Asia-Pacific countries step up measures to combat COVID-19

Source: Xinhua| 2020-04-02 21:02:46|Editor: xuxin
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Members of the Philippine Coast Guard, policemen and volunteers wearing face masks prepare relief goods as aid for communities under enhanced community quarantine at a government warehouse in Pasay City, the Philippines on April 2, 2020. The Philippines on Thursday required all those living in areas under enhanced community quarantine to wear face masks or other forms of protective equipment when they leave their homes to slow the spread of COVID-19. (Xinhua/Rouelle Umali)

HONG KONG, April 2 (Xinhua) -- Asia-Pacific countries on Thursday stepped up measures to combat COVID-19 as the number of infection and death kept increasing.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Malaysia totaled at 3,116 after 208 new cases were recorded, the Health Ministry said on Thursday.

The number of fatalities had risen to 50 after another five deaths were recorded, with the victims aged between 37 and 85, three of them having suffered from other health problems prior to being infected.

The Philippines on Thursday required all those living in areas under enhanced community quarantine to wear face masks or other forms of protective equipment when they leave their homes to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles announced the new measure in a virtual media briefing as the Philippines reported 322 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of the confirmed cases to 2,633.

A Bhutanese student who returned from the United States has tested positive for COVID-19, the Ministry of Health said on Thursday.

This took the number of confirmed cases to five in Bhutan and was the third Bhutanese national to test positive for the coronavirus.

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Bangladesh rose to 56 on Thursday, and the country's death toll remains unchanged at six.

The cases increased by two since Wednesday and no more deaths were reported Thursday.

The Indonesian government said Thursday the death toll of COVID-19 in the country climbed to 170, the highest in Southeast Asia.

At a press conference, the government's spokesperson for COVID-19 Achmad Yurianto said that the number of confirmed cases jumped to 1,790 and 112 patients had recovered.

The total confirmed cases in Japan has reached 2,524, according to the latest figures released Thursday morning.

The death toll in Japan from the pneumonia-causing virus currently stands at a total of 82 people, according to the health ministry, with the figure including those from the virus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined in Yokohama, close to Tokyo.

The first casualty from COVID-19 in Asia's largest slum located in India's financial capital of Mumbai was reported on Wednesday night, according to local media.

The 56-year-old patient, who died at the Mumbai civic hospital, had no foreign travel history and used to run a local garment retail outlet, said media reports quoting health department official.

The death toll due to COVID-19 in India Thursday morning rose to 50 as the number of confirmed cases in the country reached 1965, the federal health ministry said.

Thailand has imposed a nationwide curfew starting on Friday to prevent people from leaving home at night to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Thursday that the curfew is effective nationwide between 10.00 p.m. and 4.00 a.m. local time daily, beginning on Friday.

Thailand earlier declared an emergency rule to contain the COVID-19 spread but the number of confirmed cases has been growing on a daily basis, totaling 1,875 on Thursday.

China has handed over its first donation of humanitarian aid and medical supplies to Sri Lanka to strengthen the solidarity between the two countries as Sri Lanka fights the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka said on Thursday.

The aid, which includes 50,000 medical masks and 1,008 COVID-19 test kits, was handed over by Hu Wei, charge d'affaires of the Chinese Embassy, to Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa in Colombo, and the materials were later handed over to Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi and her team at a formal ceremony held on Wednesday.

According to the Health Department of the Australian government, as of 3 p.m. Thursday, there have been 5,133 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia.

The number of deaths in Australia has increased to 24 after two women in their 60s and 70s respectively became the fifth and sixth people to die in Victoria on Thursday.

The country will spend 4.1 million Australian dollars (2.4 million U.S. dollars) on online courses for 20,000 nurses to prepare them for deployment in intensive care units.

It has also rolled out a plan to quickly add over 40,000 former health practitioners to join the frontline battle against COVID-19.

Pakistan on Thursday resumed its international flight operations at a limited scale only for special flights subject to the prior permission from the Aviation Division.

Following the resumption, a flight of the Pakistan International Airlines carrying over 350 passengers of Canadian origin departed for Toronto from the Allama Iqbal International Airport in the eastern city of Lahore on Thursday.

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