COVID-19 Updates (August 13): Over 6,400 more virus cases confirmed in Southeast Asia

Greece records new high in coronavirus cases, Switzerland extends ban on large events for a month while in Southeast Asia, the total number of cases reaches 343,988, death toll rises to 8,543.
August 13, 2020 | 12:36
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Empty outdoor seating for a restaurant and closed hotels are shown (Photo: ABC News)

Over 6,400 more virus cases confirmed in Southeast Asia

Health authorities in Southeast Asian countries on Wednesday confirmed the total number of coronavirus cases reached 343,988 on Wednesday, as 6,465 new cases were reported across the region. According to Andalou Agency, the death toll in the region rose to 8,543 fatalities, with 217,999 recoveries.

The number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines surge to 143,749 as the country’s Department of Health reported 4,444 more cases over the past 24 hours. It said at least 93 people have died over the past day, bringing the nationwide death toll to 2,404. The number of recoveries rose by 68,997 as 636 more patients won the battle against the virus. The Philippines remains the worst-hit country by the novel coronavirus among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states.

Meanwhile, Indonesia reported 1,942 new cases over the last 24 hours, taking the total tally to 130,718. The total number of fatalities reached 5,903, with 79 additions over the past day. As many as 2,088 patients have recovered in the same period, bringing the total number of recoveries to 85,798.

The Thai government has reported five new cases. The total number of cases in Thailand rose to 3,356, including 3,169 recoveries and 58 deaths.

Cambodia reported two new cases of COVID-19, bringing the tally to 268. So far, 220 patients in the country have recovered.

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Greece: Authorities lock down nursing home after detecting 36 COVI-19 cases (Photo: Andalou Agency)

European Countries Impose Fresh Rules Amid Covid-19 Resurgence

Countries throughout Europe are expanding mask restrictions and recording “worrying” Covid-19 case numbers, sparking fears of a second wave, as the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control warns European nations are seeing a “true resurgence in cases” amid relaxed social distancing measures, cited by Forbes.

Germany recorded 1,226 cases Wednesday, marking the biggest daily rise in cases since May 9, which health minister Jens Spahn called “very worrying” due to there now being outbreaks “in nearly all parts of the country.”

After imposing new mask restrictions in Paris earlier this week, France announced Wednesday it will “mobilize police forces” and ramp up checks to ensure mask-wearing rules are being followed, with government spokesman Gabriel Attal warning, “We’re at a tipping point.”

Spain, which is registering 90 average daily cases per 100,000 people, overtook the United Kingdom as the European country with the highest Covid-19 cases last week and recorded 8618 new cases over the weekend, though officials say case counts are “beginning to stabilize.”

Switzerland on Wednesday extended a ban on large gatherings by a month amid a spike in coronavirus cases. The government also made compulsory the wearing of masks on flights from Aug. 15. On Wednesday, the health authorities reported 274 more virus cases, bringing the tally to 37,169. The death toll from COVID-19 has reached 1,991 and recoveries are at 32,700, according to data from the US-based Johns Hopkins University.

Greece on Wednesday reported 262 new cases of the coronavirus, the highest single-day figure since the start of the outbreak, the country's health authority said. Of the new infections, 22 were imported and detected at airports and other entry points, said the National Organization of Public Health (EODY).

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A woman wearing mask in Hong Kong (Photo: Andalou Agency)

China's community virus cases hit single digits

China’s newly confirmed community transmitted cases of coronavirus fell into the single digits on Wednesday, while Hong Kong saw another 33 cases of infection, according to ABC News.

The National Health Commission said all nine new cases were found in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, whose capital Urumqi has been at the center of China’s latest major outbreak. Another 25 cases were brought by Chinese travelers arriving from abroad.

The government has recorded 4,634 deaths from COVID-19 among 84,737 cases. Hong Kong, a densely populated semi-autonomous southern Chinese city, also recorded another six deaths to bring its total to 58 among 4,181 cases.

Authorities have ordered mask-wearing in public settings, restrictions on indoor dining and other social distancing measures in a bid to stem its latest outbreak. Those measures appear to have been successful in bringing numbers down from the more than 100 new daily cases reported at the end of last month.

Asia's World Cup qualifiers postponed to 2021

Qualifying matches in Asia for the 2022 Qatar World Cup have been postponed until next year due to the coronavirus pandemic, world governing body FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation said in a statement on Wednesday.

The second round of Asian qualifiers were originally scheduled to take place during the international windows in October and November but they would not go ahead due to the “COVID-19 situation in many countries.”, cited by Canadian Postmedia Network.

It marks the second time the qualifiers, which also serve as the road to the 2023 Asian Cup in China, have been pushed back as matches in March and June were also postponed due to the pandemic.

The AFC also suspended its elite club competition, the Asian Champions League (ACL), in early March because of the virus.

Qatar will be the regional hub for matches in West Asia when the ACL resumes on Sept. 14. Malaysia was named the centralized hub in East Asia with matches in the region due to restart in October. (Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; Editing by Peter Rutherford).

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