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Asia Today: China reports 11 new virus cases, Singapore 931

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Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

A man collect supplies over barbed wire in the coronavirus locked down area of Selayang Baru, outside of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Sunday, April 26, 2020. The lockdown was implemented to allow authorities to carry out screenings to help curb the spread of coronavirus. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

BANGKOK – China on Sunday confirmed 11 more cases of the coronavirus and no new deaths for the 11th day in a row.

It brings its official count to 82,827 infected people.

Five of the new cases were in Heilongjiang province, a northeastern border area with Russia that has seen a surge in infections. Another was in Guangdong province, a manufacturing and tech region bordering Hong Kong in the south.

The other five were imported from overseas. China has identified 1,634 imported cases in all.

China said it also has 1,000 people who have tested positive for the coronavirus but do not have any symptoms. They are under medical observation but not included in the confirmed case count.

— NEW SURGE IN SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 931 new cases to take its total to 13,624. Most of the new infections are from foreign workers’ dormitories, which have been locked down as the government struggles to curb the outbreak.

— SOUTH KOREA HAS 10 MORE CASES: South Korea on Sunday confirmed 10 more cases of the coronavirus over the past 24 hours, a continuation of a slowing caseload in the country. The additional infections mark the ninth day in a row that South Korea’s daily increase came below 20. The state-run Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the virus toll stood at 10,728 with 242 deaths. It says 8,717 patients have recovered and been released from quarantine. South Korea has recently relaxed some of its social distancing rules, but officials have still raised worries about possible transmissions by “quiet spreaders.” South Korea had recorded hundreds of new cases every day between late February and early March, mostly in the southeastern city of Daegue and nearby areas.

— MODI CAUTIONS INDIANS: India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi cautioned the country’s 1.3 billion people against any complacency in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic. On a Sunday radio talk show, Modi said that people will have to change their social habits by sticking to distancing, wearing masks and not spitting in public. He also said that a traditional system of Indian medicine, known as Ayurveda, which strongly recommends yoga exercises and drinking hot water, can be extremely helpful in building immunity. Modi put India under a strict lockdown on March 25 until May 3. The restrictions have been eased somewhat by allowing neighborhood shops to reopen and manufacturing and farming activities to resume in rural areas to help millions of poor daily wage earners. India has so far recorded 25,671 confirmed cases with 824 deaths.

— HONG KONG HELPING STRANDED CITIZENS: Hong Kong is trying to help more than 5,000 residents return home from India and Pakistan after those countries banned all international flights to combat COVID-19. The Hong Kong Immigration Department has reached about 3,200 residents in India and 2,000 in Pakistan, scattered around both countries, according to a government news release. The situation in India is complicated by strict restrictions on domestic trips, with approval required for any travel. On the Hong Kong end, the city has limited capacity to test, quarantine and treat people. The government plans to fly back residents in phases, starting with chartered flights from New Delhi and Islamabad for those in and around those two cities, as well as the sick, pregnant woman, children and the elderly. Passengers will have to pay for their flights.

— SRI LANKA ASKS KUWAIT TO EXTEND WORKERS' STAY: Sri Lanka has requested Kuwait to allow thousands of overstaying workers to remain in the country until May 30, because the Indian Ocean island nation is under a 24-hour coronavirus curfew. Kuwait has granted an amnesty from April 1-30 to all undocumented foreigners to leave at Kuwait’s expense without paying fines. Sri Lankans were given until this Saturday to leave Kuwait. More than 15,000 Sri Lankans are currently overstaying in Kuwait. Since last month, Sri Lanka has indefinitely closed its international airport due to the pandemic. The number of confirmed cases has risen to 460 while seven have died from the disease.


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