Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, June 18


SINGAPORE — Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) reported 257 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 41,473.

Of the new cases, 99 percent are linked to known clusters, while the rest are pending contact tracing. (Singapore-COVID-19)

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KABUL — Afghanistan’s Public Health Ministry reported 658 new COVID-19 positive cases over the past 24 hours with 42 deaths, as the number of patients infected with the virus is on constant rise and has surpassed 27,000, said a statement of the ministry released on Thursday.

According to the statement, the number of patients infected with the coronavirus in Afghanistan has risen to 27,532. The number of COVID-19 related deaths has risen to 546 since the outbreak of the disease in February. (Afghanistan-COVID-19)

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HONG KONG — The Office of the Commissioner of the Chinese foreign ministry in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on Thursday refuted a statement of foreign ministers of the Group of Seven (G7) countries and urged G7 countries to reject double standards and stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs.

The statement made unwarranted remarks about the national security legislation for the HKSAR, meddled in Hong Kong affairs, which is China’s internal affairs, and violated international law and basic norms governing international relations, a spokesperson of the office said, expressing strong opposition to the statement. (Hong Kong-G7-National Security Legislation)

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HONG KONG — The number of COVID-19 cases soared in South Asian countries including India and Bangladesh on Thursday, as Pakistan has also seen a surge in infections after easing the lockdown.

The total fatalities of in Pakistan reached 3,093, as the number of positive cases reached 160,118, the federal health ministry said. A surge in cases has been witnessed after the country eased a lockdown to support the economy and the low-income communities. (South Asia-COVID-19)

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