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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Staff members conduct disinfection on the subway train in Wuhan on Monday. Photo: Xinhua/Xiao Yijiu via Getty Images

Health officials in China said Tuesday they will soon allow transportation into and out of Hubei province, where the novel coronavirus was discovered.

Why it matters: The announcement, effective on April 8 for virus epicenter Wuhan and this Thursday elsewhere in the province, essentially ends the mass quarantine of residents who've been on lockdown since January.

  • Hubei has seen a fall in infections in recent days, culminating in the province reporting for the first time last Thursday no new cases since the outbreak came to prominence in December. Hubei reported one new infection Tuesday, in Wuhan.

The big picture: The announcement comes as governments around the world step up restrictions against COVID-19 — which has infected more than 384,000 people globally, including over 81,000 in China.

  • More than 1.5 billion people globally have been asked to stay home Monday, AP reports.

Of note: Hong Kong managed to keep case numbers down when the virus first gripped mainland China, but it's seen a resurgence in recent days linked to overseas travel.

  • More than 90% of new cases reported in the past two weeks have links to international travel, the South China Morning Post notes.
  • As cases rose to 356 Monday, the city's CEO Carrie Lam announced new measures — including the closure of its borders to all nonresidents for two weeks, the paper reported.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Updated 9 mins ago - Economy & Business

The billionaire balloon

Data: World Inequality Report 2022; Chart: Axios Visuals

The super-rich are getting stupid rich: New data out today shows the share of global wealth held by the richest slice of humanity swelled by almost a full percentage point during the pandemic.

Driving the news: The top 0.01% of individuals now hold about 11% of the world's wealth, compared to just over 10% in 2020, according to the "World Inequality Report 2022," written by Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
11 mins ago - Health

Omicron gives a shot to boosters

Expand chart
Data: CDC; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Vaccination rates have ticked higher since the discovery of the Omicron variant, CDC data shows.

By the numbers: The seven-day average for vaccinations in the U.S. reached about 1.8 million on Monday, up from an average of about 1.3 million a month ago.

2 hours ago - Science

Exploding demand for laboratory space

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Office occupancy rates remain deflated across industries, but one type of workplace is in high demand: labs.

The big picture: A number of trends — in public health, American demographics and venture capital funding — are colliding to supercharge the life sciences industry.

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