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Asia Today: Thailand allows some foreigners to open schools



The number of foreign visitors allowed in the country each day is limited to 200, and they are thought to travel by repatriation flights bringing home Thai citizens. All returnees, foreign and Thai, will be subject to different quarantine rates.

All confirmed cases of coronavirus for the past five weeks have been repatriated to Thais instead of local transmission cases, giving the government confidence to remove the restrictions. However, it has lasted until July in a state of emergency, although critics accuse it of being used to suppress political dissent.

Reopened institutions still need to maintain social distancing rules. A contact tracking app already used in malls is also mandated for reopened entertainment venues, including soap massage rooms, which are often illegal fronts for sexual services.

In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:

The Philippines has maintained a strict blockade in a central city President Rodrigo Duterte described as a hotbed of coronavirus, while the capital and the rest of the country were placed in lighter quarantines. The movements further extend the three-month closure and quarantine in the country that has counted more than 37,500 infected people, including 1,266 who have died. Duterte blamed the city of Cebu, which will remain under blockade until July 15, for many violations of the rules that led to the stroke of the infection. Cebu is now the hotbed of COVID. Why? Many of you did not follow them. So don’t go crazy with me, he said.

India reported 18,653 new cases of coronavirus and 507 deaths in the past 24 hours in June proving to be the worst month since the pandemic hit the country in late January. India’s total cases reached 585,493 on Wednesday, with more than 400,000 of them reporting in June alone. India’s health ministry said 17,400 people had died. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed concern about carelessness in maintaining social distance and wearing masks.

South Korea is considering listing religious sites with nightclubs, area bars and karaoke rooms as high-risk sites for the spread of COVID-19 after a large number of broadcasts related to church gatherings. Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said on Wednesday that more than 40% of newly confirmed infection sites during the previous three days were traced to places of worship. He urged people to refrain from religious gatherings and criticized churches and other facilities for failing to use appropriate preventive measures. High-risk facilities are advised to close or otherwise need to implement antivirus measures and register visitors with QR smartphone codes so that virus carriers can be tracked.

China reported only three new cases Wednesday, all in the capital Beijing, where an explosion last month appears to have stepped its course between major evidence and case tracking. No new deaths were reported, leaving 4,634 among the 83,534 cases of COVID-19 recorded since the virus was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year. With 328 reported cases since June 11, Beijing has taken back some precautionary measures, suspended classes for schoolchildren and conducted 8.3 million virus tests in cities with more than 20 million inhabitants.

Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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