Asia Today: Australian state warns non-complying public
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - The Prime Minister of the Australian state of Victoria is stepping up his fight against members of the public who violate pandemic regulations, saying that close contacts of those infected who refuse a test will have to spend 21 days in quarantine.
The state government has announced that it will extend the mandatory quarantine for close contacts by 10 days if they choose not to be tested on the 11th day of isolation. The change will take effect on Sunday at midnight.
Victoria Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said a "very, very high percentage" of people had undergone tests, but the rule should give authorities an even more complete picture.
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"This is just a double or triple check that you actually don't have the virus yet," he said.
Victoria reported another fatality and 12 new cases on Sunday, finishing a three-day stretch with no fatality. The numbers bring Victoria's death toll from the virus to 810 and the national number to 898.
For other developments in the Asia Pacific region:
India's confirmed coronavirus number surpassed 7 million on Sunday, with a number of new cases falling in recent weeks, despite health experts warning of a mask and fatigue decreasing. The Ministry of Health registered an additional 74,383 infections in the past 24 hours. India is expected to be the hardest hit country of the pandemic in the coming weeks, outperforming the US. The ministry also reported 918 additional deaths for a total of 108,334 deaths. The number of people who have died from COVID-19 has remained relatively low in South and Southeast Asia - from India to Vietnam and Taiwan - compared to European countries and the United States, said Dr. Randeep Guleria, a government health expert. However, others say India's death toll may not be reliable due to poor reporting and health infrastructure, as well as inadequate testing.
Follow AP's pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
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