World

More new cases stoke fear of community spread in HK

HONG KONG: Hong Kong reported 24 new coronavirus cases yesterday, with 19 of them being local infections, stoking worries of a renewed community spread in the city after it reported mostly imported cases for months, Reuters reported.

The new cases involved people aged between 31 and 92 and Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection investigations show that six of the 19 local cases are related to two restaurants where outbreak clusters have been found, Xinhua News Agency reported.

The number of new local infections that cannot be traced suggest that hidden chains of transmission have been circulating in the city for some time as social distancing measures were eased and people returned to work and social activity, Bloomberg reported.

The total number of cases in the global financial hub since late January now stands at 1,324. Seven people have died.

In South-east Asia, Indonesia reported its biggest single-day increase in new cases yesterday, with 1,853 infections, taking the case total to 68,079.

There were 50 deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities in the country to 3,359, Reuters reported.

In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte said he will not imitate the "devil-may-care attitude" of American president Donald Trump and Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro because the country is poor, Bloomberg reported.

"We cannot afford really a total epidemic or pandemonium," he said in an address yesterday. He said the country will reopen gradually.

The Philippines recorded 539 new cases yesterday, marking its biggest single-day increase and taking the total to 50,359. Five deaths took the toll to 1,314.

Malaysia yesterday postponed its Aug 31 National Day parade due to the pandemic, The Star reported.

Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said: "For now, there will be no parade. We have not scheduled for it to be held because this event involves large crowds... by the thousands. Social distancing... will be hard to put into practice."

Malaysia reported three new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 8,677. All were imported. The death toll remains at 121.

WORLD