Asean Reports Fewer New Covid-19 Cases and Related Deaths; Philippines Fear of More Delta Variants Cases in Manila

BANGKOK, Aug 16 (The Nation Thailand/ANN): South-East Asia saw a fall in new Covid-19 cases and related deaths on Monday, collated data from Asean countries showed.

Countries in the region reported 85,308 new cases on Monday, lower than Sunday’s 91,166, and 2,298 deaths, down from the previous day’s 2,522.

The number of Covid-19 cases crossed 8.78 million and deaths rose to 191,063.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo vowed on Monday during the annual state of the nation speech to parliament to keep working to reform the nation, even as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to batter Indonesia’s economy.

He said while gross domestic product grew 7 per cent in the second quarter, tighter social restrictions in place since early July to curb the spread of the delta variant were set to weigh heavily on the economy this quarter.

The president also promised to ease travel restrictions on Java island from Monday and on the four major islands on Aug 23.

But it was still high in the Philippines.

The Philippines’ Department of Health (DOH) reported 14,610 new Covid-19 infections on Monday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 1,755,846. The death toll climbed to 30,366 after 27 more patients died from the viral disease, the DOH added.

Cynthia Saloma, executive director of the Philippine Genome Center, said on Monday that the Delta variant “is rapidly overtaking the other variants of concern in the Philippines,” adding that the Delta variant makes up 42 percent of the total sequences in the country.

“The increase is more noticeable in Metro Manila,” she told a televised press conference.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online briefing that the Delta variant was detected in almost half of the latest batch of over 300 samples subjected to genome sequencing.

Vergeire said the DOH expects the Covid-19 cases to continue to rise in the coming days because of the community transmission of the Delta variant and the mobility of people amid the two-week hard lockdown that began on Aug 6.

Meanwhile a Singaporean undergraduate, who was studying acting in Britain, was convicted on Monday of exposing others to the risk of Covid-19 infection after returning to Singapore.

Esther Tan Ling Ying, 24, had some Covid-19 symptoms before she flew back from London via Doha.

But in breach of her stay-home notice, she had eaten at a foodcourt at the airport on March 23 last year. District Judge convicted Tan on Monday, and adjourned mitigation and sentencing to August 30.

For exposing others to the risk of infection of Covid-19, Tan can be jailed for up to six months and fined up to $10,000. – The Nation Thailand/ANN

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