Here are the latest developments in Asia related to the novel coronavirus pandemic:
– India nationwide lockdown extended – India’s nationwide lockdown, the biggest imposed in the world over the coronavirus pandemic, will be extended until at least May 3, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.
The current three-week-old lockdown of the nation of 1.3 billion people had been scheduled to end at midnight Tuesday.
“From the economic angle, we have paid a big price,” Modi said in a nationwide address. “But the lives of the people of India are far more valuable.”
– Singapore allows teachers to use Zoom again – The city-state is allowing teachers to resume using Zoom, the video-conferencing platform said, following its suspension for online lessons last week after gatecrashers interrupted a class and made lewd comments.
Zoom — which has exploded in popularity but faces growing security concerns — said it had taken steps to address the education ministry’s worries, including giving officials control over teacher accounts.
Singapore meanwhile reported 386 new coronavirus cases Monday, its biggest increase in a single day, as the city-state battles a growing second wave of infections.
– Australia, New Zealand flatten virus curve but keep lockdowns intact – Australia and New Zealand brushed aside calls for an easing of tough restrictions on travel and public gatherings despite their success in curbing the spread of COVID-19.
The number of new coronavirus cases in the neighbouring nations has fallen dramatically in the last two weeks, raising hopes that difficult social distancing measures may be relaxed.
Tasmania, meanwhile, ordered an investigation into reports of an “illegal” dinner party attended by medical workers that caused an outbreak of COVID-19 and forced two hospitals in the Australian island state to close.
– ASEAN leaders meet online -Southeast Asian leaders warned of the crippling economic cost of the coronavirus at a summit held online, calling for trade routes to reopen to protect jobs and food supplies, as well as the stockpiling of medical equipment.
Vietnam — which chaired the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting — urged leaders to set up an emergency fund to tackle the pandemic, as the virus ravages the region’s tourism and export-reliant economies.
– Markets rise on China trade data -Asian markets posted gains as better than expected Chinese trade data suggested a rebound from the economic devastation wrought by the coronavirus pandemic.
– China reports more imported cases -China reported 89 new coronavirus infections, 86 of which were imported from overseas.
The country where the virus emerged last year has largely brought its domestic outbreak under control, but faces a growing second wave of infections brought in from overseas by returning nationals.
– Taiwan reports no new infections -Taiwan reported no new infections, the first time the daily tally has been zero in 36 days.
The island was hit early by the coronavirus but managed to keep initial infections low and stop the disease spreading locally.
Taiwan also suffered a second wave of cases — but the latest figures offer hope that authorities have managed to bring it under control.
– Bali surfers in hot waterMore than a dozen foreign surfers on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali were given warnings by authorities after breaking virus rules by hitting the waves on closed beaches.
Meanwhile, some other foreigners were pilloried online after photos of a group of them partying on the island went viral on social media.
– Thai hospitals protect babies with face shields -Fast asleep, swaddled in a towel and snug in a pink beanie, a baby born during a pandemic in a Thai hospital needs one last item to ensure its health — a face shield.
Bangkok hospitals are using them on newborns in their maternity wards to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
© Agence France-Presse
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