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Photo: NOEL CELIS/AFP via Getty Images

China on Saturday finished a five-day construction project on a 1,500-room hospital as clusters of COVID-19 spread in Beijing and the surrounding provinces.

The state of play: The facility is the one of six hospitals with a total of 6,500 rooms in the works in Nangong, the Xinhua News Agency said Saturday per AP reporting. They are all expected to be completed next week.

By the numbers: China has reached a 10-month high for COVID cases and on Friday reported 168 cases.

  • Yes, but: The numbers remain far below the infection levels the nation saw last February, when China reached a record high of approximately 15,000 daily cases.
  • The country has reported more than 97,000 cases and over 4,700 deaths as of Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins university data.
  • It remains possible that China — the site of the original coronavirus outbreak — has been underreporting its cases.

What they're saying: The Chinese government has blamed the surge on food imports and travelers visiting the country.

  • The new cases "are all imported from abroad. It was caused by entry personnel or contaminated cold chain imported goods," the National Health Commission said in a statement, per AP.

The big picture: The WHO agreed last May to a call from over 110 countries to lead an independent review of the global coronavirus response after China backed the move following clashes with Australia, which had earlier advocated for a sweeping inquiry.

Go deeper... Timeline: The early days of China's coronavirus outbreak and cover-up

Go deeper

Updated 15 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director warns "now is not the time" to lift COVID restrictions — Exclusive: Teenagers' mental health claims doubled last spring.
  2. Axios-Ipsos poll: Americans' hopes rise after a year of COVID
  3. Vaccine: J&J CEO "absolutely" confident in vaccine distribution goals — Vaccine hesitancy is shrinking.
  4. World: China and Russia vaccinate the world, for now.
  5. Energy: Global carbon emissions rebound to pre-COVID levels.
  6. Local: Florida gets more good vaccine newsMinnesota's hunger problem grows amid pandemic — Denver's fitness industry eyes a pandemic recovery.
Jan 30, 2021 - World

Germany to impose travel restrictions to curb spread of coronavirus variants

Border police officers check passports and COVID-19 tests at Frankfurt Airport. Photo: Thomas Lohnes via Getty Images

Germany announced Friday that it was imposing new travel restrictions in an effort to curb the spread of more contagious coronavirus variants.

Details: All non-German residents traveling from countries deemed "areas of variant concern," including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Portugal, Ireland, Brazil, Lesotho and Eswatini, will be banned from entering the country, even if they test negative for the coronavirus.

Police officers' immunity from lawsuits is getting a fresh look

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Nearly a year after the death of George Floyd, advocates of changes in police practices are launching new moves to limit or eliminate legal liability protections for officers accused of excessive force.

Why it matters: Revising or eliminating qualified immunity — the shield police officers have now — could force officers accused of excessive force to personally face civil penalties in addition to their departments. But such a change could intensify a nationwide police officer shortage, critics say.