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Coronavirus: Latest updates from across Asia

Latest news from the Middle East to Japan.

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(Ben Birchall/PA)

(Ben Birchall/PA)

(Ben Birchall/PA)

Hard-hit China and South Korea are seeing a decline in new cases of the coronavirus, but the fight against Covid-19 continues across Asia.

Here are the latest updates:

SYRIA

The government announced a series of precautionary measures, including closing schools and universities until April 2.

The government also said it was reducing working hours in public institutions and cancelling all cultural and sporting events, and all other events involving large gatherings.

Syria also said it has taken preventive measures at all ports and border crossings. It has suspended travel with neighbouring countries Iraq and Jordan, and has halted religious tourism for a month.

INDIA

New Delhi declared Covid-19 a “notified disaster” which would enable the country to provide assistance and spend more funds to fight the pandemic. The move came after the number of cases rose to 84, with two deaths. Ten people have recovered fully.

The health ministry said more than 4,000 people who had contact with the confirmed cases are under surveillance.

A volunteer distributes face masks in India
A volunteer distributes face masks in India (Channi Anand/AP)

IRAN

State TV said the virus has killed another 97 people, pushing the death toll to 611 amid 12,729 confirmed cases.

PHILIPPINES

Officials announced a night curfew in the capital and said millions of people in the densely populated region should leave their homes during the daytime only for work or urgent business.

Drastic steps announced by President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday had sparked widespread confusion, prompting officials to detail the measures and issue guidelines for the month-long restrictions in Manila that will take effect on Sunday.

Rodrigo Duterte
Rodrigo Duterte (Richard Madelo/Malacanang Presidential Photographers Division/AP)

The measures involve suspending domestic travel by land, air and sea to and from the capital region, home to more than 12 million people. Large gatherings like concerts and movies will be prohibited and most government work in executive department offices will be suspended in the metropolis. Suspensions of school classes at all levels were extended by a month.

The 74-year-old president was tested for the virus on Thursday after he met cabinet officials, who said they had been exposed to people who tested positive. Mr Duterte tested negative, according to his spokesman.

SAUDI ARABIA

The country is halting all international flights to the kingdom for two weeks, starting on Sunday.

Sparse crowds at the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in Mecca
Sparse crowds at the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in Mecca (Amr Nabil/AP)

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Health officials ordered the elderly to stay home and authorities said some federal employees could begin working from home for two weeks.

ABU DHABI

The National newspaper reported that nightclubs and tourist restaurants in the emirate will be shut down until the end of March. The Department of Culture and Tourism also suspended all planned events, including concerts. The decision does not extend to Dubai.

INDONESIA

The capital Jakarta is closing all state schools for 14 days from Monday.

Officials spray disinfectant in a mosque in Jakarta
Officials spray disinfectant in a mosque in Jakarta (Achmad Ibrahim/AP)

City governor Anies Baswedan urged residents to conduct social distancing measures to reduce the risk of the virus spreading between individuals.

He had previously announced a lockdown of all tourist destinations and entertainment sites for two weeks.

SOUTH KOREA

Prime minister Chung Se-kyun said the war against the coronavirus is broadening despite a notable decline in new cases.

He is urging vigilance after the emergence of infection clusters in areas including Seoul and warning of the possibility of the virus re-entering the country from abroad amid widening outbreaks in the West.

JAPAN

Prime minister Shinzo Abe said the outbreak has not reached a point that requires him to declare a national emergency.

He said the per-capita infection in Japan is much lower than other countries, though the situation is still volatile and Japan should remain on its guard.

Japan as of Friday had 1,413 confirmed cases and 28 deaths.

The Defence Ministry said one of its officials tested positive for the virus on Friday after returning from Paris where he attended an international defence seminar.

The March 4-11 seminar was suspended on March 8 after a participant was found to have been infected.

The ministry said the official was in his 40s and returned on a flight assigned by the French government, arriving at Tokyo’s Haneda international airport.

PA