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

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Hong Kong health workers patrol a street where COVID-19 cases have been confirmed. Photo: Anthony Kwan via Getty Images

Hong Kong has placed tens of thousands of residents on lockdown to contain a new coronavirus outbreak.

Why it matters: It’s the first time Hong Kong has imposed a lockdown since the pandemic began. The restrictions are expected to last 48 hours.

By the numbers: Hong Kong has recorded more than 10,000 total COVID-19 cases and 168 confirmed deaths, per data from Johns Hopkins University.

  • The South China Morning Post said the restrictions cover up to 9,000 people, Al Jazeera reports.

The big picture: Hong Kong has been struggling to contain the virus for the last two months, and over half of the new cases in the past week are in the Yau Tsim Mong district, AP reports.

Details: Residents in designated mandatory testing areas within the Yau Tsim Mong district in Kowloon Peninsula are not allowed to leave unless they provide negative coronavirus test results.

  • Residents with medical health needs are exempt.
  • Failure to comply will result in fines or greater penalty.
  • "Local media reported that anyone who had been to the restricted area for more than two hours in the past two weeks must also get tested by the end of Saturday," The Guardian writes.
  • "The government will seriously follow up on the compliance of compulsory testing notices by persons subject to compulsory testing, and continually review the compulsory testing arrangement of the above specified areas taking into account the epidemic development," a Food and Health Bureau spokesperson said in a press release.

Go deeper

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.

Updated Mar 2, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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  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.

"Neanderthal thinking": Biden slams states lifting mask mandates

States that are relaxing coronavirus restrictions are making "a big mistake," President Biden told reporters on Wednesday, adding: "The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking."

Driving the news: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said Wednesday he will end all coronavirus restrictions via executive order, although some businesses are continuing to ask patrons to wear face masks. Mississippi is lifting its mask mandate for all counties Wednesday, per Gov. Tate Reeves (R).