Asia - Pacific, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Infections rise in SE Asia, Philippines top 5,400

Malaysia’s cases exceed 5K, Singapore rolls out nearly $5B financial support to aid employers pay salaries to 1.9M workers

Hayati Nupus   | 15.04.2020
Infections rise in SE Asia, Philippines top 5,400

JAKARTA

The coronavirus cases in southeast Asian countries continued to rise, with the Philippines recording the highest number of coronavirus cases -- over 5,400 -- in the region.

The Philippines reported 230 new cases of the infection, raising the tally to 5,453, a statement by the country’s Department of Health said, adding that 14 more patients died from the virus taking the country’s death toll to 349.

The country has so far confirmed 353 recoveries from the virus.

Malaysia

Malaysia's infections exceeded the 5,000 mark on Wednesday, according to the country's official figures.

Addressing a news conference, Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah, the country's health chief, said the country recorded 85 new COVID-19 cases.

It is the first time since March 14 that Malaysia recorded lower than 100 cases in a 24-hour span, he added. Total cases in the country hit 5,072.

He confirmed one new death, bringing the country’s death toll from the virus to 83.

Abdullah said 169 more patients were released from hospitals after recovery from the illness.

A total of 2,647 patients have recovered from COVID-19 in the country since the outbreak, he noted, adding that the recovery rate in Malaysia was 52.2% among all cases.


Indonesia

In Indonesia, the Health Ministry recorded 10 fatalities, raising the death toll to 469.

The ministry also recorded another 297 cases, pushing the total to 5,136, including 446 recoveries.

Thailand

The Buddhist-majority country Thailand reported 30 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, raising the country’s toll to 2,643.

According to the National News Bureau of Thailand, there were total 43 deaths due to the COVID-19, after two more patients died recently.

So far, 1,497 patients have recovered from the virus.

Singapore

Singapore has 3,252 coronavirus cases while 10 people have lost their lives due to the infection on Tuesday.

The city-state registered 334 new cases, all of whom were locally transmitted. 611 patients have recovered from the virus.

Singapore has closed educational institutions and most offices to stem the spread of the infection.

Meanwhile, the city-state’s Finance Ministry said in a statement that over 140,000 employers will get first tranche of payouts -- nearly $5billion -- under the Jobs Support Scheme from today to help them to cover the salaries of more than 1.9 million local employees.

Myanmar

In Myanmar, four deaths were reported, while a total of 63 cases were confirmed, including two recoveries.

Laos, Brunei, Vietnam, Cambodia

Laos confirmed 19 cases including one recovery, while Brunei reported 136 cases and 108 recoveries, with one death so far.

Vietnam recorded 267 cases, including 171 recoveries, while Cambodia confirmed 122 cases with 96 recoveries. The two countries have not reported any deaths from the virus.


Global situation 

After originating in Wuhan, China last December, the virus known as COVID-19 has spread to at least 185 countries and regions across the world, with its epicenter shifting to Europe, while China has largely come out of the crisis.

More than 2 million people have been infected worldwide while above 501,000 people recovered from the disease, according to data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University. The death toll surpassed 128,000.

Despite the rising number of cases, most people who get infected suffer only mild symptoms and make a recovery.

* Writing by Rhany Chairunissa Rufinaldo in Jakarta, Riyaz-Ul Khaliq from Ankara, Turkey also contributed to this story

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