Asia Today: Indian Parliament reopens with virus precautions
NEW DELHI (AP) — India reopened its Parliament after more than five months Monday even as the country continues to report the most daily new infections of the coronavirus in the world and daily virus deaths remain above 1,000.
Lawmakers must wear masks and follow other sanitization protocols, sit on seats separated by transparent plastic sheets and keep their meetings limited. The Question Hour, when lawmakers ask questions to ministers and hold them accountable for the functioning of their ministries, will be not be allowed.
Opposition parties have protested the decision to do away with the Question Hour and are expected to grill the government over its handling of the pandemic, the nosediving economy and simmering tensions with China.
India's Health Ministry reported a single-day spike of 92,071 confirmed coronavirus cases Monday and another 1,136 deaths. India has now reported more than 4.8 million infections and more than 79,700 deaths since the pandemic began.
Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region:
— South Korea has reported its lowest daily virus tally in about a month as it began easing its tough social distancing rules in the greater Seoul area. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said the 109 new cases took the country’s total to 22,285 with 363 deaths. The daily increase has stayed in the 100s for 12 straight days, but Monday's increase was the lowest since mid-August. The government on Sunday relaxed its physical distancing guidelines in the Seoul area, citing a downward trend in new infections and economic worries. The rules effective Monday allow customers to eat and drink inside franchise cafes and bakeries and indoor gyms and after-school academics can reopen. A ban on late-night dining at restaurants was also lifted. Distancing and masks are still required.
— An Australian health...