Asia Today: Shanghai airport worker gets virus; 8,000 tested
BEIJING (AP) — Authorities in China’s financial hub of Shanghai have quarantined 186 people and conducted coronavirus tests on more than 8,000 after a freight handler at the city’s main international airport tested positive for the virus.
No additional cases have been found, the city government said on its microblog Tuesday. It remains unclear how the 51-year-old man contracted the virus, which has largely spared the sprawling metropolis despite its dense population and strong international links.
In the northern port city of Tianjin, more than 77,000 people have been tested after a locally transmitted case was reported there on Monday. That case was believed to be linked to a cold storage warehouse, reinforcing suspicions that the virus may be spreading to victims from frozen food packaging.
The National Health Administration on Tuesday reported 21 additional cases brought from overseas, while 426 people remain in treatment for COVID-19, which was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.
China has reported 4,634 deaths among 86,267 cases of the virus, while 788 people are currently being held in isolation for being suspected case or for testing positive without showing symptoms.
In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:
— South Korea’s top government think tank is maintaining a grim outlook for the country’s economy this year despite an improvement in exports and says the shock unleashed by the pandemic will continue to be felt in 2021. The Korea Development Institute said Tuesday it projects the country’s economy to shrink 1.1% this year after the spread of the virus destroyed service industry jobs and cut down consumer spending. The economy would be even worse if not for robust global shipments of computer memory chips, the country’s most important export item. The industry has seen increased demand driven by personal computers and servers as the pandemic forces millions to work at home. While South Korea hasn’t seen an explosive second wave of the virus, there’s still concern over a steady rise in transmissions that experts say could get worse in the winter.
— About 460 Sri Lankan police have been infected with the coronavirus and 3,000 others have been quarantined amid a surge in cases in the capital and its suburbs. Police spokesman Ajith Rohana announced the figures on Tuesday. Health authorities have linked the police officers’ infections to a cluster centered at the country’s main fish market near Colombo. Sri Lanka has experienced a surge in cases since last month when two new clusters emerged, one centered at a garment factory and other at the fish market. Confirmed cases from the two clusters have grown into 10,807. Sri Lanka’s total number of confirmed cases since March reached 14,285 on Tuesday, including 36 fatalities. Despite the increase, the government on Monday eased a curfew in the Colombo area to reduce economic pain. Schools and key public offices have remained closed and restrictions remain on public gatherings and public transport.
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