Manila, Philippines. Photo: MTI/EPA/Francis R. Malasig

A World Health Organization (WHO) official said on Tuesday the coronavirus epidemic is “far from over” in the Asia-Pacific region, as infections in Japan on Tuesday surpassed 2,000.

“This is going to be a long-term battle and we cannot let down our guard,” WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific Takeshi Kasai told a virtual media briefing, urging cooperation in the region to halt the spread of COVID-19.

Japan’s health ministry and local governments said 2,183 people had been infected with the COVID-19 virus in Japan as of 8:30 p.m. local time, with 78 new cases and seven deaths recorded in Tokyo.

This has added pressure on the government to take further measures to curb the domestic spread of the virus, as Japan’s top government spokesperson denied rumors of a lockdown on Monday.

South Korea decided to begin this year’s new school year with online classes from April 9 in a gradual manner amid lingering concerns about the outbreak. The country reported 125 more cases of the COVID-19, raising the total number of infections to 9,786.

The country will force all entrants from overseas to be put under self-quarantine for two weeks beginning Wednesday midnight local time.

Thailand’s Phuket International Airport will be shut from April 10 to 30 after Phuket Province sealed its entry points by land and sea amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Ministry of Public Health on Tuesday reported 127 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections to 1,651. One person has died, bringing the total number of COVID-19 deaths to 10.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo declared a public health emergency status and a 24.75 billion-U.S. dollar spending to allow the government to edge up development budget deficit and increase the spending for efforts to curb the COVID-19 spread.

The country, which has recorded the highest death toll in Southeast Asia, has decided to ban all arrivals and transits of foreign citizens. The novel coronavirus has killed 136 people and infected 1,528 until Tuesday.

The Australian government has canceled deployment of U.S. Marines to the Northern Territory (NT) amid the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 100,000 businesses have registered for Australia‘s wage subsidy scheme announced on Monday afternoon.

The 130 billion Australian dollar (80.2 billion U.S. dollar) economic lifeline entitles employees who have had their work status affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to fortnightly payments of 1,500 AUD (926.2 U.S. dollar).

In Malaysia, a total of 43 people have died of COVID-19 with 140 newly confirmed cases, bringing the total number to 2,766, said the Health Ministry.

Singapore’s Ministry of Health reported 47 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total confirmed cases to 926.

The death toll in India rose to 32 as the number of confirmed cases in the country reached 1,251.

With mounting cases in the world’s second-most populous country, Indian railways said it was ready to modify 20,000 coaches into quarantine isolation units.

Maldives has seen an overall reduction of COVID-19 cases, with more patients recovering than new ones being confirmed amid stringent precautionary measures taken by the government.

The country has 17 confirmed cases of COVID-19, out of which 13 patients have made a full recovery.

One more COVID-19 patient in Vietnam has recovered on Tuesday, bringing the total cured cases in the country to 56, Vietnam News Agency reported. Its capital city of Hanoi set up makeshift stations providing 10-minute COVID-19 tests for free.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc ordered a 15-day nationwide social distancing against COVID-19 starting from Wednesday, requiring people to stay at home, keep a distance of at least 2 meters from others, and avoid gatherings of more than two people.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Health confirmed one more COVID-19 case, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 204.

The Cambodian government decided to give tax breaks for three months to aviation companies starting from March to May to help offset losses caused by the COVID-19.
Myanmar confirmed the first death among its 14 positive COVID-19 cases.

Source: Xinhua

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