDNEY -- Australia's most populous state of New South Wales (NSW) confirmed its ninth case of the Omicron variant on Friday, which aroused concern over possible community transmission of the highly infectious new strain.

The new case is a student at a local school in western Sydney with "no overseas travel history or links to people with overseas travel history," raising concern that the virus may have been acquired in the community, according to the health department. (Australia-COVID-Omicron)

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KUALA LUMPUR -- Professionalism and close cooperation of the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) and its Malaysian partners in the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) bodes well for the megaproject, Malaysian Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong has said.

Wee commended on Thursday the CCCC for its five commitments to the project including environmental sustainability, safety, uplifting local talent, localization of supply chain and innovation, at a media event following the ECRL Press Conference and Document Handover Ceremony for Section C (Northern Alignment). (Malaysia-China-ECRL)

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WELLINGTON -- The New Zealand government has increased funding to expand intensive care-type services, with plans to spend hundreds of millions of New Zealand dollars, Health Minister Andrew Little said on Friday.

"Through good planning, we have avoided what the COVID-19 pandemic has done in some countries, where hospitals have been over-run," Little said in a statement.

He said the ICU facilities have remained available for every person needing that level of care, whether they have COVID-19 or something else. (New Zealand-COVID-19-ICU Funding)

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NEW DELHI -- India's COVID-19 tally rose to 34,615,757 on Friday as 9,216 new cases were registered during the past 24 hours across the country, showed the federal health ministry's latest data.

Besides, as many as 391 deaths due to the pandemic since Thursday morning took the total death toll to 470,115. (India-COVID-19)

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