China is hoping to avoid a major new outbreak of COVID cases during the coming Lunar New Year travel season, the Associated Press reported. The Transportation Ministry on Friday called on travelers to reduce trips and gatherings, particularly if they involve elderly people, pregnant women, small children and those with underlying conditions. People using public transport are also urged to wear masks and pay special attention to their health and personal hygiene, Vice Minister Xu Chengguang told reporters at a briefing. But the authorities, who recently eased strict COVID measures, stopped short of asking citizens to stay home.
In the U.S., the seven-day average of new cases stood at 65,083 on Thursday, according to a New York Times tracker. That’s down 8% from two weeks ago and below the recent peak of 70,508 on Christmas Eve. The daily average for hospitalizations was up 14% at 47,608. The average for deaths was 474, up 12% from two weeks ago. The global tally of confirmed cases of COVID-19 topped 663.1 million on Friday, while the death toll rose above 6.7 million, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. leads the world with 101.1 million cases and 1,096,147 fatalities.