Health, Asia - Pacific

South Asian nations increase measures against COVID-19

Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam issue travel advisory for South Korea, one of badly affected countries

Zehra Nur Duz   | 26.02.2020
South Asian nations increase measures against COVID-19


Several South Asian countries impose new measures as threat of coronavirus has widely spread around the world.

The death toll from the outbreak has reached 2,717 in mainland China, while two more lost their lives in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China.

The coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, also reportedly killed 12 in South Korea, 5 in Japan, including 2 from Diamond Princess, a virus-hit cruise ship, one each in Taiwan, and the Philippines.

The ship has been quarantined in Yokohama province, south of the Japanese capital of Tokyo. The two-week of quarantine period ended on Feb.19.

While the virus is detected in Hong Kong and Macau special administrative regions, and Taiwan outside the mainland China, the authorities in Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Nepal, India, the Philippines and Afghanistan also confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

The number of cases in different Asian countries is as follows: 78,064 in mainland China, 85 in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, 10 in Macau Special Administrative Region, 862 cases in Japan, 691 of them in Diamond Princess, 32 in Taiwan, 91 in Singapore, 40 in Thailand, 23 in Australia, 22 in Malaysia, 16 in Vietnam, three each India, the Philippines, one each in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, and Afghanistan.

Thailand has confirmed three more novel coronavirus cases Wednesday, taking the total number to 40, local daily Bangkok Post reported.

As of Feb. 26, one person has died while 32 cases of coronavirus detected in Taiwan, daily Taiwan Today quoted statistics by the Central Epidemic Command Center under the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Centers for Disease Control.

A bill for alleviating any impact from a coronavirus outbreak was signed into law by Taiwan's incumbent President Tsai Ing-wen on Tuesday to reconfirm the government’s adherence to guarantee public health while sustaining social and economic stability, Taiwan Today reported Wednesday.

The country also raised the travel advisory for South Korea to level three, the highest on its scale, on Monday.

The government has previously issued level three alerts for China, Hong Kong and Macao as part of its struggle to prohibit outbreak of the virus.

The Philippine government also has banned Wednesday all travelers coming from North Gyeongsang province in South Korea, the Philippine News Agency quoted Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo as saying.

Vietnam also banned Wednesday tourists from areas affected by outbreak in South Korea, the government announced in a news release.

The precautions came after cases of the deadly coronavirus spread faster in South Korea, as the number jumped to over 1,100 on Wednesday.

So far, Singapore confirmed 91 cases, 58 of them have fully recovered and been discharged, The Straits Times reported Wednesday.

As of today, the number of coronavirus positive cases in Malaysia has remained at 22, and 20 of them have fully recovered, Bernama news agency reported Wednesday.

A total of 66 individuals, comprising 46 Malaysian citizens and 20 of their non-citizen family members, arrived from Wuhan, China to Malaysia on Wednesday morning, according to Bernama.

These people were placed in mandatory quarantine for a 14-day period, it added.

North Korea is also taking strict measures to prevent the spread of the deadly virus in the country. Authorities in Sinuiju city have shut down transit in and out of the city as part of efforts to prohibit its spread, Daily NK have reported Wednesday.

The virus has sounded global alarm and health experts are grappling to find a cure.

The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak an international health emergency.

As the death toll in Iran rose to 19, in Italy to 11, and with Wednesday's confirmed 2 deaths in France, the coronavirus, outside mainland China, has spread to more than 30 countries, including the U.S., U.K., Singapore, France, Russia, Spain and India.

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