India confirmed on Thursday its first case of death from COVID-19 after a 76-year-old man from Kalburgi city, 575 km north of Bengaluru in the country's southwestern state of Karnataka passed away on Wednesday.
"The 76-year-old man from Kalburgi who passed away & was a suspected #COVID19 patient has been confirmed for #COVID19. The necessary contact tracing, isolation & other measures as per protocol are being carried out," said Karnataka Minister for Health and Family Welfare B. Sriramulu in his tweet.
The deceased person had returned to Karnataka from Saudi Arabia about 10 days back on Feb. 29 and his throat swab was tested positive for COVID-19.
As per Indian government update on Thursday afternoon, there have been 74 confirmed cases nationwide.
Chinese authorities have taken several people into custody as part of their investigation into the collapse of a coronavirus quarantine facility that killed 29 people.
Officials told reporters that preliminary investigations had shown "serious problems exist in the construction, renovation and examination and approval" of the Xinjia Hotel, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
The hotel in the southeastern city of Quanzhou was being used to quarantine suspected coronavirus patients when it came crashing down Saturday night.
One person previously listed as missing was pulled dead from the rubble on Thursday morning. Forty-two people survived the disaster.
Xinhua quoted Quanzhou's Executive Deputy Mayor Hong Ziqiang as saying that "those responsible for the accident have been taken into custody," but gave no details.
The Ministry of Emergency Management announced Thursday that China's Cabinet, the State Council, has formed a special investigative team to look into the collapse.
Myanmar's parliament rejected on Wednesday a proposed constitutional amendment that would have allowed the country's de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, to officially become president.
The rejection had been expected because the proposal was opposed by the military, which under the constitution adopted when it held power, holds enough parliamentary seats to block any constitutional change.
The defeated motion was one of several constitutional changes proposed by Suu Kyi's ruling National League for Democracy party, with most expected to be blocked.
Article 59(f) of the constitution bars a person from becoming president if his or her spouse or children are foreign citizens. Suu Kyi's two sons are British nationals, as was her late husband.
Despite the rule, Suu Kyi holds executive power in the government because of a legal loophole that allowed the creation of the post of state counsellor, to which she was appointed. Under the arrangement the actual president — a member of her party — defers to her.
The efforts to change the constitution come ahead of a general election slated for late this year.
Suu Kyi's party took power in 2016 by winning a landslide election victory after five decades of direct and indirect military rule.
But its intended reforms have been thwarted by the rules the military inserted in the 2008 constitution.
In addition to wielding a veto over constitutional change, the military controls three key ministries: defense, border and home affairs.
Any constitutional change requires the approval of more than 75% of the members of the combined houses of parliament. Members of the military automatically hold 25% of the seats, and can usually also count of the support of a civilian opposition party allied with it, the Union Solidarity and Development Party.
Suu Kyi was an ardent critic of military rule during her decades-long Nobel Peace prize-winning nonviolent struggle for democracy.
But the realities of sharing power with the military have made the relationship more ambiguous.
She has defended the army's actions in the western state of Rakhine which drove more than 700,000 members of the Muslim Rohingya minority to seek shelter in neighboring Bangladesh.
The well-documented brutality of what the military called a counterinsurgency operation caused the International Court of Justice to accept a case charging Myanmar with genocide.
A task force set up by Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday approved a 430 billion yen ($4.1 billion) package that includes support for small to medium-size businesses hit by the coronavirus outbreak, amid criticisms over his handling of the crisis.
Among other relief, the package also includes subsidies for parents who need to take time off work due to school closures, funding for development of virus vaccines and test kits and for extra production of protective masks, banning of their resale.
Abe kept in place a government request for the public and organizers to cancel, postpone and scale down events for 10 more days to help reduce the risks of the virus spreading further.
The plan also includes support for hospitals to prepare for a potential surge in the number of patients in coming weeks. A worst-case scenario estimate by the health ministry showed 20,000 people could be hospitalized and 45,000 outpatients might require treatment per day.
As in many other major economies, small and medium-sized businesses provide most jobs and are suffering the greatest impact from a sharp decline in tourism, travel and other spending as Japanese heed calls to stay home to minimize the risk of spreading or catching the virus. Contract workers and others who don't get paid time off also are vulnerable to losing their livelihoods.
The government said it plans to provide 1.6 trillion yen ($15 billion) in interest-free, no collateral loans to help such companies manage during the crisis.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.
The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.
As part of Japan's measures, Abe said Japan will ban entry of foreign visitors from San Marino in northern Italy and some parts of Iran beginning Wednesday, citing a sharp increase of confirmed cases in the areas. Japan also has restricted entry from China and South Korea.
Japan's Cabinet on Tuesday also approved a proposal for legislation that will allow Abe to declare a state of emergency when necessary. Passage of that measure, which opponents say might infringe on civil liberties, is expected later this week.
As of Tuesday, Japan had more than 1,200 cases with 17 deaths.
Philippine troops have killed at least 14 Muslim militants aligned with the Islamic State group in a weeklong offensive in a southern province that also left four soldiers dead, a regional military commander said Saturday.
Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said an unspecified number of militants, including gunmen belonging to the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, were wounded in clashes in the towns of Ampatuan and Datu Hoffer Ampatuan in Maguindanao province.
The bodies of five of the slain militants were recovered by government forces, he said, adding that 10 soldiers were wounded in the fighting.
The Islamic State group claimed that militants killed 43 soldiers using explosives while repulsing the recent military assaults in two Maguindanao villages, but Sobejana said the claim was "untrue."
Government forces launched air strikes and artillery fire on an encampment of the militants in Salman village in Ampatuan on Monday after receiving intelligence that the gunmen were plotting attacks, the military said.
Troops later assaulted the encampment and another group of armed militants in Datu Hoffer Ampatuan, seizing firearms, ammunition and homemade bombs, the military said.
The largest Muslim rebel group in the southern region, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, signed an autonomy deal with the government in 2014, ending decades of separatist insurrection.
Its leader and many of its commanders have been appointed to govern a five-province autonomous region under a transitional setup, but smaller hard-line armed groups, including some that have been linked to the Islamic State group, have continued to fight the government.