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COVID-19 outbreak in Beijing
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(Reuters) - Online searches for Chinese airline tickets on domestic and international routes surged on Wednesday, after Beijing said it would slash COVID-19 quarantine requirements and made changes to a state-mandated mobile app used for local travel.


* Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals https://apac1.apps.cp.thomsonreuters.com/cms/?navid=1592404098 for a case tracker and summary of news.


* A state-mandated Chinese mobile app that shows whether an individual has travelled in a city with COVID-affected areas will no longer specify such travel history, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said.

* Shanghai will gradually reopen museums, art galleries and some scenic spots from July 1, state media quoted authorities as saying, while restaurants and eateries in the city have begun reopening their doors to diners.

* Chinese President Xi Jinping said the ruling Communist Party's strategy to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic was "correct and effective" and should be firmly adhered to, the official news agency Xinhua said.

* The captain of India's cricket team Rohit Sharma may miss their test match against England starting on Friday after he tested positive for COVID-19.


* Norway recommends a booster COVID-19 vaccine dose to those who are 75 years and older in response to a rising number of cases, the government said.

* European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is no longer in possession of text messages that she exchanged with Pfizer chief Albert Bourla to seal a COVID-19 vaccine deal, the Commission said in a letter.


* COVID-19 cases in the Americas rose about 14% last week from the previous one, with 1.3 million new cases and 4,158 new deaths reported, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said.

* Eli Lilly and Co said it will supply additional doses of its COVID-19 antibody drug to the U.S. government in order to meet demand through late August.

* NASA administrator Bill Nelson tested positive on Tuesday night, the U.S. space agency chief said.


* The first capacity crowd at a South African stadium since the COVID-19 pandemic is guaranteed for Saturday's test between the world champion Springboks and Wales, organisers of the rugby match said.


* Germany's BioNTech, Pfizer's partner in COVID-19 vaccines, said the two companies would start tests on humans of next-generation shots that protect against a wide variety of coronaviruses in the second half of the year.

* South Korea approved its first domestically developed COVID-19 vaccine, manufactured by SK Bioscience Co Ltd , for public use following positive clinical data, authorities said.


* Coronavirus lockdowns have hit Chinese growth more than expected, ratings agency S&P said as it slashed its forecast for the second time in two months.

* The latest easing of coronavirus travel rules combined with other encouraging policy signals have lured some foreign investors back to Chinese stocks, raising the chances that the market can sustain its bounce after months of heavy selling.

(Compiled by Olivier Sorgho; Edited by Lisa Shumaker)