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Asia, parts of Europe tighten COVID-19 measures due to Omicron

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Though early-hit countries are on the downslope of their Omicron variant surges, others are battling rising cases, with some tightening their measures and others—such as China and Hong Kong—taking stronger steps as they try to head off steep rises.Record cases in parts of EuropeHealth officials in Europe have noted that Omicron seems to be spreading from the western part of the continent to the east, though some western countries are still reporting very high levels.

France today reported a new daily record high of 464,769 new cases, and health officials yesterday reported the highest hospitalization level since before COVID-19 vaccination began.The Pasteur Institute yesterday projected that Omicron activity will probably peak in the middle of January, with hospitalizations expected to peak later in the month.Meanwhile, Bulgaria today also reported record daily cases, with nearly 10,000, according to Reuters.

The country has the European Union's lowest vaccination rate, and officials recently changed its trigger for COVID-19 measures, basing it on intensive care unit (ICU) occupancy rather than number of cases.In Russia, city officials in Moscow extended work-from-home rules and guidance, imposed at the end of October, until Apr 1 as it braces for an Omicron surge.

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