Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1000 GMT, March 22

Asia

MANILA — The Philippines’ Department of Health (DOH) reported on Monday 8,019 new COVID-19 cases, the highest number of daily infections since the outbreak began in January last year, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 671,792.

It is the first time that the Philippines breached the 8,000-mark of daily infections. The country has registered over 7,000 daily coronavirus infections since Friday. (Philippines-COVID-19 Cases)

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VIENTIANE — The ongoing inaugural session of the ninth legislature of the Lao National Assembly (NA) on Monday morning elected Thongloun Sisoulith, general secretary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) Central Committee, as the country’s new president, replacing Bounnhang Vorachit.

After assuming the presidency, Thongloun vowed to actively work with the LPRP, the state leaders and the Lao people to create favorable conditions for stability, national economic growth and poverty reduction in the country. (Laos-New President)

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NEW DELHI — Fear of the second wave of COVID-19 looms large in India as 46,951 new cases reported during the past 24 hours took the total tally to 11,646,081, according to the data issued by the federal health ministry on Monday.

Meanwhile, 212 more deaths recorded during the past 24 hours took the death toll to 159,967. Both the numbers of new cases and additional deaths are the highest so far this year. (India-COVID-19 Cases)

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SYDNEY — Tens of thousands of residents have been evacuated in a major flooding event on Australia’s east coast, with heavy rainfall across large parts of New South Wales (NSW) state expected to continue.

As of Monday, roughly 15,000 people have been evacuated from properties in northern NSW, while closer to state capital Sydney, around 3,000 people have been forced to leave their homes near the Nepean and Hawkesbury rivers. (Australia-Floods)

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HONG KONG — Chief Executive of China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam took the second shot of the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday and called on Hong Kong residents to actively get the jab so as to return to normal lives at an early date.

She got fully vaccinated at the government headquarters along with multiple officials on Monday, nearly a month after the local mass inoculation program started. (Hong Kong-COVID-19-Vaccination)

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