Home News Asia virus latest: S. Korea election; Singapore cases surge

Asia virus latest: S. Korea election; Singapore cases surge

Singapore sees more cases in worker dorms - Singapore reported 447 new infections late Wednesday, a record daily increase, with the majority linked to crowded dormitories housing low-paid foreign workers. 

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Here are the latest developments in Asia related to the novel coronavirus pandemic:

– South Korean ruling party wins parliamentary majority – South Korea’s left-leaning ruling party has won a landslide election victory, partial results showed, after the coronavirus pandemic turned the political tide in President Moon Jae-in’s favour.

His Democratic party secured an absolute majority in the National Assembly, its first for 12 years, with the highest turnout at a parliamentary election since 1992.

– Singapore sees more cases in worker dorms – Singapore reported 447 new infections late Wednesday, a record daily increase, with the majority linked to crowded dormitories housing low-paid foreign workers.

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The city-state, which has registered 3,699 infections and 10 deaths, initially managed to keep its outbreak in check but is now battling a fast-rising second wave of cases.

Around half of its cases are linked to the dorms, and authorities are moving thousands of workers — many of whom are South Asian — to alternative accommodation to reduce the risk of infection.

– New Zealand considers plan to ease lockdown –New Zealand is expected to start easing a nationwide lockdown to combat the coronavirus next week, but Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern warned it would be far from a return to normal.

The Pacific country of five million people has been one of the most successful in containing the outbreak, with just over 1,000 known cases and nine deaths.

– US, China call for cooperation as tensions rise –US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a top Chinese official called for mutual coronavirus cooperation, signalling a bid to keep a lid on tensions between the two countries.

President Donald Trump’s administration has berated China for not sharing data more quickly and said it was freezing funds to the World Health Organization for not challenging Beijing.

– Markets follow Wall Street lead lower –Asian markets fell following overnight woes on Wall Street as more negative US economic data fuelled worries about the full impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

– All Blacks get 50 percent pay freeze –New Zealand’s national rugby team accepted a 50 percent pay freeze and players’ association said it was preparing for the nightmare scenario of no more professional matches this year.

After the coronavirus pandemic shut down global sport, New Zealand Rugby and the players’ association agreed to put on hold US$15 million, or 50 percent of the year’s remaining forecast player spend.

– China reports mostly imported cases – Following the same pattern of recent days, China reported mostly imported infections — 34 brought in from overseas, as well as 12 domestic cases.

China has successfully contained its domestic outbreak since the virus emerged there late last year but is now struggling with a new wave of cases brought in mostly by returning nationals.

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