Asia Today: India has another 75,800 cases, recovery high

NEW DELHI (AP) — India has registered 75,829 confirmed coronaviruses cases in the past 24 hours, a day after crossing 100,000 fatalities.

The Health Ministry raised India’s confirmed total to more than 6.5 million on Sunday and said at least 101,782 people have died of COVID-19.

India is still registering the highest number of daily cases globally but with the recovery rate at more than 83%, the number of those cured has surpassed 5.5 million, the Health Ministry said.

India also has the low fatality rate of 1.56%, which is nearly half the global one.

The Health Ministry credited the increased testing in the country for a sustained low death rate. India has conducted nearly 79 million tests so far, according to official data.

India is preparing to reopen cinemas and entertainment parks with limited capacity beginning Oct. 15, in an effort to revive the economy. Health experts warn the move has the potential for the virus to spread during the upcoming religious festival and winter season.

In other developments from the Asia-Pacific region:

— South Korea has reported 64 new cases of the coronavirus, the fourth straight day its increase came below 100, possibly reflecting the fewer number of tests conducted during one of the biggest holidays of the year. The figures released by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency on Sunday brought the national caseload to 24,091, including 421 deaths. Thirty-eight of the new cases were reported from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, which has been at the center of a viral resurgence since August. Health workers have struggled to track transmissions tied to churches, hospitals, schools and offices. Seventeen of the new cases were linked to international arrivals, mostly from other Asian countries such as the Philippines, India, and Bangladesh. There are concerns that infections could rise in coming weeks because of increased travel during the five-day Chuseok harvest holiday that continues through Sunday.

— The premier of Australia’s Victoria state has called on citizens to “stay the course” after large groups flooded beaches and parks at the weekend in defiance of strict lockdown regulations. Victoria, emerging from a major winter spike in coronavirus cases, relaxed lockdown regulations last weekend but still allowed only five people from up to two households to congregate outside. Many ignored those regulations on Saturday and crowded parks and beaches, causing Premier Daniel Andrews to remind Victorians not to be selfish and maintain social distancing. Victoria reported only 12 new coronavirus cases and one death Sunday, well down on the peaks of winter. “We are so, so close,” Andrews said. “Let’s not any of us do anything that might undermine the very positive numbers. Once we get them low, we can keep them low and we can open up again if we don’t do anything silly or anything selfish right now.” Andrews said the situation in Victoria is “delicately poised” as the state moves toward further easing of lockdown rules. “It’s sunny, yes, and people love to go to the beach when it’s sunny but there’s a global pandemic on,” he said. “Surely, there’s a greater urge to see this thing, to defeat it and to have a normal summer and have a COVID normal Christmas and 2021.”

— Sri Lankan authorities imposed a curfew Sunday in two suburbs in the most densely populated Western Province that includes the island nation’s capital after a person tested positive for the coronavirus. The curfew covers Minuwangoda and Divulapitiya suburbs, about 50 kilometers (31 miles) north of the capital Colombo. The person was receiving treatment for fever and when she was about to be discharged, a PCR test came back positive. About 15 hospital staff and 40 co-workers have been put in self-quarantine. For more than two months, health officials have been saying that they have prevented a community spread of the virus. The country has reported 3,388 confirmed cases, including 13 deaths. Of the total, 3,254 have recovered.

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