From Australia’s Bondi Beach to the streets of New Delhi, authorities across Asia have ramped up efforts to stem the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus amid fears of a second wave of infections in places where outbreaks had appeared under control.
Tighter travel restrictions were imposed in several countries as the number of cases in the region soared past 95,000 — a third of the world’s infections, an AFP tally shows.
Outside China — where the virus was first detected in December and infected more than 80,000 people — South Korea is the hardest-hit country in Asia with more than 8,500 cases.
While the number of infections in China has been falling for weeks, other countries are seeing the toll gather pace from spread of the highly contagious virus.
Cases rose by roughly a third in Thailand overnight to nearly 600, fueling scepticism about claims in neighbouring Myanmar and Laos of zero infections.
Three doctors treating virus patients in Indonesia died, taking the country’s death toll to 48 with 514 confirmed infections.
Most cases are in Jakarta, where businesses have been ordered closed for two weeks.