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Sri Lanka reimposes curfew; India eases lockdown

Sri Lanka reimposes curfew; India eases lockdown

BANGKOK (AP) — Sri Lanka has reimposed a countrywide 24-hour curfew after a surge in the number of coronavirus cases, most of them navy sailors who were searching for those evading quarantine.

The 46 new infections on Friday were the highest in a day. The Indian Ocean island nation has confirmed 420 cases of the virus, including seven deaths, and has ramped up testing.

Sri Lanka partially lifted a monthlong curfew on Monday during daytime hours in more than two thirds of the country.

The new curfew imposed on Friday night remains in effect until Monday. Police have arrested more than 30,000 violators.

Applicants sit for the written examination during an insurance planner qualification exam in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, April 25, 2020. The qualification exam was held while maintaining social distancing at the outdoor as part of precaution against the new coronavirus and also all applicants had to wear face masks and had their temperature checked. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

Among the newly infected were 30 navy sailors from a camp on the outskirts of the capital, Colombo. A total 60 sailors so far have been infected and the camp has been isolated.

The virus is believed to have entered the camp through sailors who were deployed to search for a group of drug addicts who had contact with a COVID-19 patient and were evading quarantine.

Sri Lankan police officials spray disinfectants in a residential neighborhood during lockdown in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday, April 16, 2020. Sri Lankan authorities claim they have largely managed to prevent community spreading through proper identification and isolation of people who came into contact with COVID-19 patients. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

Sri Lanka’s health ministry said Saturday that it has significantly increased the number of coronavirus tests being done. Some 1,500 tests were performed on Saturday — more than double the roughly 700 tests on Thursday, and over 350 more than the 1,142 tests on Friday, according to the ministry.


India announced the easing of a stringent lockdown for its 1.3 billion people by allowing neighbourhood and standalone shops to reopen. India has reported more than 24,500 coronavirus cases and 775 deaths. Last week, the government allowed resumption of manufacturing and farming activities in rural areas as millions of daily wage earners were left without work.


South Korea reported 10 new cases of the new coronavirus, the eighth day in a row of a jump below 20. No new deaths were reported Saturday for the second straight day. The figures released by South Korea’s Centres for Disease Control and Prevention brought national totals to 10,718 cases and 240 deaths.

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Traditional crowds at dawn services for the Anzac Day memorial holiday in Australia were replaced with candlelit vigils in driveways and neighbours gathering to listen to buglers play “The Last Post.” Restrictions on crowds and social distancing due to the coronavirus meant that the usual packed dawn services in cities and towns across the country were not held. The holiday, also celebrated in New Zealand, marks the anniversary of New Zealand and Australian soldiers, known as Anzacs, landing on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915. In New Zealand, where even tighter crowd restrictions are in place, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern stood at dawn on the driveway of Premier House, the leader’s official residence, for a ceremony.

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StoriesAsia, a collective of independent journalists from 16 South Asian and Southeast Asian countries, seeks to replace the present-day parade of faceless numbers with humanising narrative nonfiction – a largely ignored journalistic genre in the region.

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