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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Coronavirus UPDATE – first deaths in New Zealand, Sri Lanka. Singapore cancels citizen’s passport.

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: SCMP

Covid-19 cases around the world have now reached 723,732. A week ago (March 23) there was 378,000 cases in the world.

There have been exactly 34,000 deaths recorded globally (as of 2.30pm Monday Thai time) with over 151,000 people recovered. The USA leads the world count with 142,735 cases followed by Italy with 97,689 cases and 10,799 deaths.

Here are the most recent developments from around Asia related to the Covid-19 coronavirus situation in the region…

Singapore cancels citizen’s passport

Singapore, which has imposed tough measures to slow the spread of the virus, including six months in jail for people who intentionally stand close to others, cancelled the passport of a citizen who breached his mandatory quarantine period.

The 53 year old man had been ordered to stay home for 14 days after returning to Singapore from neighbouring Indonesia, a rule he then broke by making a return trip over the border.

Singapore reported its third COVID-19 death yesterday.

Australian domestic violence cases soar

Australia announced a nearly 100 million US$ (3.27 billion baht) boost in funding to tackle domestic violence, after support services reported a spike in virus-related family abuse.

Australian PM Scott Morrison says there has been a 75% surge in Google searches for help during the current nationwide shutdown of non-essential services to curb the spread of the disease.

Associations around the world that help victims of domestic violence fear a massive increase in cases as the stress caused by social isolation exacerbates tensions.

China reports slightly fewer imported cases

China reported 45 new infections yesterday, all but one of them imported. That compares with 54 cases Saturday, all of which were imported. After taking strict and harsh measures to bring the virus under control domestically, China is now doing the same to prevent imported infections.

China announced last week it would drastically reduce the number of international flights into the country and banned foreigners from entering beginning last Saturday.

New Zealand and Sri Lanka report first deaths

New Zealand has announced its first coronavirus death: a woman in her 70s with an undisclosed chronic underlying condition. There are currently 589 confirmed cases in New Zealand, with 75 new infections reported over the past 24 hours.

Sri Lanka also recorded its first death late Saturday.

Philippines reports 343 new cases

The Philippine health ministry has added 343 new coronavirus cases – the country’s largest daily increase in infections, and 3 additional deaths.

That raised the total number of known infections in the country to 1,418, while the death toll has reached 71. Seven more patients have recovered, however, bringing the total number of recoveries to 42.

Indonesia may soon quarantine almost 30 million people

The move proposed for the capital and surrounding areas is to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo called for “more decisive steps” to restrict people’s movement at a cabinet meeting on Monday, saying firm actions are “needed to break the chain of distribution of coronavirus.” The President didn’t spell out what additional curbs were required with the capital already being placed under an emergency status and schools, cinemas and entertainment spots closed for about two weeks.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World | AFP

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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