China, South Korea report dramatic decrease in new coronavirus cases

 has reported its lowest number of new coronavirus cases since the daily reporting on infections began seven weeks ago, according to figures released on Thursday.

A total of 15 new coronavirus infections and 11 deaths were counted over the past day, according to the National Health Commission.

Eight of the new cases and 10 of the new deaths were recorded in Hubei province, where the outbreak of the disease caused by the virus, Covid-19, first occurred in December.

The numbers bring the total coronavirus cases in China to 80,793, including 3,169 deaths.

Meanwhile, South Korea reported its lowest number of daily infections of the novel coronavirus in two weeks, with figures on Thursday showing 114 new cases and six more deaths, according to Yonhap.

This brings the total cases to 7,869 and the death toll up to 66, according to the the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) as cited by Yonhap.

The majority of the cases – including 73 of the latest ones – were concentrated in the south-eastern city of Daegu and the surrounding North Gyeongsang Province.

In Japan, the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus infection has steadily increased to 1,337, including about 700 on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in the port of Yokohama.

A total of 23 people died of Covid-19, the government said.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced an economic stimulus package worth 17.6 billion Australian dollars (11.4 billion dollars) on Thursday to counter the financial impacts of the virus pandemic.

The Australian government said the country had 126 cases, including three deaths as of Thursday morning.

Also in Australia, U.S. actor Tom Hanks said on Twitter he and his wife had tested positive for coronavirus in the country’s Gold Coast region and are in isolation.

In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte was due to be tested for Covid-19 after being exposed to an official who tested positive for the virus last week, presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said.

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The president did not have symptoms, the spokesman added.

Nine cabinet members, five legislators and three mayors began self-quarantine on Thursday after also being exposed to a patient who tested positive.

A 67-year-old Filipino woman became the second person to die in the Philippines after being infected with the new coronavirus, the country’s health department said Wednesday night.

Coronavirus case numbers in Malaysia and Singapore remain by a distance the highest in southeast Asia, at 149 and 178 respectively as of Wednesday evening.

On Thursday, Malaysia’s Health Ministry urged the postponement of all “mass gatherings” after it emerged that an estimated 5,000-10,000 people met at an Islamic ceremony in Kuala Lumpur in late February that was also attended by a Bruneian who subsequently tested positive for the virus.

Thailand has reported 70 cases of the new coronavirus infection. Of the 70 cases, 35 people have been already discharged while 34 others are receiving treatment in hospital, according to information provided by the Public Health Ministry on Thursday.

One person who tested positive for the virus had died. (dpa/NAN)


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