Світло в новорічну ніч: ДТЕК обіцяє забезпечити жителів столиці та кількох областей електрикою
ДТЕК відповідає також за забезпечення електроенергією Одеської та Донецької областей
ДТЕК відповідає також за забезпечення електроенергією Одеської та Донецької областей
Для себе у подарунок на Новий рік українці хотіли б отримати перемогу (25%) та мир (23%)
New Year’s Eve in China prompted an outpouring of reflection online, some of it critical, about the strict zero-COVID policy the country adhered to for almost three years and the impact of its abrupt reversal this month.
The sudden change to live with the virus has prompted a wave of infections across the country, a further drop in economic activity and international concern, with Britain and France the latest countries to impose curbs on travelers from China.
Three years into the pandemic, China this month acted to align with a world that has largely reopened to live with COVID, after unprecedented protests that became a de facto referendum against the zero-COVID policy championed by President Xi Jinping.
The protests were the strongest show of public defiance in Xi’s decade-old presidency and coincided with grim growth figures for China’s $17 trillion economy.
On Saturday, people in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the pandemic, expressed hope the new year would bring better fortune.
Several people in Wuhan bemoaned how widely the virus has spread after lifting of all the pandemic curbs, with one, 45-year-old Chen Mei, saying she just hopes that in 2023 her teenage daughter can resume normal classes over the long term.
“When she can’t go to the school and can only have classes online it’s definitely not an effective way of learning,” she said.
“Kids don’t have such good self discipline. And then for us adults sometimes because of the epidemic controls we have been locked up at home. It’s definitely had an impact.”
Thousands of users on China’s Twitter-like Weibo criticized the removal of a viral video made by local outlet Netease News that collated real-life stories from 2022 that had captivated the Chinese public.
Many of the stories included in the video, which by Saturday could not be seen or shared on domestic social media platforms, highlighted the difficulties ordinary Chinese faced as a result of the strict COVID policy.
Weibo and Netease did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
One Weibo hashtag about the video garnered almost 4 million hits before it disappeared from platforms around noon on Saturday. Social media users created new hashtags to keep the comments pouring in.
“What a perverse world, you can only sing the praises of the fake but you cannot show real life,” one user wrote, attaching a screenshot of a blank page that is displayed when searching for the hashtags.
The disappearance of the videos and hashtags, seen by many as an act of censorship, suggests the Chinese government still sees the narrative surrounding its handling of the disease as a politically sensitive issue.
Overwhelmed hospital, funeral homes
The wave of new infections has overwhelmed hospitals and funeral homes across the country, with lines of hearses outside crematoria fueling public concern.
China, a country of 1.4 billion people, reported one new COVID death for Friday, the same as the day before — numbers which do not match the experience of other countries after they reopened.
U.K.-based health data firm Airfinity said on Thursday around 9,000 people in China are probably dying each day from COVID. Cumulative deaths in China since Dec. 1 have likely reached 100,000, with infections totaling 18.6 million, it said.
At the central hospital of Wuhan, where former COVID whistleblower Li Wenliang worked and later died of the virus in early 2020, patient numbers were down Saturday compared with the rush of the past few weeks, a hazmat-suit wearing worker outside the hospital’s fever clinic told Reuters.
“This wave is almost over,” the worker said.
A pharmacist whose store is next to the hospital said most people in the city had now been infected and recovered.
“It is mainly old people who are getting sick with it now,” he said. “They have underlying conditions and can get breathing issues, lung infections or heart problems.”
New year, new challenges
In the first indication of the toll on China’s giant manufacturing sector from the change in COVID policy, data Saturday showed factory activity shrank for the third straight month in December and at the sharpest pace in nearly three years.
Besides the growing economic toll, rising infections after lifting of the restrictions also have prompted international concern, particularly regarding the possibility of a new, stronger variant emerging out of China.
Britain and France became the latest countries to require travelers from China to provide negative COVID-19 tests. The United States, South Korea, India, Italy, Japan and Taiwan have all imposed similar measures.
The World Health Organization on Friday once again urged China’s health officials to regularly share specific and real-time information on the COVID situation in the country, as it continues to assess the latest surge in infections.
China’s narrow criteria for identifying deaths caused by COVID-19 will underestimate the true toll of the pandemic and could make it harder to communicate the best ways for people to protect themselves, health experts have warned.
У столиці й досі є близько 300 будинків, для яких неможливо передбачити відключення електроенергії через технічні особливості
The World Health Organization met Chinese officials for talks on Friday about the surge in COVID-19 cases, urging them to share real-time data so other countries could respond effectively.
The rise in infections in China has triggered concern around the globe and questions about its data reporting, with low official figures for cases and deaths despite some hospitals and morgues being overwhelmed.
The talks came after WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged Beijing to be more forthcoming on the pandemic situation in the world’s most populous country.
The U.N. health agency said the meeting was “to seek further information on the situation, and to offer WHO’s expertise and further support.”
It said officials from China’s National Health Commission and National Disease Control and Prevention Administration briefed the WHO on China’s evolving strategy and actions on epidemiology, variant monitoring, vaccination, clinical care, communication and research and development.
“WHO again asked for regular sharing of specific and real-time data on the epidemiological situation — including more genetic sequencing data, data on disease impact including hospitalizations, intensive care unit admissions and deaths,” it said.
It asked for data on vaccinations delivered and vaccination status, especially in vulnerable people and those over age 60.
‘Timely publication of data’
“WHO reiterated the importance of vaccination and boosters to protect against severe disease and death for people at higher risk,” the Geneva-based organization said.
“WHO called on China to strengthen viral sequencing, clinical management and impact assessment, and expressed willingness to provide support on these areas, as well as on risk communications on vaccination to counter hesitancy.”
The U.N. agency said Chinese scientists were invited to engage more closely in WHO-led COVID-19 expert networks and asked them to present detailed data at a virus evolution advisory group meeting Tuesday.
“WHO stressed the importance of monitoring and the timely publication of data to help China and the global community to formulate accurate risk assessments and to inform effective responses,” it said.
China said this month it would end mandatory quarantine for people arriving in the country and that it had abandoned strict measures to contain the virus.
The surge in cases in China comes almost exactly three years after the first infections were recorded in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019.
Since then, more than 650 million confirmed COVID cases and over 6.6 million deaths have been reported, though the U.N. health agency acknowledges this will be a vast undercount.
The search for the origin of the virus remains unresolved, with Tedros insisting all hypotheses remain on the table, including the theory that the virus escaped from Wuhan’s virology laboratories.
Tedros has called on China to share data and conduct the studies requested by the WHO to better understand where the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 disease sprang from.
Резніков – росіянам: «Я точно знаю, що у вас залишився приблизно один тиждень, щоб зробити хоч якийсь вибір»
У ці дні будуть додаткові наряди поліцейських на вулицях у цілодобовому режимі
Киян просять бути енерговідповідальними «особливо зараз, коли всі готуються відзначати свята»
Ніхто з людей не постраждав
«Дуже сильно впали показники вакцинації, в переважній більшості через безпекові питання, на жаль»
У прикордонній службі уточнили, що від початку воєнного стану на українсько-румунській річковій ділянці кордону виявили 12 потопельників, тіла ще трьох чоловіків виявили у горах
In 2022, photographers with The Associated Press captured signs of a planet in distress as climate change reshaped many lives.
That distress was seen in the scarred landscapes in places where the rains failed to come. It was felt in walloping storms, land-engulfing floods, suffocating heat and wildfires no longer confined to a single season. It could be tasted in altered crops or felt as hunger pangs when crops stopped growing. And taken together, millions of people were compelled to pick up and move as many habitats became uninhabitable.
2022 will be a year remembered for destruction brought on by a warming planet and, according to scientists, was a harbinger for even more extreme weather.
In June, two young men sat smoking in front of a boat that had previously been under water. The waterline in parts of Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Nevada had dropped so much that the boat was now standing up in the mud. Such dramatic manifestations were seen in myriad places.
In Germany, drought combined with a bark beetle infestation left large swaths of Harz forest trees spindly, while in Kenya mothers struggled to keep their children nourished and animals died because of a lack of water. Along the Solimoes River in the Brazilian Amazon, houseboat dwellers found themselves living on mud instead of water, as parts dried up.
In eastern France, normally lush sunflowers looked as if they had been fried, their leaves withered, and seeds blackened. Similar scars on the Earth’s surface were seen in reef-like structures exposed by receding waters in Utah’s Great Salt Lake, the cracked bed of Hungary’s Lake Velence and the shrunken Yangtze River in southwestern China.
Storms and floods
While a lack of rain did damage in many places, in others too much precipitation altered landscapes and swallowed lives. Sometimes the same region, in a short amount of time, went from drought to deluge — what scientists refer to as a “whiplash effect.” This happened in parts of Yellowstone National Park last summer.
The country hardest hit by floods was Pakistan, with a third of its land submerged, millions of people displaced and at least 1,700 killed. But many countries were hit hard by storms.
In Cuba, a tropical cyclone in June led to so much flooding that rescuers moved through the streets of Havana in boats. Just a few months later, Hurricane Ian slammed into the island before continuing to Florida, leaving destruction and death in its wake.
Heavy floods were also seen in parts of Nigeria, India, Indonesia and numerous other places, while in one part of Brazil, a common aftereffect of flooding — landslides — killed more than 200 people.
To be sure, there were human attempts to better prepare and deal with flooding. One example: Chinese authorities continued to develop and expand “sponge cities,” which aim to use porous pavement and green spaces to absorb water and reduce the destruction of flooding.
Heat and fire
In recent years, wildfires have become commonplace across the Western U.S. amid a 23-year drought and rising temperatures. Compared to last year, there were slightly fewer wildfires in 2022 in California — the state routinely hardest hit — but many blazes still chewed through land and homes.
America was hardly alone. There were significant fires in Portugal, Greece, Argentina and many other countries. Images like a living room engulfed in flames, an evacuated woman clinging to a police officer and a man using a branch to protect his home were visceral reminders of the fury that fires unleash.
Along with fires, there were periodic bouts of extreme heat. A sweating British soldier, wearing a traditional bearskin hat outside Buckingham Palace, captured a reality for many Brits, as temperatures reached 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40.3 degrees Celsius), a record for the country.
How people coped with sauna-like conditions depended on the place. In Madrid, a fountain at an urban beach provided relief to parents and children. In Hungary, three people cooled off in a fill-up pool. And in Los Angeles, a woman stuck her head in front of an open fire hydrant.
In October, Wilbur Kuzuzuk pulled a spotted seal to the edge of the lagoon in Shishmaref, a town in western Alaska that is on the verge of disappearing because of climate change.
The 600 residents of the Inupiat village have stayed put despite increasing risks to their way of life, including their food supply, as warming seas encroach on land and warming temperatures hurt habitats. But residents like Kuzuzuk know Shishmaref’s days are likely numbered: Twice the town has voted to relocate, though nothing has been put in motion.
All around the world there were clear threats to the food supply. In India, floods damaged corn and other crops, leaving farmers no choice but to try to salvage as much as possible. In Kenya and surrounding countries, drought increased hunger and pushed villagers to dig ever deeper in search of groundwater.
Taken together, all these problems pushed millions of people to migrate. Perhaps nowhere was that clearer than in Somalia, where severe drought led to starvation and prompted thousands of people to flee. Many migrants ended up in makeshift camps, like the one in Dollow, emaciated, young children in tow, desperately seeking food and water.
Much of the migration happened within borders. In India’s Ladakh region, a cold mountainous desert that borders China and Pakistan, shrinking grazable land, along with other effects of climate change, continued to force many to migrate from sparsely populated villages to urban settlements.
In Indonesia, a big driver of migration was encroaching seas. In Central Java, homes not outfitted with raised floors were swallowed, pushing those who didn’t have the means to seek other abodes.
In Kenya, a woman named Winnie Keben recounted how she lost her leg to a crocodile attack. She blamed the attack, in part, on the fact that rising water levels around Lake Baringo have brought animals closer to humans. Many scientists attribute that to climate change.
Keben’s home was also washed away, sending her family to another village.