Asia

Railway station staff disinfecting Pyongyang station premises as a prevention measure against the Covid-19 coronavirus. Photo: AFP
North Korea’s Kim Jong-un accuses officials of ‘slackness’ after jump in Covid cases

North Korea reported 232,880 more people with fever symptoms, and six more deaths as leader Kim Jong-un accused government officials of inadequacies in handling the escalating Covid-19 outbreak.

4 hours ago
Workers disinfect Pyongyang’s train station grounds. Photo: KCNA/dpa
How will Kim Jong-un handle North Korea’s ‘explosive’ Covid-19 spread?

Even as the unvaccinated nation faces a collapse of its health system, Pyongyang has rebuffed aid offers from South Korea and the UN.

6 hours ago
A worker disinfects a shop in Pyongyang. File photo: AP
Unvaccinated North Korea reluctant to accept medical aid, Seoul says

Unvaccinated North Korea is unlikely to accept help from the South as it would be viewed as undermining Kim Jong-un’s authority, an analyst says.

17 May 2022 - 6:07PM
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his wife wave to the crowds at the April 25 military parade. Photo: Korean Central News Agency via Reuters
How a massive military parade seeded North Korea’s deadly Covid-19 outbreak

Photos of the April 25 parade showed huge crowds at Pyongyang’s Kim Il-sung Square unmasked and not socially distanced. Three weeks later, North Korea has more than 1 million cases and at least 50 people have died.

16 May 2022 - 2:48PM
Workers disinfect a restaurant in Pyongyang, North Korea. File photo: Kyodo
North Korea sees more deaths as Covid-19 outbreak worsens

Sate media said a total of 42 people had died, with 324,550 still under medical treatment.

15 May 2022 - 9:46AM
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern holds a news conference in Wellington on May 2. Photo: NZ Herald
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern tests positive for Covid-19

The leader said she was ‘gutted’ to miss two major announcements in parliament next week, but ‘isolating with Covid-19 is a very Kiwi experience this year’.

14 May 2022 - 2:43PM
A third cluster of coronavirus cases has emerged at the Sky Cuisine restaurant in Sheung Wan. Photo: Edmond So
Hong Kong scrambles to trace diners as new Covid cluster emerges at restaurant

Health authorities say at least 30 infections have been detected among diners and staff at Sky Cuisine restaurant in Sheung Wan, with one of the customers aged 117.

13 May 2022 - 11:17PM
The Japanese, Chinese and South Korean officials affirmed their commitment to using support measures, which they did not specify, for maintaining financial market stability and long-tem fiscal sustainability. Photo: EPA-EFE
Japan, China, South Korea ‘on guard against heightening risks’ to outlook

Finance ministers and central bank governors from Japan, China and South Korea on Thursday warned of the risks from the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine to Asia’s economic recovery.

12 May 2022 - 2:19PM
Sai Wan Estate in Kennedy Town. Photo: SCMP
Hong Kong estate locked down after Covid cluster uncovered in block

Health officials reveal that five cases, involving four families, have recently been uncovered in West Terrace, one of five blocks in Sai Wan Estate.

13 May 2022 - 2:49AM
People wearing face masks walk across a pedestrian crossing in the Ginza shopping district of Tokyo last month. Photo: AP
Face masks not needed outside if social distancing, Japan’s government says

When able to keep a distance from others, people do not necessarily need to wear masks, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said – especially considering the risks of heatstroke as temperatures rise.

11 May 2022 - 3:06PM
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has said she could allow for ‘a more relaxed environment’ to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover. Photo: Jelly Tse
Hong Kong on track to further ease Covid rules next week, leader says

City leader Carrie Lam says she could allow for ‘a more relaxed environment’ to celebrate the anniversary.

11 May 2022 - 11:07AM
Travellers who have landed queue up at Hong Kong’s airport. Photo: K. Y. Cheng
Arrivals in Hong Kong with 3 Covid jabs ‘should be allowed home quarantine’

Top infectious disease expert Professor Ivan Hung, convenor of a vaccine committee, says tracking wristbands and regular PCR tests can accompany move.

7 May 2022 - 10:12PM
A volunteer runs to avoid the heat from the funeral pyres of Covid-19 victims at a crematorium in Jammu, India, in May 2021. Photo: AP
India slams WHO for pandemic death toll estimate of 4.75 million

The World Health Organization’s estimate is around 10 times the country’s official Covid-19 death toll for 2020-21. India’s health ministry said the world health body ‘conveniently chose to ignore the available data’.

6 May 2022 - 1:44PM
Hong Kong’s Covid-19 situation has stabilised. Photo: Nora Tam
Health experts disagree over whether Covid-19 has become endemic in Hong Kong

If Covid-19 is bound to persist in Hong Kong, what does that mean for city’s containment approach modelled on mainland China’s, they ask.

5 May 2022 - 12:51AM
Among key moves in the latest easing of social-distancing curbs is the relaxation of a cap on diners per table at restaurants, from four to eight. Photo: Dickson Lee
Hong Kong to ease more Covid social-distancing rules on Thursday

Cap on patrons per table at eateries to be expanded to eight from the current four, while beaches, swimming pools and water playgrounds can reopen.

4 May 2022 - 2:03AM
Chinese tourists at Lake Tekapo, in the South Island of New Zealand. File photo: SCMP
New Zealand welcomes back tourists – but not from India or China

The country reopened on Monday to about 60 visa-waiver countries, including Singapore, Malaysia and Japan. Most tourists from India, China and other non-waiver countries are still not allowed to enter.

2 May 2022 - 6:51PM
Experts have called on authorities to drop a flight suspension mechanism. Photo: Sam Tsang
Calls for Hong Kong to drop Covid flight suspension rule, while cases fall to 300

Professor David Hui cites sufficient hotel facilities and waning wave of local infections.

1 May 2022 - 10:08PM
From May 1, non-resident visitors will be allowed to fly into Hong Kong, but travellers are still deterred by quarantine and the risk of flight cancellations. Photo: Yik Yeung-man
Business travellers to Hong Kong still put off by quarantine, risk of cancelled flights

Business leaders warn that city risks losing out by retaining restrictions while rivals are opening up and moving on swiftly.

1 May 2022 - 8:00AM