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Coronavirus in Asia: South Korean jailed for breaking quarantine, Indonesia deploys troops

AFP/Hong Kong, China
Filed on May 27, 2020 | Last updated on May 27, 2020 at 12.51 am
Latest, coronavirus, Covid-19, developments, pandemic, Asia
Sri Lankan youth wearing protective face masks wait for a hair cut after Island-wide day time curfew been lifted to restart the country's economic activities which is almost two months locked down amidst concerns about the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Colombo, Sri Lanka, May 26, 2020.

(Reuters)

Hundreds of migrant workers blocked roads and staged protests at quarantine centres in India's poorest state Bihar Tuesday, calling for better food and living conditions, police said.

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

- SKorea quarantine breaker jailed -

A South Korean man was jailed for four months on Tuesday for breaking coronavirus quarantine rules, authorities said, in the country's first such prison sentence.

The man, 27, left home while under 14-day self-isolation and was then moved to a quarantine facility, which he also left without permission.

South Korea endured one of the worst early outbreaks of the virus, but appears to have largely brought the spread under control thanks to an extensive "trace, test and treat" programme.

- Vietnam to readmit foreigners -

Vietnam will resume issuing e-visas to citizens from 80 countries from July 1, the government said Tuesday, though it was unclear whether quarantine measures would be lifted.

The country imposed a blanket ban on foreigners entering the country in March as part of its aggressive response to the pandemic, which has also involved mass quarantines and expansive contact tracing.

So far, Vietnam has not reported any coronavirus deaths.

- No vaccine, no school in Philippines -

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says students will only go back to school if a coronavirus vaccine is available.

Schools were shut in March and children were due to return to classes at the end of August.

"Unless I am sure that they are really safe, it's useless to be talking about opening of classes," the president said in a speech aired late Monday.

- India migrants protest -

Hundreds of migrant workers blocked roads and staged protests at quarantine centres in India's poorest state Bihar Tuesday, calling for better food and living conditions, police said. 

The labourers were among millions of India's poor who have badly hit by the coronavirus lockdown. Many were left jobless, hungry and stranded in cities far away from home.

Migrants said they had found insects in their food and dirty toilets in the quarantine centres. They also said there was not enough water.

Protesters dispersed after being told that their concerns would be addressed by authorities, police told AFP.

- Indonesia virus crackdown sees troops on ground -

Indonesia said Tuesday it is deploying 340,000 troops to clamp down on rampant social-distancing violations as coronavirus infections surge in the world's fourth most populous country. 

The military will be on the ground in two dozen cities -- including the capital Jakarta -- to make sure people wear masks and stay apart, as the government eyes a possible re-opening of shuttered businesses.

- Thai emergency laws extended -

Thailand's state of emergency laws have been extended for another month until the end of June, despite the kingdom reporting a relatively low virus toll at just over 3,000 cases and 57 deaths.

The sweeping laws -- which include muzzling the media over coronavirus reporting -- are needed as the country starts to gradually reopen businesses, a government spokeswoman said Tuesday.  

Malls and restaurants reopened on May 17 with social distancing rules in place, and now commuters have started packing into Bangkok's public sky train during rush hour.


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