Infections in Singapore and Malaysia hit new milestones with cases surpassing 3,000 and 5,000, respectively.
The Philippines leads Southeast Asia in confirmed cases with nearly 5,500 reported, followed by Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand.
Muslims in the region are also bracing for a muted holy month of Ramadan, which starts April 23, with bazaars, or pop-up street markets, no longer allowed in public places to avoid large gatherings.
Malaysian Defense Minister Ismail Sabri said today that only online bazaars would be allowed. Singapore had already announced the cancellation of major bazaars. In Indonesia, top Islamic clerics have urged citizens against traveling across the archipelago to be with families to avoid further spread of the disease.
About 100,000 violators of coronavirus-related rules have been caught in the Philippines. Stock markets fell throughout the region on Wednesday.
Updates from Coconuts newsrooms in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong:
Singaporeans must now wear masks as infections top 3,000 and the death toll rising to 10. The latest person who died was a 70-year-old Singaporean man linked to a private dinner where dozens others have also taken ill.
Malaysia has reported 5,072 infections since the outbreak began in the country, but daily new infections have been low. The country reported only 85 new cases today, the lowest since March 14.
Muslims in Malaysia can expect a slightly different Ramadan this year. Defense Minister Ismail Sabri reportedly said today that only e-bazaars are allowed for now so that Muslims can purchase Eid goods such as foods for breaking fast. The government is also considering a “drive-through” bazaar concept, The Star reported. More details will be announced at a later date.
The Philippines has been grappling with people violating coronavirus rules. A total of 100,000 Filipinos have been caught breaching quarantine rules.
Meanwhile, authorities are probing six hospitals for allegedly rejecting an asthma patient who died at home.
Bali authorities are looking for four foreign nationals after a video of a party went viral. The clip caused outrage among netizens calling it out for neglecting safe distancing.
Hong Kong has reported single-digit increases in infections for at least three days in a row. Only four new cases were announced today, pushing the total number of infections to 1,016.
The coronavirus has threatened Thailand’s beloved street food culture with more people staying at home. But a start-up delivery service is lending them some help.
Just two weeks ago, the owners of Once Again Hostel, a five-year-old hostel on Soi Samran Rat, halted operations and turned the venue into a “delivery hub” to connect street food vendors, restaurants, cafes and more to customers sheltering at home in what’s now a delivery-only economy.