>Mass vaccinations for older adults
China will start mass COVID-19 vaccinations for people over age 60 after it receives sufficient data from clinical trials on the effectiveness and safety of the vaccines, a senior health official said on Sunday.
Research and development of vaccines for older adults is speeding up, and some regions have started vaccinating people over 60 who are in good health, He Qinghua, an official at the National Health Commission, said at a news conference.
A total of 74.96 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered by midnight Saturday.
The country will gradually increase the scale of its mass COVID-19 vaccinations in a safe, orderly manner, he said.
Some people might think it is not urgent for them to get vaccinated as China has successfully controlled the virus, but it is still raging globally and no one can stay detached from the world, he said. "Vaccination is the most effective way to control the epidemic. I hope the public can get vaccinated quickly," he said.
>New discoveries at Sanxingdui Ruins
Chinese archaeologists announced the discovery of over 500 cultural relics, during an ongoing excavation at the Sanxingdui Ruins site in Guanghan, Southwest China’s Sichuan province. The relics were uncovered in six sacrificial pits that date back over 3,200 years.
Among the important cultural finds are gold and bronze masks, bronze ware, more than 100 ivory tusks, textiles and jade among other artifacts.
In No 3 pit, a rich reservoir for bronze ware, archaeologists found two square zun jars, a typical ancient Chinese bronze ritual vessel.
Such artifacts were not found in 1986. Some of the bronze ware items were decorated with dragon and ox patterns.
The Sanxingdui Ruins is dubbed as one of the world's greatest archeological discoveries of the 20th century.
The site was originally discovered in the 1920s by a farmer.
A huge surprise came in 1986 when two sacrificial pits filled with more than 1,000 relics, including gold masks, bronze sacred trees, bronze ware, jade ware and ivory, were discovered by local workers excavating clay for bricks.
>Bookings surge for May Day holiday
Domestic tourism is projected to shoot up during the five-day May Day holiday as pent-up demand for travel is unleashed following its official discouragement during last month's Spring Festival holiday to contain COVID-19 transmission risks.
The relaxation of epidemic-control measures and lifting of travel restrictions look set to make the May Day holiday - from May 1 to 5 - the first travel boom of the year, according to industry insiders.
Beijing announced on March 12 that, as of March 16, travelers from areas with low risks of infection no longer need to provide negative nucleic acid test results when arriving in the capital.
Reservations for tickets for flights and trains to or from the city doubled in the hour after the announcement, according to an online travel agency.
Bookings for trips during the Tomb Sweeping Day holiday - April 3 to 5 - also rose.
Figures from Qunar show that reservations for flight tickets for the May Day holiday have exceeded those during the same period in 2019.
>Fans from abroad barred from Olympics
Overseas spectators will be banned from entering Japan to watch the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer due to COVID-19, the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee announced on Saturday.
Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto told a news conference that the decision was made by the Japanese parties and the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee were informed at a virtual meeting earlier.
The five-party meeting was attended by IOC President Thomas Bach, IPC chief Andrew Parsons, Japan's Olympic Minister Tamayo Marukawa, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, and Hashimoto.
A joint statement was released after the meeting, saying that the Japanese side has concluded that "overseas spectators will not be allowed to the Olympic and Paralympic Games because of the COVID-19 pandemic."
Hashimoto said that a total of 600,000 tickets have sold out of Japan for the Olympic Games and 60,000 for the Paralympic Games. All the tickets will be reimbursed, she said.
A decision on how many local fans will be allowed into the venue will be made by the end of April.
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