Coronavirus: How the Asia-Pacific Region Is Affected
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Coronavirus: How the Asia-Pacific Region Is Affected

Entrance to Forbidden Palace, Beijing.
Entrance to Forbidden Palace, Beijing. | ? John Birdsall / Alamy Stock Photo
The Asia-Pacific region has been hit hardest by the COVID-19 outbreak. Read more on the main countries and regions affected.

For extra information, check out Coronavirus Explained and Travel Advice, and our developing regional coverage of Europe, the Middle East and Africa and South, Central and North America.

For China, read Culture Trip’s coverage of how residents in Shanghai are finding a ‘new normal’ under the virus outbreak.

UPDATE: 13 March 2020

Which countries in the region have been impacted the most by the coronavirus outbreak?

As of 13 March 2020, China, South Korea and Japan have seen the greatest impact in the region, with diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in those countries at 80,945, 7,979 and 701, respectively. There have been 3,177 deaths reported in China, 71 in South Korea and 19 in Japan, according to the Worldometers.info website, which compiles data from the World Health Organisation and other health agencies.

What’s happening in China?

A team of nine Chinese medical staff arrived with some 30 tonnes of equipment on a flight to Italy organised by the Chinese Red Cross.

“In this moment of great stress, of great difficulty, we are relieved to have this arrival of supplies. It is true that it will help only temporarily, but it is still important,” said the head of the Italian Red Cross, Francesco Rocca, Al Jazeera reports.

Infection and death rates have continued their downward trend in China, with 22 new cases and 8 new deaths reported.

What’s happening in South Korea?

South Korea reported more recoveries from the coronavirus than new infections on Friday for the first time since its outbreak emerged in January.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) recorded 110 new coronavirus cases on Friday compared with 114 a day earlier, taking the national tally to 7,979. The death toll rose by five to 72 as of late Friday, Reuters reports.

What’s happening in Japan?

US President Donald Trump suggested postponing this summer’s scheduled Tokyo Olympics for a year amid the global spread of the coronavirus, saying the move would be better than seeing “empty stadiums all over the place”, Kyodo News reports.

10 new cases have been reported.

***

UPDATE: 12 March 2020

Which countries in the region have been impacted the most by the coronavirus outbreak?

As of 12 March 2020, China, South Korea and Japan have seen the greatest impact in the region, with diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in those countries at 80,932, 7,869 and 639 respectively. There have been 3,169 deaths reported in China, 66 in South Korea and 16 in Japan, according to the COVID-19 real-time dashboard by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

What’s happening in China?

The global COVID-19 pandemic is likely to be over by June, Zhong Nanshan, the Chinese government’s senior medical adviser, said.

A lot of imported cases in China are asymptomatic patients and the re-infection rates among recovered patients is low, Zhong, an 83-year-old epidemiologist renowned for helping combat the SARS outbreak in 2003, told a news conference, Al Jazeera reports.

Infection and death rates are slowing down across the country; 18 new cases and 11 new deaths have been reported.

What’s happening in South Korea?

On Thursday, South Korea reported 114 new coronavirus cases and six more deaths, a relative decline in new cases that raised tentative hopes the epidemic was slowing despite the emergence of new clusters, Reuters reports.

What’s happening in Japan?

The number of coronavirus infections in Japan increased to 653, after 33 more cases were reported earlier in the day. The data was compiled by local governments and the health ministry.

***

UPDATE: 11 March 2020

Which countries in the region have been impacted the most by the coronavirus outbreak?

As of 11 March 2020, China, South Korea and Japan have seen the greatest impact in the region, with diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in those countries at 80,969, 7,755 and 581, respectively. There have been 3,158 deaths reported in China, 60 in South Korea and 15 in Japan, according to the COVID-19 real-time dashboard by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

What’s happening in China?

The global business travel sector is expected to take a revenue hit of about $820bn, with China accounting for nearly half of the losses, as corporates curb travel plans in the face of the coronavirus epidemic, according to industry body Global Business Travel Association.

Officials in China’s province of Hubei say some companies will be able to resume operations, in a slight loosening of the restrictions that were imposed on the province at the epicentre of the outbreak nearly two months ago.

Businesses providing daily necessities can get back to work immediately, while those that are key links in national or global supply chains can open with the permission of the relevant authorities, Al Jazeera reports.

What’s happening in South Korea?

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released its latest update, reporting 242 new coronavirus cases.

The total number of cases in the country now stands at 7,755.

What’s happening in Japan?

Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea will extend their closure until early April due to the spread of the new coronavirus in Japan, operator Oriental Land Co. said Wednesday. USJ LLC, the operator of Universal Studios Japan in Osaka, said the theme park will remain closed through 22 March, Kyodo News reports.

***

UPDATE: 10 March 2020

Which countries in the region have been impacted the most by the coronavirus outbreak?

As of 10 March 2020, China, South Korea and Japan have seen the greatest impact, with diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in those countries at 80,761, 7,513 and 543, respectively. There have been 3,136 deaths reported in China, 54 in South Korea and 10 in Japan, according to the COVID-19 real-time dashboard by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

What’s happening in China?

Authorities in China’s Hubei Province have said they will implement a “health code” mobile-phone-based monitoring system to start allowing people to travel within the province.

China’s President Xi Jinping arrived in the provincial capital, Wuhan, for his first visit and is meeting medical workers and others involved in the fight against the virus, Al Jazeera reports.

There have been reports of 19 new cases and 17 new deaths (all in Hubei Province), according to the National Health Commission (NHC) of China.

What’s happening in South Korea?

South Korea has seen a steady decrease in new coronavirus cases for four consecutive days, despite being one of the worst-affected countries outside China, South China Morning Post reports.

As of end-of-day Monday, it had 7,513 cases and 54 deaths – with a jump of 131 new cases from Sunday to Monday.

The country has averaged more than 500 new infections per day for the past two weeks – but last Friday, this number dipped to 438, then 367 on Saturday and 248 on Sunday.

What’s happening in Japan?

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe requested that big sports and cultural events in the country be cancelled or postponed for 10 more days as the government needs more time to gauge the effectiveness of its measures to contain COVID-19, Kyodo News reports.

13 new cases and 1 new death have been reported in the country.

***

UPDATE: 9 March 2020

Which countries in the region have been impacted the most by the coronavirus outbreak?

As of 9 March 2020, China, South Korea and Japan have been impacted the most, with diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in those countries at 80,739, 7,478 and 30, respectively. There have been 3,120 deaths reported in China, 53 in South Korea and 9 in Japan, according to the COVID-19 real-time dashboard by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

What’s happening in China?

Chinese company Hanwang Technology Ltd claims it has developed the country’s first facial recognition technology that can identify people when they are wearing a mask.

“If connected to a temperature sensor, it can measure body temperature while identifying the person’s name, and then the system would process the result, say, if it detects a temperature over 38C,” Hanwang vice-president Huang Lei told Reuters in an interview.

44 new cases and 23 deaths have been reported.

What’s happening in South Korea?

South Korea has adopted a new distribution system for face masks and rationed the number each person can buy each week.

People can now buy masks only on the weekday corresponding to the last digit of their birth year.

That means people born in years ending with one or six can buy masks on Mondays, while those born in a year ending with three or eight can buy on Wednesdays, Al Jazeera reports.

165 new cases and 3 new deaths have been reported.

What’s happening in Japan?

Ceremonies for the lighting and handover of the Olympic flame ahead of the Summer Games will start this week in Greece as scheduled, but without spectators amid the spread of the new coronavirus, Tokyo Olympics CEO Toshiro Muto said Monday, Kyodo News reports.

28 new cases and 2 new deaths have been reported.

***

UPDATE: 8 March 2020

Which countries in the region have been impacted the most by the coronavirus outbreak?

As of 8 March 2020, China, South Korea and Japan have been impacted the most, with diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in those countries at 80,699, 7,314, and 402, respectively. There have been 3,098 deaths reported in China, 50 in South Korea, and 7 in Japan, according to the COVID-19 real-time dashboard by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

What’s happening in China?

The death toll in a hotel collapse in China has risen to six with 28 still missing, according to the Ministry of Emergency Management.

The building in Quanzhou, which was being used to house people under observation for the virus, collapsed on Saturday evening, Al Jazeera reports.

The Worldometers.info website reports 44 new cases, 27 new deaths (all in Hubei Province) and 1,661 new discharges occurred in China on March 7, as reported by the National Health Commission (NHC) of China.

What’s happening in South Korea?

South Korea is to start rationing face masks from Monday, limiting the number each person can buy each week.

The country’s Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun on Sunday issued a public message, asking citizens to “actively cooperate” with the efforts to make sure healthcare workers and sick people have access to enough masks, Al Jazeera reports.

272 new cases and 2 new deaths in South Korea have been reported.

What’s happening in Japan?

41 new cases and 1 new death in Japan have been reported.

***

UPDATE: 7 March 2020

Which countries in the region have been impacted the most by the coronavirus outbreak?

As of 7 March 2020, China, South Korea and Japan have been impacted the most, with diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in those countries at 80,652, 7,041, and 461, respectively. There have been 3,070 deaths reported in China, 48 in South Korea, and 6 in Japan, according to the COVID-19 real-time dashboard by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

What’s Happening in China?

About 30 people remained trapped after a five-storey hotel being used for coronavirus quarantine collapsed in the southeast Chinese port city of Quanzhou.

About four hours after the collapse, the Quanzhou municipality said 38 of the 70 or so people who had been in the Quanzhou Xinjia Hotel had been rescued, Al Jazeera reports.

The Worldometers.info website – which compiles data from the World Health Organisation and other health agencies – says that 99 new cases (74 in Hubei Province), 28 new deaths (all in Hubei) and 1,678 new discharges occurred in China on March 6, as reported by the National Health Commission (NHC) of China.

What’s Happening in South Korea?

South Korea’s coronavirus cases jumped above 7,000 on Saturday (March 7), up by 448 from the previous day, with more than half of the total number linked to the fringe Christian group Shincheonji Church at the centre of the country’s outbreak, Reuters reports.

The Worldometers.info website reports 5 new deaths in the country.

What’s Happening in Japan?

Japan’s Imperial Household Agency is taking a series of precautions against the new coronavirus to protect the emperor and other members of the imperial family from infection in the face of the pneumonia-causing virus outbreak in the country, Kyodo News reports.

If the ongoing spread of COVID-19 forces the cancellation of the Tokyo Olympics, it would reduce Japan’s annual gross domestic product growth by 1.4 percent, according to an estimate by a securities firm, Kyodo News reports.

There are 15 new cases in Japan, according to the Worldometers.info website.

***

UPDATE: 6 March 2020

Which countries and areas in the region have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak?

As of 6 March 2020, there are over 88,100 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Asia-Pacific region, with 91% in mainland China (80,573). Other countries seriously affected by the viral outbreak are South Korea (6,593), Japan (381) and Singapore (130), according to data from Johns Hopkins University in the US.

The death toll currently stands at 3,042 in mainland China and 42 in South Korea, with six deaths reported in Japan.

What’s happening in China?

There are indications that COVID-19 is shifting away from its origins in China. One month ago, China was reporting several thousand new cases a day, but comparatively reported just 143 new cases on Friday, the same number as that of the previous day, The Guardian reports.

What’s happening in Japan?

Japan will temporarily nullify 2.8 million visas held by Chinese and 17,000 held by South Koreans to prevent the new coronavirus from spreading in the country, Kyodo News reports.

What’s happening in South Korea?

South Korea has announced the suspension of a visa-waiver program for Japanese and a mandatory two-week quarantine for visitors from the country, in response to similar measures imposed by Tokyo in connection with the new coronavirus outbreak, Kyodo News reports.

***

UPDATE: 5 March 2020

Which countries and areas in the region have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak?

As of 5 March 2020, there are over 87,361 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Asia-Pacific region, with 92% in mainland China (80,422). Other countries seriously affected by the viral outbreak are South Korea (6,088), Japan (360) and Singapore (117), according to data from Johns Hopkins University in the US.

The death toll currently stands at 3,013 in mainland China and 40 in South Korea, with six deaths reported in Japan.

What’s happening in China?

Alibaba Group, China’s “Amazon”, will provide one billion yuan ($144m) in spending subsidies for a March online shopping festival to counter the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, Al Jazeera reports.

What’s happening in South Korea?

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has sent a letter expressing hope for South Korea to overcome a coronavirus outbreak, President Moon Jae-in’s office has said, as Al Jazeera reports.

“Chairman Kim wished to console our citizens who are fighting the coronavirus,” Yoon Do-han, Moon’s senior press secretary, told reporters. “He said he believes we will win, and hoped the health of southern compatriots will be protected.”

What’s happening in Japan?

As of 4 March, 284 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Japan, as announced by WHO. There are six deaths, with 360 diagnosed cases.

The Japan.travel website lists the temporary closures of cultural attractions across the country.

***

UPDATE: 4 March 2020

Which countries and areas in the region have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak?

As of 4 March 2020, there are over 86,650 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Asia-Pacific region, with 92% in mainland China (80,151). Other countries seriously affected by the viral outbreak are South Korea (5,621), Japan (304) and Singapore (110), according to data from Johns Hopkins University in the US.

The death toll currently stands at 2,981 in mainland China and 35 in South Korea, with six deaths reported in Japan.

What’s happening in China?

China’s data continues to show the outbreak in that country slowing. There were 119 new diagnosed cases to the end of March 3, compared with 125 the day before, Al Jazeera reports.

What’s happening in South Korea?

Statistics from the Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) show 516 new cases of coronavirus in the country – a day after the country’s president Moon Jae-in declared “war” on the infection, Al Jazeera reports.

What’s happening in Japan?

The Tokyo Olympics organising committee informed the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday of its plans to cope with conditions related to the current coronavirus outbreak during the torch relay starting on 26 March, Kyodo News reports.

Japan Airlines Co and All Nippon Airways Co said they will reduce domestic flights from this Friday until next Thursday, the first cutback in air services in Japan amid the spread of COVID-19, Kyodo News reports.

***

UPDATE: 3 March 2020

Which countries and areas in the region have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak?

As of 3 March 2020, there are over 86,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Asia-Pacific region, with 93% in mainland China (80,151). Other countries seriously affected by the viral outbreak are South Korea (5,186), Japan (283) and Singapore (110), according to data from Johns Hopkins University in the US.

The death toll currently stands at 2,945 in mainland China and 34 in South Korea, with six deaths reported in Japan.

What’s happening in China?

All travellers entering Beijing from the virus hotspots of South Korea, Japan, Iran and Italy will have to be quarantined for 14 days, the Beijing government announced as Al Jazeera reports.

What’s happening in South Korea?

President Moon Jae-in said the country was now waging “war” on the virus and the government would inject US$25 billion into measures to contain it.

“The crisis in Daegu and North Gyeongsang province reached its peak and the whole country has entered a war against the infectious disease,” Moon said, The Guardian reports.

What’s happening in Japan?

Tokyo’s contract with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) allows it to postpone the Games until the end of the year, Japan’s Olympics minister said.

“The contract calls for the Games to be held within 2020. That could be interpreted as allowing a postponement,” Seiko Hashimoto said, Al Jazeera reports.

***

UPDATE: 2 March 2020

Which countries and areas in the region have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak?

As of 2 March 2020, there are over 85,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Asia-Pacific region, with 94% in mainland China (79,826). Other countries seriously affected by the viral outbreak are South Korea (4,335), Japan (256) and Singapore (106), according to data from Johns Hopkins University in the US.

The death toll currently stands at 2,912 in mainland China and 26 in South Korea, with six deaths reported in Japan.

Indonesia has announced its first two cases of COVID-19.

What’s happening in China?

Tech giants in China are rolling out a colour-coded health rating system to assist officials in monitoring the millions of people returning to work in the wake of the fast-spreading outbreak, The New York Times reported.

The government of Hangzhou collaborated with Alibaba and Ant Financial to create a smartphone app feature called the Alipay Health Code that segments people into three categories — green, yellow or red — based on their medical condition and travel history. Tencent developed a similar program for the southern city of Shenzhen.

What’s happening in South Korea?

There are 599 new cases and 5 deaths reported in South Korea.

What’s happening in Japan?

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said the “IOC is fully committed to have the opening ceremony there on 24 July in Tokyo.”

Yet, as the Associated Press reports, there is speculation that the event – due to take place from 24 July to 9 August – will be called off.

TimeOut reports that attractions and cultural sites across Tokyo and Japan that have been closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

***

UPDATE: 1 March 2020

Which countries and areas in the region have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak?

As of 1 March 2020, there are 83,968 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Asia-Pacific region, with 95% in mainland China (79,826). Other countries seriously affected by the viral outbreak are South Korea (3,526), Japan (241) and Singapore (102), according to data from Johns Hopkins University in the US.

The death toll currently stands at 2,870 in mainland China and 21 in South Korea, with six deaths reported in Japan.

What’s happening in China?

Thermal scanners – newly installed at train stations in major Chinese cities – are just one of the ways in which authorities are using artificial intelligence (AI) and big data to fight the deadly epidemic, Al Jazeera reports.

What’s happening in South Korea?

Lee Man-hee, a leader of a South Korean religious sect, is accused of hiding the names of some members as officials tried to track patients before the virus spread. More than half of all infections in South Korea involve members of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, a fringe Christian group that Lee founded, the BBC reports.

Churches were closed across the country on Sunday, with many holding services online instead. For the first time in its 236-year history, South Korea’s Catholic church decided to halt mass at more than 1,700 locations nationwide, Al Jazeera reports.

What’s happening in Australia?

Australia has recorded its first death from the coronavirus after a 78-year-old man who had been evacuated from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship died in a Perth hospital. The man’s wife also caught the virus, but is in a stable condition, Al Jazeera reports.

***

UPDATE: 29 February 2020

Which countries and areas in the region have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak?

As of 29 February 2020, there are over 83,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Asia-Pacific region, with 95% in mainland China (79,251). Other countries seriously affected by the outbreak are South Korea (3,150), Japan (241) and Singapore (102), according to data from Johns Hopkins University in the US.

The death toll currently stands at 2,835 in mainland China and 17 in South Korea, with five deaths reported in Japan.

What’s happening in China?

Factory activity in China fell to a record low in February as manufacturers closed their operations to contain the spread of the disease, the BBC reports. US space agency NASA said an economic slowdown due to the outbreak was “at least partly” linked to major decreases in nitrogen dioxide over the country.

What’s happening in South Korea?

The Worldometers.info website – which compiles data from the World Health Organization and other health agencies – reports 813 new cases and 1 new death from coronavirus in South Korea.

What’s happening in Japan?

Japan’s government plans to create a fund to help companies pay subsidies to workers who need to take days off to look after their children while schools are closed, the Nikkei business daily reported without citing sources.

Infections from coronavirus in Japan have topped 200, with five deaths – including one on Friday of a man in his 70s. That excludes more than 700 infections and five more deaths from the quarantined cruise liner Diamond Princess, docked in Yokohama, Al Jazeera reports.

***

UPDATE: 28 February 2020

Which countries and areas in the region have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak?

As of 28 February 2020, there are 81,736 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Asia-Pacific region, with 96% in mainland China (78,824). Other countries seriously affected by the outbreak are South Korea (2,337), Japan (228) and Singapore (93), according to data from Johns Hopkins University in the US.

The death toll currently stands at 2,788 in mainland China and 13 in South Korea, with five deaths reported in Japan.

New Zealand has become the latest country in the region to report confirmed cases of COVID-19.

What’s happening in China?

A popular mobile game that allows players to create a virus and spread it worldwide has been banned from Apple’s App Store in China.

Users based in China could not download “Plague Inc” after the country’s cyberspace watchdog ordered its removal over “illegal” content, Al Jazeera reports.

What’s happening in South Korea?

K-pop group BTS on Friday cancelled four Seoul concerts due in April as the number of COVID-19 cases in South Korea passed 2,000, Al Jazeera reports.

What’s happening in Japan?

Tokyo Disneyland will be closed starting on Saturday through to March 15 amid an outbreak of coronavirus infections in Japan, Al Jazeera reports.

***

UPDATE: 27 February 2020

Which countries and areas in the region have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak?

As of 27 February 2020, there are 80,790 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Asia-Pacific region, with the vast majority in mainland China (78,497). Other countries seriously affected by the outbreak are South Korea (1,766), Japan (189) and Singapore (93), according to data from Johns Hopkins University in the US.

The death toll currently stands at 2,747 in mainland China and 13 in South Korea, with four deaths reported in Japan.

Pakistan has become the latest country in the region to report confirmed cases of COVID-19.

What’s happening in China?

The city of Qianjiang, in China’s Hubei province, is rewarding residents who proactively report symptoms associated with coronavirus, CNN reports.

Any resident who reports symptoms and is confirmed to have COVID-19 will be awarded 10,000 yuan (around $1,426).

What’s happening in Japan?

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said the organisation is fully committed to the Tokyo Olympics going ahead on schedule despite the threat of COVID-19.

Bach told Japanese media that the IOC is “fully committed to a successful Olympic Games in Tokyo starting July 24”, Kyodo News reports.

What’s happening in South Korea?

The country now has 13 deaths amid 1,766 confirmed cases. A spike in the country’s southern region – concentrated in Daegu around Shincheonji Church, a fringe Christian group – has resulted in a shortage of hospital beds, CNN reports.

What’s happening in Australia?

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia would extend its ban on travel to mainland China for another week. Australia has barred any travellers who have entered or transited within mainland China since early February, CNN says.

Morrison added that “further travel bans are not recommended” and the policies are reviewed week-by-week. Australia has 22 cases of COVID-19, 10 of whom have already recovered.

***

UPDATE: 26 February 2020

Which countries and areas in the region have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak?

As of 26 February 2020, there are almost 80,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 96% in mainland China (78,064). Among the other countries seriously affected by the outbreak are South Korea (1,261), Japan (178) and Singapore (91), according to data from Johns Hopkins University in the US.

More than 2,715 people have been killed by the virus in mainland China, with 12 deaths reported in South Korea and two in Japan.

What’s happening in China?

The Chinese government has implemented a variety of policies intended to help foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) withstand the coronavirus’ impact, and to restore confidence among foreign investors. These range from issuing low-cost loans to expediting major foreign-investment projects, as China Briefing reports.

China’s northwestern regions of Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang and the southwestern province of Sichuan have lowered their emergency response level after confirming that health risks from the COVID-19 outbreak have decreased, Al Jazeera reports.

What’s happening in Japan?

Japan vowed to continue preparing to host this year’s Olympics after an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member suggested the Games could be called off due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Al Jazeera reports.

“All we can do is to prepare to host the Games with peace of mind and to be recognised by the IOC,” Olympics Minister Seiko Hashimoto said.

What’s happening in South Korea?

South Korea has reported 115 new cases, bringing the total to 1,261, says the country’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

***

UPDATE: 25 February 2020

Which countries and areas in the region have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak?

As of 25 February 2020, there are almost 80,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 98% in mainland China (77,660 cases). Other countries in the region seriously affected by the outbreak are South Korea (977 cases), Japan (160 cases) and Singapore (90 cases), according to data from Johns Hopkins University in the US.

The death toll in mainland China is 2,660, while the virus has killed 10 people in South Korea, and one person in Japan.

What are the authorities doing to halt its spread?

China:

Over 200,000 flights have now been cancelled or proactively removed from schedules to, from and within China due to coronavirus, according to data experts Cirium.

The figure – which accounts for over two thirds of China’s originally scheduled flights – dates from when the authorities restricted travel in and out of Wuhan Tianhe International Airport between January 23 and February 18.

Since the end of January, most tourist attractions across mainland China – including the Forbidden City in Beijing, parts of the Great Wall, the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an and Disneyland Resort in Shanghai – have been temporarily closed.

South Korea:

South Korea has seen the highest numbers of COVID-19 cases outside of China, with 977 confirmed cases and 10 deaths.

The BBC reports that local officials have identified the Shincheonji Church, a fringe Christian group, as being at the heart of this outbreak.

At their services in the south-eastern city of Daegu, members likely infected one another before travelling separately to other parts of the country.

Sporting games in South Korea have been cancelled amid coronavirus concerns, and many museums have also been closed.

Japan:

The government has adopted a basic policy which advises people to stay at home and refrain from visiting hospitals, while the J-League – Japan’s tier-1 football league – has said it will postpone all official matches until 15 March to combat the spread of coronavirus.

Dick Pound, the longest-serving member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), said in an interview with The Associated Press that there is now a three-month window in which to decide the fate of the Tokyo Olympics.

How will this impact my travel to the region?

The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the US Department of State have issued the following travel recommendations:

China: Avoid all non-essential travel to China.

South Korea: The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against all but essential travel to cities Daegu and Cheongdo, while the US Department of State has issued a “Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution” warning.

Japan: As a preventative measure against the spread of coronavirus, the Immigration Services Agency of Japan announced that from 1 February, the following people are not permitted to enter Japan except under exceptional circumstances:

– foreign nationals who have been to Hubei province in the People’s Republic of China within 14 days prior to arrival.

– foreign nationals who have a Chinese passport issued by Hubei province in the People’s Republic of China.

If you have upcoming travel plans to an affected country, reach out to your airline, hotel or tour operator for more information.

Check the latest guidance on your Rights as a Traveller from the BBC.

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