Asia Today: 67 new cases in S Korea, highest jump in 3 weeks
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea has reported 67 additional cases of the coronavirus, the largest daily jump in about three weeks amid an upward trend in new infections.
Figures released Saturday took the country’s total to 12,373 with 280 deaths. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 10,856 of them have recovered while 1,273 remain in treatment.
The agency says 31 of the new cases came from overseas while the rest were locally infected. They are the largest daily increase since 79 cases on May 28.
South Korea is struggling to contain a spike in fresh virus transmissions since early May, when it eased social distancing rules. Most of the new cases have been reported in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, where about half of the country’s 51 million people reside.
The new cases have been linked to nightlife establishments, church services, a big e-commerce warehouse and door-to-door sellers.
In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:
— China’s capital has recorded a further drop in new confirmed coronavirus cases as tightened measures to contain the spread remain in place. Officials reported 22 new cases in Beijing on Saturday, along with five others elsewhere in the country. No new deaths were reported and 308 people remain hospitalized. One of the Beijing cases is a nurse at a hospital in the suburban Changping district. The Peking University International Hospital where she worked is now under tightened restrictions, along with residential communities in the surrounding area. A total of 205 people have been diagnosed with the virus in Beijing since the outbreak began last week, with at least two of them critically ill and 11 others in serious condition.
— Australia’s Victoria state is set to reimpose household restrictions from Monday after recording double-digit increases in COVID-19 cases for a fourth consecutive day. Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews says household gatherings will be restricted to five guests and outdoor gatherings to 10 people until midnight July 12. Victoria recorded 25 new cases on Saturday, the biggest daily increase in two months. The planned easing of restrictions for cafes, restaurants and pubs, from a maximum of 20 guests to a maximum of 50, will be deferred for three weeks. Businesses that are set to open for the first time Monday, including gyms and cinemas, will be allowed to do so but with a maximum of 20 people. More than half of the of the new cases in Victoria have come from family-to-family transmission, Andrews said, adding: “I’m frustrated by it. I’m disappointed by it.”
— The coronavirus outbreak in China has seen as surge in online shopping, with nearly 4.7 billion packages delivered by postal and courier companies during a mid-year shopping spree, up more than 48% from last year, according to the post office. E-commerce companies such as Alibaba and JD.com have offered major promotions to turn June 1-18 into a shopping festival. China’s highly developed online retail and delivery services have been major beneficiaries during the pandemic while brick-and-mortar stores have been largely shut or forced to limit the number of customers.
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