Asia Today: India reports 10,000 new cases before reopenings

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NEW DELHI (AP) – India reported 9,971 new coronavirus cases Sunday in another biggest single-day spike, a day before it prepares to reopen shopping malls, hotels and religious places after a 10-week lockdown.

India has now surpassed Spain as the fifth hardest-hit by the pandemic with 246,628 confirmed cases and 6,929 fatalities.

New Delhi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad are among the worst-hit cities in the country. Six of India’s 28 states account for 73% of total cases.

India has already partially restored train services and domestic flights and allowed shops and manufacturing to reopen. E-commerce companies have started to deliver goods, including those considered nonessential, to places outside containment zones.

In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:

– 57 NEW CASES IN SOUTH KOREA: South Korea on Sunday reported 57 additional cases of the coronavirus, marking a second day in a row that its daily jump is above 50. The new cases took the country’s total to 11,776 with 273 deaths. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 10,552 of them have recovered while 951 others remain in treatment. South Korea’s caseload peaked in late February and early March when it recorded hundreds of new cases each day. But the outbreak has significantly eased amid aggressive tracing, testing and treatment, prompting authorities to loosen strict social distancing rules. The new cases in recent weeks have been linked to nightclubs, an e-commerce warehouse, church gatherings and door-to-door sellers in the Seoul metropolitan area.

– CHINA HAS FIRST LOCAL INFECTION IN WEEKS: China on Sunday reported its first non-imported case of the new coronavirus in two weeks, an infected person on the island of Hainan off the southern coast. The National Health Commission said there were also five imported cases in the previous 24-hour period, bringing the nation’s total case count to 83,036. China has largely stopped the spread of the virus at home, though it continues to have occasional localized outbreaks. It is on guard against imported cases as it begins to ease restrictions on flights and people arriving from abroad. The official death toll in China is 4,634.

– AUSTRALIA HOPES NO INFECTION FROM RALLIES: Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt said he hopes the Black Lives Matter rallies across the country on Saturday that broke COVID-19 social distancing rules will not lead to a new wave of infections. More than 20,000 people marched in Sydney and crowds rallied in Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and some regional cities and towns despite public health warnings. “We don’t know whether people will be infected,” Hunt told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio. “But if there is someone who is infectious in the midst of a crowd like that, that can have a catastrophic impact.” Australia has had over 7,250 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 102 deaths.

– CHINESE PLAYERS SUSPENDED: The Chinese Football Association says six members of the national under-19 squad have been suspended for six months for violating coronavirus control measures by leaving training camp at midnight to go drinking. “It was a severe violation of the team’s epidemic control regulations, and caused negative impacts on the whole team,” the CFA was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua News Agency. The six players will have to sit out all matches through Nov. 30. They also face further punishment from their respective clubs. Players in China have no official organization to represent their interests and it wasn’t clear if there was any way to appeal the ban.

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Follow AP news coverage of the pandemic at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

Queensland state police community liaison officers hand out face masks to people gathering for the Black Lives Matter protest in Brisbane on Saturday, June 6, 2020. Black Lives Matter protests across Australia proceeded mostly peacefully Saturday as thousands of demonstrators in state capitals honored the memory of Floyd and protested the deaths of indigenous Australians in custody. (AP Photo/John Pye)
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