Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, June 19


TOKYO — The Japanese government on Friday launched a free smartphone app which notifies people who have come into close contact with someone confirmed to have been infected with the novel coronavirus.

The app, based on technology developed by Apple Inc. and Google LLC but operated by the health ministry, records situations when people come into contact with each other at less than one meter apart for fifteen minutes or more, using Bluetooth and encryption technology. (Japan-COVID-19 app)

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HONG KONG — The nomination period for the 2020 Legislative Council General Election will run from July 18 to 31, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government’s Registration and Electoral Office (REO) announced on Friday.

The Legislative Council General Election will be held on Sept. 6. A total of 70 members, 35 from geographical constituencies and 35 from functional constituencies, will be returned. (Hong Kong-Election)

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SINGAPORE — Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) reported 142 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 41,615.

Of the new cases, 97 percent are linked to known clusters, while the rest are pending contact tracing. (Singapore-COVID-19)

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TOKYO — Japan on Friday completely lifted its request for people not to travel across prefectural lines, with the move met by a return of passengers to airports and train stations.

The nationwide state of emergency for the entire country was lifted late last month, however the government had requested that people continue to refrain from making unnecessary trips across prefectural borders. (Japan-Travel)

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KABUL — Afghanistan reported 346 new COVID-19 cases within the past 24 hours on Friday, bringing the total tally to 27,878 cases, the Ministry of Public Health confirmed.

“Within the past 24 hours, 893 suspected cases were tested, out of which 346 tested positive in 12 provinces of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces,” the ministry said in a statement. (Afghanistan-COVID-19)

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