Here are the latest developments in Asia related to the novel coronavirus pandemic:
– US state sues China –
The US state of Missouri has sued China’s leadership over the coronavirus crisis, prompting an angry rebuke from Beijing over the “absurd” claim.
Missouri is seeking damages over what it described as deliberate deception and insufficient action to stop the pandemic.
– China’s northeast tightens restrictions –
New clusters of coronavirus infections in northeast China near the Russian border led officials to tighten restrictions on movement as they seek to prevent another outbreak.
China has largely curbed the spread of the deadly virus, but there are growing fears of a second wave of cases and Heilongjiang province has emerged as a new front in the battle.
The region has seen an influx of imported cases, mostly among Chinese citizens returning home, but domestic infections have also been mounting — prompting the sacking or punishment of several officials.
– Virus cases on Japan-docked cruise ship –
At least 34 crew members aboard a cruise ship docked in the Japanese city of Nagasaki have tested positive for coronavirus, local authorities said.
The Costa Atlantica first arrived in Nagasaki in January to undergo repairs, with top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga saying roughly 600 crew are on board.
– Bondi Beach to reopen for surfers –
Swimmers and surfers will return to Sydney’s famed Bondi Beach next week, almost six weeks after it was closed amid a spike in coronavirus cases, officials announced.
But the white sands will remain off-limits to sunbathers, joggers and families in an effort to maintain Australia’s strict social distancing requirements.
– Singapore surge –
Singapore reported 1,016 new cases which took its total to 10,141, with most new infections linked to dormitories housing foreign workers.
The city-state won praise for initially keeping its outbreak in check but has been hit by a second wave of infections. The outbreak’s epicentre are the dorms that house tens of thousands of migrants.
The government Tuesday announced an extension of a partial lockdown to fight the spread of the virus to June 1, with measures including school and workplace closures.
– Tokyo babies, toddlers catch virus –
Eight babies and toddlers at a Tokyo care centre have tested positive for the coronavirus after a staff member contracted the disease, its operator said.
Tokyo Saiseikai Central Hospital, which operates the facility, said the affected children had been hospitalised, while another 21 tested negative and were under observation.
– Conservative Indonesian province defies curbs –
The top Islamic authority in Indonesia’s conservative Aceh province says it will allow people to perform daily Ramadan mass prayers and prayers at night, in contravention of orders from the religious affairs ministry to curb such activities to fight the virus.
The Islamic holy month begins later this week.
– Hong Kong virus reshuffle –
Hong Kong’s unpopular leader Carrie Lam announced a cabinet reshuffle, with a number of key top officials either losing their jobs or moved sideways.
Lam said the reshuffle was needed to ensure the best team was in place to deal with the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and denied the changes were linked to the months of political unrest in the city last year.
New secretaries were announced for the key technology, financial services, home affairs, mainland affairs and civil service departments.
– Queues for food as virus hits jobless Thais –
Long lines of unemployed relying on free food across Bangkok, scrambles for cash handouts and fishing in fetid canals — Thais are getting increasingly desperate as the pandemic destroys the economy and the government struggles to respond.
Some 27 million informal workers — who lost their jobs in the tourism, entertainment, food and service sectors — have applied for a monthly cash handout from the government, though only half have received approval.
– 26 healthcare workers die in Philippines –
More than 1,000 Philippine healthcare workers have tested positive for the coronavirus, with 26 — including 19 doctors — dying from COVID-19, the government said.