World

Manila's virus curbs extended; Thailand to welcome first tourists

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday that partial coronavirus restrictions in and around the capital region will be extended for another month until Oct 31.

The country yesterday reported 2,025 infections and 68 deaths, taking infections to 309,303, the highest in South-east Asia, while deaths have reached 5,448.

Meanwhile, Thailand will receive its first foreign vacationers when a flight from China arrives next week.

About 120 tourists from Guangzhou will fly to Phuket, Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn told Reuters.

Thailand has kept infections low with just 3,559 cases and 59 deaths, but its economy has taken a hit from a ban on foreign visitors since April.

A government spokesman said the country expects 1,200 tourists in the first month, generating about 1 billion baht (S$43.3 million) in revenue and 12.4 billion baht over one year, drawing in 14,400 tourists.

Only those from countries deemed low risk by the government will be allowed.

"We are not opening the country, we are limiting the number of entries and will manage with wristbands, apps to follow them," Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said.

Indonesia reported 4,002 infections yesterday, taking the total to 282,724. There were 128 deaths, taking the total to 10,601 fatalities.

Malaysia confirmed 101 infections yesterday.

The highest was in Sabah with 73 followed by Selangor with 14. The death toll remains at 134. - REUTERS, THE STAR

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