China's gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 2.3 percent year on year in 2020, exceeding the 100-trillion-yuan (15.42 trillion U.S. dollars) threshold to 101.5986 trillion yuan, official data showed Monday.
The pace was faster than the 0.7-percent increase in the first three quarters, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.
In the fourth quarter of 2020, the country's GDP expanded 6.5 percent year on year, faster than the 4.9-percent growth in the third quarter, the data showed.
The country's economic operation has recovered steadily with employment and people's well-being effectively guaranteed, the NBS said, adding that the major tasks of economic and social development have been completed better than expected.
To soften the impact of the COVID-19 shock, the government has rolled out a raft of measures, including more fiscal spending, tax relief, and cuts in lending rates and banks' reserve requirements to stabilize growth and employment.
As the epidemic has been largely brought under control domestically, factories and schools have reopened and tourist sites across the country have resumed their usual hustle and bustle.
China's job market remained stable in 2020, with the surveyed unemployment rate in urban areas standing at 5.6 percent, below the government's annual target of around 6 percent, the data showed.
Value-added industrial output surged 7.1 percent year on year in Q4, accelerating by 1.3 percentage points from Q3 last year, NBS data showed. For the whole year, the indicator went up 2.8 percent year on year.
The fixed-asset investment saw a steady recovery, climbing 2.9 percent year on year in 2020, with investment in high-tech industries, healthcare and education surging faster than average.
Affected by the epidemic, retail sales of consumer goods fell 3.9 percent year on year in 2020. The indicator rebounded notably in recent months, rising 4.6 percent year on year in Q4, 3.7 percentage points higher than that in Q3.
Although the data have beat expectations, the NBS cautioned that there are still multiple uncertainties from changing epidemic situations and the external environment, assuring that the country would take further measures to consolidate epidemic control and economic development results.
Chinese state media say 12 out of 22 workers trapped for a week by an explosion in a gold mine are alive, as hundreds of rescuers seek to bring them to safety.
The Xinhua News Agency said Monday a note passed through a rescue shaft Sunday night reported the fate of the other 10 remains unknown.
The handwritten note said four of the workers were injured and that the condition of others was deteriorating because of a lack of fresh air and an influx of water.
Managers of the operation were detained after they failed to report the accident for more than a day. The mine in Qixia, a jurisdiction under the city of Yantai in Shandong province, had been under construction at the time of the blast, which occurred Jan. 10.
In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, rescuers drill a new channel at the explosion site of a gold mine in Qixia City, east China's Shandong Province, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. Chinese state media say 12 out of 22 workers trapped for a week by an explosion in the gold mine are alive, as hundreds of rescuers seek to bring them to safety. (Wang Kai/Xinhua via AP)
More than 300 workers are seeking to clear obstructions while drilling a new shaft to reach the chambers where the workers were trapped and expel dangerous fumes.
“Keep on with the rescue efforts. We have hope, thank you," read the note, written in pencil on notebook paper and posted on Xinhua's official website.
China's mining industry has a reputation for skirting safety requirements amid massive demand for coal and precious minerals, although increased supervision has reduced the frequency of accidents that used to claim an average of 5,000 miners per year.
Two accidents in the southwestern megacity of Chongqing last year killed 39 miners, prompting the central government to order another safety overhaul.
A total of 447 cases of Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFIs) after the COVID-19 vaccination have been reported over the past two days, out of whom three required hospitalization, India's health ministry said on Sunday.
"Of those who were hospitalised, one was discharged from the Northern Railway Hospital in Delhi within 24 hours, one another was discharged from the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi, and one is still under observation in AIIMS in Rishikesh (northern state of Uttarakhand) and is being monitored," said a statement issued by the ministry.
Most of the AEFIs reported so far included minor ailments like fever, headache and nausea etc.
Till Sunday a total of 224,301 beneficiaries have been vaccinated, out of whom 17,072 beneficiaries were vaccinated on Sunday alone.
The second day of the countrywide COVID-19 vaccination program was conducted with 553 sessions held in six states.
An AEFI is any unexpected medical occurrence following immunization which may not be related to vaccine or vaccination process. Protocols are in place for reporting, immediate case management at vaccination session site, transportation and hospitalization and further care of such cases.
Also Read: India starts shipping COVID-19 vaccine to cities
According to health ministry officials, protocols are also in place for systematic investigation and causality assessment of serious AEFIs.
Also Read: India planning to start vaccine drive in 1 week
All the Indian states have been advised to plan COVID-19 vaccination sessions four days in a week to minimize disruption of the routine health services. Some states have already publicised their weekly vaccination days.
Also Read: SII & Bharat Biotech confirm: No ban on vaccine export from India
Two types of COVID-19 vaccines were supplied for the vaccination drive. While the "Covishield" vaccine, made by the Serum Institute of India, was supplied to all the Indian states, the "Covaxin" vaccine, made by Bharat Biotech International Limited, was supplied to 12 states.
Pakistan’s planning minister says the country’s drug regulatory authority has approved the use of Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine and the government is trying to make it available by the first quarter of the year.
Asad Umar, who is also the head of the national agency for COVID-19, told Geo TV that the vaccine in the first phase will be administered to health workers and those aged 65 and above.
Umar said the Chinese company CanSino is also holding clinical trials in Pakistan and hoped its vaccine would also be registered next month.
People sit outside a restaurant in a heated tent in Glenview, Ill., Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker announced Friday that limited indoor service will be allowed for regions of the state that see their COVID-19 metrics improve enough to move down to the state's Tier 1 mitigation level. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
He said Pakistan will get the vaccines through the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, or GAVI, and other alternative international sources. The AstraZeneca vaccine is being prepared in India, which has strained relations with rival Pakistan and says it will prioritize its own population.
Pakistan reported 2,521 new cases and 43 deaths in the last 24 hours.
China has finished building a 1,500-room hospital for COVID-19 patients to fight a surge in infections the government said are harder to contain and that it blamed on infected people or goods from abroad.
Brazilhasn’t approved a single vaccine yet, and independent health experts who participated in its immunization program say the plan is still incomplete, at best.
A new U.N. report estimates that the COVID-19 pandemic reduced the number of international migrantsby 2 million by the middle of 2020 because of border closings and a halt to travel worldwide.
China on Sunday reported 109 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, two-thirds of them in a northern province that abuts Beijing, and no deaths.
There were 72 new cases in Hebei province, where the government is building isolation hospitals with a total of 9,500 rooms to combat an upsurge in infections, according to the National Health Commission.
China had largely contained the virus that first was detected in the central city of Wuhan in late 2019 but has reported hundreds of new infections since December. The Health Commission on Saturday blamed them on travelers and imported goods it said brought the virus from abroad.
China’s death toll stands at 4,653 out of 88,227 total cases.
Mexico posted its second straight day of more than 20,000 coronavirus cases Saturday, suggesting a surge in a country already struggling in many areas with overflowing hospitals.
There were 20,523 newly confirmed cases Saturday after 21,366 infections were reported Friday. That was about double the daily rate of increase just a week ago. Reporting normally declines on weekends, suggesting next week may bring even higher numbers.
LA County Dept. of Medical Examiner-Coroner shows National Guard members assisting with processing COVID-19 deaths and placing them into temporary storage at LA County Medical Examiner-Coroner Office in Los Angeles in Los Angeles. More than 500 people are dying each day in California because of the coronavirus. The death toll has prompted state officials to send more refrigerated trailers to local governments to act as makeshift morgues. State officials said Friday they have helped distribute 98 refrigerated trailers to help county coroners store dead bodies. California reported 669 COVID-19 deaths, the second-highest daily death count, on Saturday, Jan. 16, and the nation's most populous county announced it had detected its first case of a more transmissible strain of the coronavirus. Public health authorities in Los Angeles County confirmed its first case of the variant of COVID-19 first detected in the United Kingdom. It was identified in a man who recently spent time in the county. (LA County Dept. of Medical Examiner-Coroner via AP, File)
The country also recorded 1,219 more deaths, a near-record. The country has now seen almost 1.63 million total infections and has registered over 140,000 deaths so far in the pandemic.
In Mexico City, the current center of the pandemic in Mexico, 88% percent of hospital beds are full.
BATON ROUGE, La.
Louisiana has identified the state’s first case of a coronavirus variant believed to be more transmissible than the original.
The governor’s office said Saturday the case was detected in a person in the New Orleans area.
The variant, first detected in Britain, has alarmed officials in many nations because studies indicate it may spread more easily than other viral strains, though it it is not believed to be more deadly and appears to be vulnerable to vaccines.
Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a statement saying it is urgent “that everyone double down on the mitigation measures that we know are effective in reducing the spread of the virus.”
Edwards noted that the variant has been detected in at least 15 other states.
In neighboring Texas, health officials in Dallas County on Saturday reported the state’s third case of the variant, this one in a Dallas man in his 20s with no history of travel outside the United States.
Texas reported a Houston-area man as its first case of a person infected with the new variant on Jan. 7.
CARSON CITY, Nev.
take your pick — Nevada on Saturday reported a daily record high of 63 COVID-19 deaths along with 2,040 additional confirmed cases as the coronavirus surge continued.
The state’s pandemic totals increased to 260,090 cases and 3,761 deaths, according to Department of Health and Human Services data.
Nevada’s previous high number of deaths reported on a single day was 62 on Thursday.
A man closes his stop at the start of the new curfew to counter the COVID-19, in Lille, northern France, Saturday, Jan 16, 2021. All of France will be under a stricter curfew starting Saturday at 6 p.m. for at least 15 days to fight the spread of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
The 311 deaths reported in the week since Jan. 10 were a pandemic one -week high for Nevada, surpassing the 299 deaths reported the previous week, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
President-elect Joe Biden introduced his team of scientific advisers on Saturday, saying they will lead with “science and truth. We believe in both.”
Biden is elevating the position of science adviser to Cabinet level, a White House first. He called Eric Lander, a pioneer in mapping the human genome is in line to be director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, “one of the most brilliant guys I know.”
Lander is the founding director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and was the lead author of the first paper announcing the details of the human genome.
Lander says Biden has tasked his advisers and “the whole scientific community and the American public” to “rise to this moment.”
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris recalled her late mother Shyamala Gopalan Harris, a cancer researcher, who she credited with teaching her to think critically.
“The science behind climate change is not a hoax. The science behind the virus is not partisan,” Harris said. “The same laws apply, the same evidence holds true regardless of whether or not you accept them.”
As the rollout of coronavirus vaccines begins, the U.S. leads the world with 23.6 million cases and more than 393,000 confirmed deaths.
Health officials in Hawaii have partnered with local pharmacies to offer drive-thru and in-home coronavirus vaccinations for residents.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports the Department of Health started scheduling licensed care homes in Oahu for vaccinations this week. Neighboring islands have already started drive-thru clinics, county hubs and other mobile services.
Christians inside their cars pray during a drive-in worship service amid measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus at Songgok high school in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
The health department is working with employers to identify front-line workers for the vaccination. The department is planning to launch an online portal where workers can register for the vaccine. Officials say more than 56,000 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Health officials reported 150 newly confirmed coronavirus cases and no new deaths on Friday. The state has more than 24,000 confirmed cases and more than 300 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
South Dakota is looking to build its coronavirus rollout by making shots available to a larger group of people.
Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon says the state will begin vaccinating people 80 and over and those with high-risk medical conditions. Some rural health care providers worry their patients will be missed by large hospital systems.
South Dakota has vaccinated 6.5% of the population, one of the highest rates in the country. Last fall, the state had one of the highest positivity rates in the nation.
The Department of Health reported 341 positive tests, raising the confirmed total to 105,278.
The Oklahoma City school district is set to resume some in-person classes for the district’s youngest students and those in alternative education.
The district’s pre-kindergarten through 4th grade students and those in alternative education will begin returning Tuesday for alternating in-person and in-person classes. Students in grades 5-12 are scheduled to return on Feb. 1.
Oklahoma ranked fourth in the nation Saturday in the rate of new cases per capita with 1,448 per 100,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The seven-day rolling average of new cases in the state has increased from 2,626 per day on Jan. 1 to 3,922 on Friday. The rolling average of deaths rose from 23 deaths per day to 31 according to the data.
The state health department on Saturday reported 3,621 coronavirus cases and 27 deaths for confirmed totals of 351,665 cases and 2,952 deaths.
A third person with a case of the coronavirus variant has been reported in Texas.
Dallas County Health and Human Services reported Saturday that a Dallas man in his 20s with no history of travel outside the United States has tested positive for the variant that originated in the United Kingdom.
Texas is among a handful of states with at least one known case of the new variant that appears to spread more easily. But state health officials say there is no evidence it causes more severe disease, and say current vaccines are expected to still be effective.
Texas reported a Houston-area man as its first case of a person infected with the new variant on Jan. 7.
The state health department on Friday reported confirmed totals of more than 2 million cases and more than 31,00 deaths in Texas.
More than 800 people were wounded and about 15,000 others took shelters as a 6.2-magnitude quake, which hit Indonesia's West Sulawesi province on Friday, massively destroyed houses and infrastructures, a disaster official said here on Saturday.
Those with serious injuries have been treated in hospitals and field hospitals set up after the shallow under-land quake struck Mamuju city and Majene district, the National Disaster Management Agency's Spokesman Raditya Jati said.
As many as 189 people suffered serious injuries in Mamuju and 639 got minor wounds in Majene, the spokesman disclosed.
"Now, the patients who were treated in the impacted-hospitals have been removed to the field hospitals," he told Xinhua in a text message.
The jolts have destroyed the Mitra Manakarra Hospital in Mamuju, according to Syarifuddin. S., an official of the provincial social office.
The spokesman said that the displaced persons have taken shelters in 10 evacuation centers, and emergency relief aids have been sent to the affected people.
The risk assessment and evacuation of the victims are underway, according to him.