Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1000 GMT, Feb. 16


HONG KONG — With the market soaring to an over-30-month high on Tuesday, Calvin Tai Chi Kin, interim chief executive of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), expressed optimism that the fund-raising through initial public offerings (IPOs) will continue to be robust this year.

The market had a bullish start on the first trading day of the Year of the Ox. The benchmark Hang Seng Index opened higher Tuesday and hit 30,793.48 points in the afternoon, the strongest level since June 2018. The index closed at 30,746.66 points, up 1.90 percent from the previous trading day. (HK-Stocks-Bullish)

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MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) of the Philippines reported on Tuesday 1,391 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 552,246.

The death toll climbed to 11,524 after seven more patients died from the viral disease, the DOH said, adding that 45 more patients recovered, raising the total number of recoveries to 511,796. (Philippines-COVID-19)

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NEW DELHI — At least 32 passengers were killed and several others missing Tuesday after a passenger bus carrying them skidded off the road and fell into a canal in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, officials said.

Seven people have been rescued. (India-Bus Accident-Casualties)

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JAKARTA — At least nine people have been reportedly killed after a landslide that hit an Indonesian village on Java island on Sunday evening, the country’s disaster mitigation agency said on Tuesday.

Until Monday evening, the rescue team in the location had recovered nine bodies from the landslide debris in Ngetos village in Nganjuk district, East Java province, the National Disaster Management Agency’s spokesman Raditya Jati said in a statement. (Indonesia-Landslide-Casualties)

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CANBERRA — Australia has approved the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) on Tuesday approved the vaccine for use in people over the age of 18, but said that the decision to vaccinate those over the age of 65 should be assessed on a “case-by-case basis.” (Australia-COVID19-Vaccine)

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