Published: 10:19, September 3, 2020 | Updated: 18:24, June 5, 2023
Thailand's 100-day virus free run ends with new local case

People pray during the Tham Boon Duan Sib (Sart Thai) festival in the Prachapirom temple in Thailand's southern province of Narathiwat on Sept 3, 2020. (MADAREE TOHLALA / AFP)

SEOUL / SYDNEY / DUBAI / KUALA LUMPUR / HANOI / TOKYO- Thailand detected its first locally transmitted COVID-19 case since late May, snapping a streak of 100 days without community transmission.

The new case on Thursday was confirmed in an inmate of a prison in Bangkok shortly after incarceration. The patient’s history showed that he stayed with his family of five and worked as a disc jockey before being lodged in jail, health ministry officials said in Bangkok. He had no history of traveling outside the country, they said.

There was no immediate risk of infections among other inmates because all new prisoners are quarantined for a 14-day period, officials said. Health authorities are carrying out tracing of all high-risk contacts of the patient, they said.

The local transmission suggested that the virus has been spreading undetected within the community for some time, sparking concerns of another outbreak wave. Similar hidden chains of local transmission have also been reported in Vietnam and New Zealand.

The reemergence of the virus may derail Thailand’s plans to gradually reopen its popular beaches and cultural sites to foreign visitors from next month. The nation’s borders remain closed to most visitors, and almost all who enter are required to go through a 14-day quarantine at state-controlled facilities or hotels.


Australia’s Victoria state on Thursday reported a triple digit rise in new COVID-19 infections for the first time in four days, denting optimism that a second wave of cases has been contained.

Victoria state said 113 new cases were detected in the past 24 hours, up on the 90 infections reported on Wednesday.

Australia has now recorded more than 26,000 COVID-19 cases, while the death toll rose to 678 after 15 people in Victoria state died from the virus.

Victoria’s capital Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city, is in its fifth week of a six-week lockdown. 

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews, who is due to announce a roadmap for reopening the virus-hit Australian state on Sept 6, told reporters that while the restrictions were tough, moving too fast would see the state lose its hard won gains.

READ MORE: India is becoming the world's new virus epicenter

India conducted a record 1.17 million tests in the past 24 hours, taking the total number to more than 45.5 million, after longstanding criticism that India was not testing enough to map the true extent of the outbreak


India conducted a record 1.17 million tests in the past 24 hours, taking the total number to more than 45.5 million, after longstanding criticism that India was not testing enough to map the true extent of the outbreak.

India reported 83,883 new cases Thursday, pushing the total tally to 3.85 million as the world’s second-most populous nation becomes the new epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. It’s on course to overtake Brazil -- and likely the US -- to emerge the worst outbreak globally, despite enforcing a strict nationwide lockdown at the end of March.

The novel pathogen has now penetrated the vast rural hinterland where the bulk of its 1.3 billion population lives and where health care facilities are more sparse, after racing through its dense mega-cities of Mumbai and New Delhi.


Indonesia posted a record number of new coronavirus cases on Thursday, since hitting an all-time high less than a week ago.

There were 3,622 fresh cases reported over the past 24 hours through midday of Sept. 3, taking the total to 184,268, the National Disaster Management Agency said. That exceeded the 3,308 new infections on Aug. 29.

The number of deaths also surged on Thursday, with 134 people succumbing to the disease, the second-highest since the outbreak began.

The number of confirmed infections has picked up as many Indonesians traveled around the country during public holidays two weeks ago to mark the independence day.


The Iraqi Health Ministry reported 3,946 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total nationwide infections to 242,284.

It also reported 78 deaths during the day, raising the death toll to 7,201, while 3,732 more patients recovered in the day, bringing the total number of recoveries to 184,205.

The ministry frequently attributed the recent increase of COVID-19 infections to the lack of compliance of the citizens to the health instructions, as well as to the increase in the testing capacity due to the increase of labs in Baghdad and the other Iraqi provinces.


The Israeli Health Ministry reported 2,926 new coronavirus infections, the highest daily increase since the outbreak of the disease in Israel.

It also reported 12 more deaths, raising the tally of COVID-19 cases to 121,464 and the death toll to 969. The total number of recoveries in Israel rose to 97,234 after 1,020 new recoveries were confirmed on the day.


Tourism businesses in Cambodia have gradually reopened after the situation of COVID-19 in the kingdom has eased, Tourism Ministry's secretary of state Tith Chantha said on Thursday.

Some 3,135 tourism establishments such as hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, massage-spa parlors, karaoke clubs, nightclubs, beer gardens, and tour and travel operators had been either closed or suspended between March and July due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, affecting over 110,000 workers.


Japan reported 612 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the nation's cumulative total to 70,359 infections, not including those connected to a cruise ship quarantined near Tokyo earlier in the year.

The preliminary figures also showed that Tokyo confirmed 211 new cases of the virus, marking the first time since Aug 29 that the daily figure has topped the 200-mark.

The latest figure for the capital, the hardest-hit of all of Japan's 47 prefectures, is also the 10th successive day that cases have reached triple digits.

Tokyo's cumulative cases of COVID-19 infections now stand at 21,339, the Tokyo metropolitan government said.

The Tokyo metropolitan government has maintained its highest alert level on its four-tier scale meaning "infections are spreading."

Osaka Prefecture, in western Japan, the second hardest-hit region by the virus, reported 74 new cases Thursday, bringing its total tally to 8,826 infections, while Kanagawa Prefecture, next to Tokyo, reported 81 new cases to total 4,684 COVID-19 infections.

The nationwide death toll from the pneumonia-causing virus now stands at 1,346 people, according to official figures on Thursday evening.


Jordan's Health Ministry said 64 coronavirus cases were reported in the country, of whom 51 are local infections, increasing the overall number to 2,161 with 15 deaths.

Jordan said on Wednesday it would open its airports for international flights on Sept. 8 after months of closure.

All travelers to Jordan are required to provide a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test document proving negative for COVID-19 72 hours before departure, and all arrivals in Jordan will be tested again at the airport, Minister of State for Media Affairs Amjad Adaileh said in a statement.

ALSO READ: Older S. Koreans drive surge in critical COVID-19 cases

A woman walks past electric screens showing Jeon Jung-kook, a member of K-pop group BTS, at a subway station in Seoul on September 1, 2020. (JUNG YEON-JE / AFP)


Kuwait reported 667 new COVID-19 cases and one more death, raising the tally of infections to 86,478 and the death toll to 535, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry also announced the recovery of 552 more patients, raising the total recoveries in the country to 78,209.


Lebanon's number of COVID-19 infections increased by 598 cases to 18,375 while the death toll went up by six to 177, the Health Ministry reported.

The Lebanese health ministry announced in a statement that some of the field hospitals that arrived to Lebanon following the explosions to treat injured people are also receiving COVID-19 infected people for tests and treatment.

A worker inspects disposable gloves at the Top Glove factory in Shah Alam on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur on August 26, 2020. (MOHD RASFAN / AFP)


Malaysia on Thursday added at least nine more countries, including the United States, Britain and France, to its list of long-term immigration pass holders to be barred from the country, national news wire Bernama reported.

Malaysia’s government on Tuesday said it would from Sept. 7 bar entry of pass holders from India, Indonesia and the Philippines in a bid to curtail imported coronavirus cases in Southeast Asia’s third-largest economy.

The ban will now include all countries that have reported more than 150,000 coronavirus cases, the report said, citing senior minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.


The total number of COVID-19 cases in Myanmar has increased to 1,058 as of Thursday morning, according to a release from the Ministry of Health and Sports.

A total of 63 COVID-19 confirmed cases including 41 local transmission cases and 22 imported cases were reported on Thursday Morning.

According to the release, the newly confirmed cases are from Nay Pyi Taw Union Territory, Yangon and Bago regions, Rakhine and Shan states, respectively.


Palestine recorded in the last 24 hours four deaths and 843 new COVID-19 cases.

Since the outbreak of the deadly virus in the Palestinian territories in March, the health ministry recorded 31,333 cases, including 184 deaths and 21,058 recovered.


The South Pacific Island country Papua New Guinea recorded 11 new cases in the last 24 hours Wednesday evening, bringing the total confirmed cases to 471, including 232 recovered, five dead and 234 being active.

Among the new cases, two were from the West New Britain Province. It is one of the provinces that had not sent samples for testing last month and this is the first time for it to record people test positive.


The Qatari health ministry announced 212 new COVID-19 infections, raising the total number of confirmed cases in the Gulf state to 119,206.

Meanwhile, 216 more people recovered from the virus, bringing the total recoveries to 116,111, while only one death was reported, raising the fatalities to 199.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia reported 816 new COVID-19 cases and 27 more deaths, taking the total infections to 317,486 and the death toll to 3,956.

The total number of recoveries in Saudi Arabia rose to 292,510 after 996 more patients recovered from the disease.

People exercise along the St Kilda Beach foreshore in Melbourne on September 3, 2020 as the city battles an outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus. (WILLIAM WEST / AFP)


Singapore has found three new virus clusters in migrant worker dormitories previously declared cleared of the disease, reviving concerns over a source of infections that has challenged the city-state’s strategy to contain COVID-19.

South Korea

South Korea reported 195 more cases of the COVID-19 Thursday, the least in three weeks, raising the total number of infections to 20,644.

The daily caseload fell below 200 in 17 days, but it continued to grow in triple digits owing to cluster infections in Seoul and its surrounding Gyeonggi province linked to church services and a massive rally held in central Seoul on Aug 15.

Of the new cases, 69 were Seoul residents and 64 were people residing in Gyeonggi province.

Seven were imported from overseas, lifting the combined figure to 2,858.

Three more deaths were confirmed, leaving the death toll at 329. The total fatality rate stood at 1.59 percent.


The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced 735 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 71,540. It also confirmed three more deaths, pushing the country's death toll to 387.

At the same time, 538 more patients have recovered from the virus, taking the tally of recoveries in the UAE to 62,029, UAE's Ministry of Health and Prevention said.


Turkey confirmed 1,596 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total number of infections to 273,301. Meanwhile, 45 people died in the past 24 hours, taking the death toll to 6,462. The tally of recoveries rose to 246,876.


Vietnam plans to restart international commercial flights to and from six Asian cities from mid-September, state media reported on Thursday, ending months of coronavirus-related suspension after easing some restrictions on foreign business travellers.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) is proposing resuming flights to Guangzhou, Seoul, Vientiane, Phnom Penh, Chinese Taipei and Tokyo, which would mean about 5,000 travellers arriving each week, the transport ministry-run Giao Thong newspaper reported, citing CAAV deputy head, Vo Huy Cuong.

Those arriving must still undergo two weeks of quarantine, according to health ministry requirements, unless the duration of their visit is under 14 days. Vietnam has not yet reopened to tourists.

Vietnam is seeking to revive its economic activities, especially tourism and transport, which have been badly hit by the travel restrictions.

Vietnam reported no new cases of COVID-19 infection on Thursday, with its total confirmed cases standing at 1,046 while confirming one more death from the disease, according to its Ministry of Health.

The latest COVID-19 death raised the death toll in the country to 35, said the ministry, noting that the 83-year-old woman had underlying medical conditions.

Meanwhile, nine more COVID-19 patients have been given all-clear, raising the total cured cases in the country to 755, the ministry said, noting that nearly 63,700 people are being quarantined and monitored in the country.