People walk around a mall in Jakarta on Oct 28, 2020. (ADEK BERRY / AFP)
AMMAN / DHAKA / BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN / DUBAI / JAKARTA / SEOUL / BISHKEK / ADEN / CANBERRA / BANGKOK / KUALA LUMPUR / HANOI / YANGON / BAGHDAD - Indonesia's confirmed COVID-19 cases surpassed 400,000 on Wednesday after 4,029 new cases were recorded within one day, pushing the tally to 400,483, while the death toll rose by 100 to 13,612.
The ministry also said that 3,545 more people were discharged from hospitals, bringing the total number of recovered patients to 325,793.
The virus has spread to all the country's 34 provinces after being first detected in the archipelagic nation on March 2.
Jakarta detected the highest number of infections with 102,678 cases and 2,188 deaths, followed by East Java with 51,506 cases and 3,704 deaths, and West Java 34,745 cases with 708 deaths.
Head of Indonesia's national COVID-19 task force Doni Monardo on Tuesday acknowledged that the number of deaths caused by COVID-19 in the country still hovered above the global average.
However, Monardo said he was optimistic that the government would soon be able to reduce the virus-related fatalities through robust cooperation among health workers.
The death toll of COVID-19 in Afghanistan has increased to 1,529 after six patients lost their lives within the past 24 hours, the country's Ministry of Public Health reported on Wednesday.
The ministry also confirmed 113 new cases during the period, bringing the number of infected people across the country to 41,145, including 5,379 active cases, the ministry said in a statement.
The deaths were recorded in western Herat and eastern Kabul and Nangarhar provinces.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has urged to develop alternatives to large-scale lockdowns to deal with future coronavirus outbreaks in the country.
Morrison on Tuesday delivered a direct plea to unshackle the country's economy from lockdowns and border closures.
"Borders and lockdowns are not demonstration or evidence of success," he told the parliament.
"They are evidence of outbreaks that have got out of control. They are evidence of things that have not gone as they should," he said. "As we look to the future, we cannot look to a future of lockdown as a way of managing this virus.
"What we must do is ensure we have the testing and the tracing and the isolation and the quarantine options," he noted.
As of Wednesday afternoon there have been 27,554 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia, and the number of new cases in last 24 hours was 14, according to the latest figures from the federal health ministry.
The national death toll increased by two to 907, and the two new deaths were in Victoria, the hardest-hit state in the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
Bangladesh reported 1,493 new COVID-19 cases and 23 more deaths on Wednesday, making the tally at 403,079 and the death toll at 5,861, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said.
The official data showed that 12,357 samples were tested in the last 24 hours across Bangladesh.
The total number of recovered patients in the country stood at 319,733 including 1,610 new recoveries on Wednesday, said the DGHS.
According to the official data, the fatality rate in Bangladesh stands at 1.45 percent and the current recovery rate is 79.32 percent.
Bangladesh recorded the highest daily new cases of 4,019 on July 2 and the highest number of deaths of 64 on June 30.
Brunei reported no new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday with the national tally remaining at 148.
According to the Ministry of Health, no more recoveries from the coronavirus pandemic were recorded, leaving the total number of recovered people unchanged at 143. There are still two active cases being treated at the National Isolation Center, who were recorded on Oct. 14 and Oct. 22 respectively.
Meanwhile, currently there are 274 people, who are all returned overseas travellers, undergoing mandatory isolation at the monitoring centers provided by the government.
There have been three deaths reported from COVID-19 in Brunei.
Cambodia's Ministry of Health (MoH) confirmed on Wednesday that two Cambodian citizens returning from Japan tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections in the kingdom to 290.
The duo, aged 23 and 34, arrived in Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, on Monday from Japan via a connecting flight in South Korea, the MoH said in a press release.
"The results of their samples' tests showed (on Tuesday) that they were positive for the COVID-19," the MoH said.
Iranian parliament speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf has tested positive for coronavirus and is currently in self-isolation, the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported.
The speaker and also former Tehran's mayor further noted that he is currently in quarantine, but will continue working.
Earlier this month, IRNA reported the country’s nuclear energy chief Ali Akbar Salehi as well as Mohammad Bagher Nobakht, a deputy president and top aide to President Hassan Rouhani, had also tested positive for the virus.
Iran announced on Wednesday its highest daily figure of deaths related to the COVID-19 epidemic so far, after 415 people died in the past 24 hours, according to the Iranian Ministry of Health and Medical Education's website.
The Iraqi Health Ministry reported on Wednesday 4,043 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of nationwide infections to 463,951.
The ministry also reported 46 new deaths and 2,929 more recovered cases in the country, raising the death toll from the infectious virus to 10,770 and the total recoveries to 391,010.
A total of 2,814,495 tests have been carried out across the country since the outbreak of the disease in February, with 19,721 done during the day, according to the statement.
India's federal Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani Wednesday tested positive for COVID-19.
Irani took to social media networking platform to announce she has contracted the infection and urged those who came in contact with her in the past few days to get themselves tested.
Total deaths in India due to COVID-19 pandemic surpassed the 120,000-mark on Wednesday, according to the latest data released by the federal health ministry.
With 508 deaths in the past 24 hours the total death toll reached 120,010. The total COVID-19 tally reached 7,990,322 as 43,893 new cases were detected across the country since Tuesday morning.
Still there are 610,803 active cases in the country, while 7,259,509 people have been successfully cured and discharged from hospitals.
Indian Government's focus has been on ramping up COVID-19 testing facilities across the length and breadth of the country.
Israel's Ministry of Health reported 873 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the total to 311,724.
The number of death cases reached 2,483, with 30 new fatalities, while the number of patients in serious condition decreased from 496 to 467, out of 819 patients currently hospitalized.
The ministry also reported 296,656 recoveries, with 1,802 new ones, while active cases currently stand at 12,598, the lowest figure since July 6.
Jordan on Tuesday reported 3,800 new coronavirus cases, the highest daily spike in the country so far, raising the tally to 58,855.
The death toll from the virus in Jordan climbed by 44 to 668, while the tally of recoveries stood at 7,508.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) confirmed 1,390 new coronavirus cases and two more deaths, taking the tally of infections in the country to 127,624 and the death toll to 482.
A total of 1,708 new recoveries were registered, raising the tally of recoveries in the UAE to 122,458.
Kuwait reported 775 new COVID-19 cases and seven more deaths, raising the tally of infections to 123,092 and the death toll to 756 in the country.
Kyrgyzstan reported 538 new COVID-19 cases during the past 24 hours, taking the nationwide tally to 57,276, authorities said Wednesday.
Two new deaths were registered over the last 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 1,138 in the Central Asian nation.
The Republican Headquarters for Combating COVID-19 also reported 414 more recoveries, raising the total recoveries in the country to 48,637.
The novel coronavirus has spread to all regions nationwide. The worst-hit area is the capital Bishkek, where 139 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours and a total of 20,016 cases have been registered since the outbreak of the pandemic.
Malaysia reported 801 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the national total to 29,441, according to the country's Health Ministry.
Health Ministry Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah said Wednesday at a press briefing that two of the new cases are imported and 799 are local transmissions, the majority of which are from the eastern state of Sabah.
Another eight new deaths have been reported, bringing the death toll to 246.
Another 573 patients have been released after recovery, bringing the total cured and discharged to 19,072, or 64.8 percent of all cases.
Of the remaining 10,123 active cases, 94 are being held in intensive care and 25 of those are in need of assisted breathing.
The number of COVID-19 cases has risen to 49,072 with 1,406 new cases in Myanmar as of Wednesday, according to a daily release from the Health and Sports Ministry.
Another 25 new deaths were reported in the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 1,172 so far, the release said.
As of Wednesday, a total of 28,636 recovered patients have been discharged from hospitals.
New Zealand reported two new imported cases of COVID-19 in managed isolation and no new community cases on Wednesday.
The first imported case is a person who arrived from Paris on Friday while the second arrived from London, according to the Ministry of Health.
Both cases were identified during routine testing around the thrid day of their time in managed isolation and have been transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility, said in a ministry statement.
Four cases have recovered as the total number of active cases stands at 66, and the country's total number of confirmed cases is 1,587.
Mask-clad Yemeni students sit for their final secondary school exams in Sanaa on Aug 15, 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic crisis. (MOHAMMED HUWAIS / AFP)
Pakistan is evaluating some actions and restrictions for hotspots to contain a second wave of the virus, Faisal Sultan, the special assistant on health to the prime minister, said in a televised briefing on Oct. 28.
The South Asian nation’s daily cases have increased to between 700 and 750 from 400 to 500, Sultan said. The nation had experienced a peak in fresh virus cases about four months ago.
Qatar on Tuesday announced 257 new COVID-19 infections, raising the total confirmed cases in the Gulf state to 131,689.
The Qatari health ministry also reported 274 more recoveries, bringing the overall recoveries in Qatar to 128,617, while the death toll remained unchanged at 230 for the third day running.
The Kuwaiti health ministry also announced the recovery of 725 more patients, taking the total recoveries in the country to 114,116.
Saudi Arabia’s total COVID-19 cases rose by 399 to 345,631 while the death toll climbed by 16 to 5,329, the Saudi Health Ministry said. The tally of recoveries in the kingdom rose on Tuesday to 332,117 with the registration of 426 new recovered cases.
The kingdom is ready to receive on Nov. 1 foreign pilgrims to perform Umrah for the first time since the outbreak earlier this year. On Oct. 4, Saudi Arabia received the first batch of domestic pilgrims within tight precautionary measures.
Singapore will allow some migrant workers -- who have largely been confined to dormitories -- to visit recreation centers as the city-state gradually relaxes measures to stem the spread of COVID-19.
The more than 300,000 overseas workers have been confined to their living quarters since April, and have only been allowed out in recent months to go to work and for essential errands, after the coronavirus ripped through the tightly-packed dormitories. That’s even as life has been slowly returning to normal for local Singaporeans and white-collar expatriates.
The workers will also be allowed to visit restaurants, mini-marts and other outlets at selected recreation centers on their days off from Oct 31, the Ministry of Manpower said in a statement. Visits must be booked in advance via a smart-phone application with dormitory operators checking that workers have valid passes before being allowed to leave.
The relaxation of controls on the workers comes after more than two months of trials and with infection rates in the community and dormitories having stayed at low levels, the ministry said. Around 30,000 workers have already booked exit passes as part of the trials.
The number of confirmed cases in the coronavirus outbreak in South Korea stands at 26,146, according to data from the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency. There were 103 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours versus 88 a day earlier. Total deaths rose by one to 461.
Medical staff wait for people wishing to perform a free test in a COVID-19 swab testing site on Khao San Road in the famous backpacker district of Bangkok on Oct 12, 2020. (PHOTO / AFP)
Thailand has extended the emergency rule over the COVID-19 pandemic until the end of November.
The cabinet of ministers, headed by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, on Wednesday approved the one-month extension proposed by Center for the COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), to Nov 30.
The emergency rule imposed nationwide has been extended for eight consecutive months.
Prayut earlier said that no other laws could provide anti-pandemic, public health safety measures as effectively and promptly as emergency rule.
Thailand has so far reported a total of 3,759 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 59 deaths and 3,561 recoveries.
The Philippines' health ministry on Wednesday recorded 2,053 new coronavirus infections and 61 additional deaths. In a bulletin, the ministry said total confirmed infections have risen to 375,180 while deaths reached 7,114.
The Philippines has the second most number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Southeast Asia after Indonesia.
Turkey reported 2,209 new COVID-19 infections and 76 more deaths on Tuesday, raising the total number of cases to 366,208 and the death toll to 9,950.
In addition, 1,511 patients recovered from the virus in the last 24 hours, raising the total recoveries to 317,519 in Turkey since the pandemic's outbreak.
Vietnam reported a new case of COVID-19 infection on Wednesday, bringing its total confirmed cases to 1,173 with 35 deaths from the disease so far, according to its Ministry of Health.
The new case is a Vietnamese man who has recently entered the country from abroad and was quarantined upon arrival, said the ministry.
The ministry announced that as many as 1,062 patients in the country have been given all-clear as of Wednesday.
Meanwhile, 14,800 people are being quarantined and monitored in the country.
Vietnam has gone through 56 straight days without any COVID-19 cases in the community, according to the ministry.
A woman (center) walks past an employee at a department store after measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus were eased in Melbourne on Oct 28, 2020. (WILLILAM WEST / AFP)
A first-of-its-kind study using satellite images to count fresh graves and analyse burial activity in Yemen has estimated the death toll there from COVID-19 or COVID-related causes is far higher than official government figures suggest.
Using high-resolution satellite imagery, researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) analyzed burial activity at all identifiable cemeteries in Yemen's Aden region and calculated an estimated 2,100 "excess deaths" during the COVID-19 outbreak between April and September.
"This total is best interpreted as the net sum of deaths due to COVID-19 infection and deaths indirectly attributable to the pandemic," they said. The indirect deaths would be those caused by disruptions to health services or by measures which may have caused problems accessing food, they added.
Humanitarian and global health experts had expected the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on Yemen to be severe, not least because the country's five-year conflict has disrupted already weak health services and led to overcrowding, food insecurity and shrinking humanitarian aid.
But as of 25 October 2020, Yemen, which reported its first confirmed COVID-19 case on April 10, had recorded only 2,064 infections with 600 deaths from the disease.
No comment was immediately available from Yemen authorities on the satellite estimates but the internationally recognized overnment has said previously that it reports figures daily for areas under its control and nothing is hidden.
HONG KONG NEWS