Asia virus latest: China imported cases rise, World Bank warning

Hong Kong (AFP) –


Here are the latest developments in Asia related to the novel coronavirus pandemic:

- China's imported cases up -

China recorded its highest daily toll of imported virus cases, confirming 97 new infections. No new deaths were reported Sunday.

The country where the disease first emerged has largely brought its domestic outbreak under control, but it faces a fresh battle against imported cases from overseas, mostly Chinese nationals returning home.

- 'Perfect storm' for South Asia -

The World Bank said South Asia is on course for its worst economic performance in 40 years because of coronavirus -- with decades of progress against poverty at risk.

India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other smaller nations have 1.8 billion people and some of the planet's most densely populated cities, and experts fear they could be the next virus hotspots.

The dire economic effects are already in evidence, with widespread lockdowns freezing most normal activity and vast numbers of poor workers suddenly jobless.

- Virus spreads in Mumbai slum -

The number of coronavirus cases has risen in Mumbai's Dharavi district, one of Asia's biggest slums and made famous by the 2008 Oscar-winning film "Slumdog Millionaire".

Mumbai council spokesman Vijay Khabale-Patil told AFP Sunday that there were now 43 cases, including four deaths, in the slum.

- Philippines' Easter lockdown -

Easter is normally greeted with parades, church services and large family parties in the overwhelmingly Catholic Philippines, but these events were cancelled in major urban centres and severely curtailed in the countryside.

With churches empty on Easter Sunday, one parish near the capital Manila had parishioners email photos of their families -- there are now over 1,000 pasted to pews.

- Tasmanian hospital cluster -

At least 35 healthcare workers at two hospitals in Tasmania, Australia, have tested positive for coronavirus, with both facilities to be temporarily closed for cleaning.

All staff at the North West Regional Hospital and North West Private Hospital in Burnie, a small port city, will be quarantined for two weeks.

- Hundreds of foreigners fly out of India -

More than 400 people, mostly Australians, left New Delhi on a charter flight to Melbourne, the Australian High Commission said Sunday.

The flight included 430 Australians and 14 New Zealanders, The Hindu reported, adding that further charter flights were expected in coming days.