Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:

China's soaring Covid infections fuel concern about cost of containment

China posted a steep jump in daily Covid-19 infections on Tuesday, with new cases more than doubling from a day earlier to hit a two-year high, raising concerns about the rising economic costs of its tough measures to contain the disease.

A total of 3,507 domestically transmitted cases with confirmed symptoms were reported on Monday across more than a dozen provinces and municipalities, up from 1,337 a day earlier, the National Health Commission said.

Most of the new cases were in the northeastern province of Jilin.

Manufacturers of everything from flash drives to glass for Apple iPhone screens are warning of shipment delays as they comply with Chinese controls to curb the spread of Covid-19, further straining global supply chains.

Germany reports record Covid incidence before easing curbs

Germany reported a record high seven-day incidence of the coronavirus on Tuesday, just days before the planned easing of restrictions.

The Robert Koch Institute registered 198,888 new infections, that is 42,000 higher than a week ago, bringing the total number of infections to more than 17.4 million.

France's Covid infections keep rising

French health authorities reported 18,853 new Covid-19 infections on Monday, a figure showing a week-on-week increase for the tenth consecutive time on the day France lifted most of the restrictions put in place to contain the pandemic.

The seven-day moving average of new cases, which evens out reporting irregularities, reached 65,882, the highest since Feb. 24.

Australia to lift entry ban for cruise ships

Australia on Tuesday said it would lift its entry ban for international cruise ships next month, effectively ending all major Covid-related travel bans after two years and boosting a tourism industry hit hard by the pandemic restrictions.

Australia banned the entry of cruise ships in March 2020, when they were the source of about 20% of Australia's early coronavirus infections.

The vessels became a flashpoint in its pandemic response after symptomatic passengers were allowed to disembark in Sydney, many of whom later tested positive.

Trucker convoy seeks to enter Washington

A convoy of trucks attempted to bring a weeks-long, cross-country protest against Covid-19 mandates into Washington, D.C., on Monday, but police blocked numerous bridges, highway exits and city streets, preventing many of the vehicles from entering the heart of the nation's capital.

The protest against vaccine requirements and other pandemic restrictions has been undercut in recent weeks, with many U.S. cities rolling back mask mandates and other measures as infections and hospitalisations decline sharply.

Masks, PCR tests no longer needed in Namibia

The wearing of masks in public in Namibia and negative PCR tests for vaccinated visitors are no longer required, President Hage Geingob said on Tuesday, as active Covid-19 cases fall to just a couple of hundred.

Infections peaked at more than 30,000 per month in June 2021 but the southern African country has averaged 14 cases per day during the last seven days, with the total active cases at 222.

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