Today’s coronavirus news: North Korea set to ease restrictions amid doubts over COVID numbers

The last coronavirus news from Canada and around the world on Sunday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories where available.

8:30 a.m.: Shoppers returned to shopping malls in Beijing on Sunday as the Chinese capital eased pandemic restrictions after declaring a small but lingering outbreak of COVID-19 effectively under control.

A partial reopening of shops and offices in Beijing has been welcomed by a weary population and struggling traders eager to see life return to normal.

Coupled with a gradual easing of restrictions in Shanghai, he signaled that the worst was over in the two outbreaks in China’s most important cities.

Shutdowns and other restrictions under China’s “zero-COVID” strategy have increasingly frustrated residents as they watch other countries relax and reopen their borders.

Some have resisted and staged protests in apartment complexes and college dorms, in an authoritarian country where people think twice about speaking out publicly because of the possible repercussions.

8am: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and other senior officials discussed revising tough anti-epidemic restrictions at a meeting on Sunday, state media reported, as they maintained a widely disputed claim that which the country’s first COVID-19 outbreak was slowing.

Discussion at the North’s Politburo meeting suggests he will soon ease a set of draconian restrictions imposed after he admitted the omicron outbreak this month out of concern over his food and economic situation.

Kim and other Politburo members “have made a positive assessment of controlling and improving the pandemic situation across the country,” the official Korean Central News Agency said.

They also “discussed the issue of effective and timely coordination and enforcement of anti-epidemic regulations and guidelines given the current stable anti-epidemic situation,” KCNA said.

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