People wearing face masks cross a road amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Singapore May 20, 2021. REUTERS/Caroline Chia

Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:

Sharp rise in cases in Southeast Asia

A sharp rise in coronavirus cases from new variants in parts of Southeast Asia has prompted new restrictions, factory closures and attempts to rapidly scale up vaccination programmes across the region. The number of daily new COVID-19 cases in Malaysia has soared past India’s on a per capita basis, while total cases in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and East Timor have all more than doubled in the past month. read more

Vietnam halts flights to Hanoi to contain virus

Vietnam will suspend incoming international flights to its capital Hanoi from Tuesday as part of efforts to contain a fresh outbreak of the coronavirus.

Japan considers asking Olympic fans for negative COVID tests

Japan is considering requiring negative COVID-19 test results or vaccination records from fans attending the Tokyo Olympics, the Yomiuri newspaper reported on Monday, as a new poll showed public opposition to the Games remained strong. Foreign spectators have already been banned and game organisers are expected to make a decision next month on whether Japanese fans will be able to attend and under what conditions.

The report was met with outrage among some social media users, with thousands of tweets criticising the country’s continued push to host the Olympics in the middle of a pandemic. The term “negative test certificate” was trending on Twitter in Japan, garnering over 8,000 tweets on Monday morning. read more

Singapore may relax social curbs after two weeks

Singapore should be able to relax recently imposed restrictions on social gatherings after two weeks if the local COVID-19 situation continues to improve, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said.

“The number of daily cases has come down. Barring another super-spreader or big cluster, we should be on track to bring this outbreak under control,” Lee said in a speech. The current restrictions are to last until June 13. read more

Victoria cluster swells to 51

Australia’s second most populous state of Victoria, epicentre of the country’s latest coronavirus hotspot, reported 11 new cases of community transmission on Monday, taking the current cluster to 51. The swelling numbers have raised questions over whether the lockdown will be extended beyond the seven days announced initially. read more

Hong Kong civil servants offered two days leave for jabs

Hong Kong will offer civil servants who get vaccinated against COVID-19 a day off for each dose, the government said, as authorities struggle to boost a sluggish inoculation rate among the city’s 7.5 million population.

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/what-you-need-know-about-coronavirus-right-now-2021-05-31/

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