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Asia virus: Sri Lanka soldiers isolated, Vietnam relaxes; China to give WHO more money

AFP – Here are the latest developments from Asia related to the novel coronavirus pandemic:

– Sri Lanka sailors isolated –

Sri Lanka isolated a navy camp near the capital Colombo after 30 sailors tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday.

The military said the entire facility in the Colombo suburb of Welisara was placed under quarantine. The number of confirmed cases nationwide jumped to 368 after the sailors tested positive.

The island nation has been under a curfew since March 20.

– Vietnam loosens curbs –

Vietnam eased some social distancing measures, with experts pointing to a decisive response involving mass quarantines and expansive contact tracing as the reason for its apparent success in containing the coronavirus.

The southeast Asian nation has recorded just 268 cases and zero deaths, according to official tallies.

– China to give WHO more money –

China announced it will give another $30 million to the World Health Organization to help in the global fight against the pandemic, after Washington said it would freeze funding.

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The US, which is the WHO’s biggest contributor, accused the organisation last week of “mismanaging” the COVID-19 crisis, drawing ire from Beijing.

– No more Olympic delays: Tokyo chief –

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics cannot be delayed beyond the year-long postponement already forced by the coronavirus outbreak, the organising committee’s president warned.

Yoshiro Mori said there is “absolutely no” chance of postponing the Games beyond their rescheduled July 23, 2021 opening, according to Kyodo News agency.

– China reports no new deaths –

For the eighth straight day, China’s National Health Commission reported no new deaths from COVID-19 in its daily figures.

It said China confirmed just 10 new cases, six of them imported.

The country where the virus emerged last year has brought its domestic outbreak under control, but is now trying to stop infections coming in from overseas.

– Australia wants ‘weapons inspector’ powers for WHO –

Australia’s prime minister called for the World Health Organization to be given powers similar to UN-backed weapons inspectors, allowing their experts to enter virus-stricken countries to help prevent future pandemics.

WHO member countries should be required to allow independent health inspectors to investigate new outbreaks within their borders as a condition of membership, Scott Morrison said.

– Singapore, HK jail quarantine dodgers –

Singapore has handed down its first prison sentence for a virus-related offence, jailing a man for six weeks after he breached quarantine orders to go out for some food.

Alan Tham Xiang Sheng was ordered to stay home for 14 days after returning to Singapore from overseas in March, as part of measures aimed at halting the spread of the virus.

But he went out to a food court to enjoy a pork rib soup dish, according to local media, and also visited several other places.

Hong Kong has also jailed a number of people for breaching the city’s strict quarantine guidelines.

On Monday, a court sentenced an Indian businessman to four weeks behind bars, the first foreigner to receive a jail sentence, after he was caught breaking quarantine orders.

– Joy! Tokyo deploys Marie Kondo in virus fight –

Worried about getting bored while stuck at home during holidays amid the coronavirus pandemic? The Tokyo governor has a solution: Decluttering with Marie Kondo.

Governor Yuriko Koike told reporters the metropolitan government will share fun videos — including those of the home improvement guru — to keep Tokyo residents entertained during the forthcoming “Golden Week” holidays.