Asia Today: 3,000 Australians in Melbourne in hard lockdown

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Australia’s Victoria state recorded 108 new coronavirus cases Saturday, forcing authorities to lock down nine public housing towers and three more Melbourne suburbs.

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Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said 3,000 people in the housing towers will go into “hard lockdown,” meaning “there will be no one allowed in ... and no one allowed out.”

Residents in the Flemington and Kensington housing units will receive deliveries of food and medicine, along with alcohol support.

The suburbs of Kensington, Flemington and North Melbourne will join 36 others in being subject to stage 3 coronavirus restrictions. Residents can only leave their homes for food or essential supplies, medical care or care-giving, exercise or for work or education.

After a recent flareup, Victoria has 509 active cases of COVID-19 with 25 people hospitalized, including three in intensive care.

In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:

— India on Saturday recorded its highest single-day spike in new coronavirus cases, with 22,771 people testing positive in the last 24 hours. India has now confirmed 648,315 cases — fourth in the world behind the U.S., Brazil and Russia. It also has reported 18,655 deaths from the virus. Of the 442 deaths in the last 24 hours, 198 were in Maharashtra state.

— Tokyo confirmed 131 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, exceeding 100 for a third day in a row and hitting a new two-month high, prompting Gov. Yuriko Koike to urge residents to avoid nonessential out-of-town visits. The number of cases in the Japanese capital has been increasing since late June, triggering concerns of a resurgence in infections after a state of emergency was lifted in late May. Koike urged residents to avoid nonessential visits to neighboring prefectures, where new cases have also increased recently. Saturday’s new cases — the most since 154 were recorded on May 2 — followed 107 cases on Thursday and 124 on Friday. Tokyo now has 6,654 cases, including 325 deaths, about one-third of the national totals.

— South Korea has reported 63 new cases of the coronavirus, continuing a weekslong resurgence as new clusters pop up in various parts of the country. The figures bring national totals to 13,030 infections, including 283 deaths. Twenty-eight of the new cases were reported from the densely populated Seoul area, where about half of South Korea’s 51 million people live. Infections were also reported in major cities such as Busan, Daegu, Daejeon and Gwangju, where hundreds of schools have been shut and social restrictions elevated. Twenty-seven cases were linked to international arrivals. South Korea has enforced two-week quarantines on all overseas passengers since April. While health authorities are finding it increasingly difficult to trace contacts and predict infection routes, the Seoul government has so far resisted calls to reimposed stronger social distancing measures after easing them in mid-April, citing concerns about hurting the economy.

— China’s government reported three new confirmed coronavirus cases on Saturday and said the number of patients hospitalized for treatment declined to 402. One case was reported in Beijing. Cases that are believed to have come from abroad were confirmed in Shanghai and the southern province of Guangdong. That latest report raises the Chinese mainland’s total confirmed cases to 83,545 with 4,634 dead since the pandemic began.

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