Asia Today: India sees 10,000 new cases ahead of reopenings

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Indian volunteers spray disinfectants at a church in Jammu, India, Sunday, June 7, 2020. India whose coronavirus caseload is fifth highest in the world is Monday reopening places of worship after a period of more than two months lockdown. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)

SEOUL – India reported 9,971 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, another single-day high for the country that comes a day before it reopens shopping malls, hotels and religious venues after a 10-week lockdown.

India has now surpassed Spain as the fifth hardest-hit country, with more than 247,000 confirmed cases of the virus, including nearly 7,000 deaths.

New Delhi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad are among India's worst-hit cities. Six of the country's 28 states account for 73% of the total cases.

India has already partially restored train services and domestic flights and allowed shops and manufacturing to reopen. E-commerce companies have started to deliver goods, including those considered nonessential, to places outside containment zones.

In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:

— CHINA HAS FIRST LOCAL INFECTION IN WEEKS: China on Sunday reported its first non-imported case of the new coronavirus in two weeks, a 37-year-old woman who tested positive after arriving on the island of Hainan off the southern coast. The National Health Commission said there were also five imported cases in the previous 24-hour period, bringing the nation’s total case count to 83,036. The woman came from Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak in China, and had tested negative two days before leaving for Hainan. China has largely stopped the spread of the virus at home, though it continues to have occasional localized outbreaks. It is on guard against imported cases as it begins to ease restrictions on flights and people arriving from abroad. China's official death toll from the virus is 4,634.

— 57 NEW CASES IN SOUTH KOREA: South Korea reported 57 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, its second straight day with over 50 new infections. The country has now confirmed 11,776 cases, including 273 deaths. South Korea’s caseload peaked in late February and early March when it recorded hundreds of new cases each day. But the outbreak has significantly eased amid aggressive tracing, testing and treatment, prompting authorities to loosen strict social distancing rules. The new cases in recent weeks have been linked to nightclubs, an e-commerce warehouse, church gatherings and door-to-door sellers in the Seoul metropolitan area.

— MALAYSIA TO LIFT MORE RESTRICTIONS: Malaysians will be allowed to travel interstate, get their hair cut at salons and visit street markets beginning Wednesday, when more coronavirus lockdown restrictions are lifted. Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said Sunday that more economic sectors will reopen, schools and religious activities will gradually resume, and people can travel for domestic holidays after nearly three months of lockdown. But he said certain prohibitions will remain as the country enters a “recovery” phase until the end of August.Malaysia has confirmed just over 8,000 cases of the virus, including 117 deaths.