TOKYO -- Japan reported 25,742 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, surpassing the 25,000-mark for the first time since Aug. 26, 2021, according to a tally based on data from local governments across the country.
In the last two weeks, the daily count has surged by 50-fold.
Some prefectures logged all-time high numbers of daily cases on Saturday, with Osaka and Okinawa reporting 3,692 and 1,829 cases, respectively. Hiroshima registered over 1,000 cases for the first time on Saturday. (Japan-COVID-19)
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JAKARTA -- Over 900 houses and buildings were destroyed, and two people were wounded after a 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck off Indonesia's capital Jakarta and its surrounding provinces on Friday, disaster agency officials said on Saturday.
The main shock of revised 6.6 on the Richter scale hit at 4:05 p.m. Jakarta time (0905 GMT) on Friday, with the epicenter at 52 km southwest of Sumur sub-district of Pandeglang district, according to the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency. (Indonesia-Earthquake-Damage)
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HONG KONG -- A Hong Kong court on Saturday sentenced seven people to up to 40 months in prison for rioting near the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in November 2019.
The District Court of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) sentenced seven people to imprisonment ranging from 38 to 40 months and two others were sent to a training center. (Hong Kong-Riot-Sentence)
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CANBERRA -- Australia's Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Paul Kelly declared on Saturday he was optimistic that the country's Omicron outbreak was close to its peak.
Kelly said there were "signs for hope" that the record-breaking wave of COVID-19 infections that has accounted for more than 1 million cases since December has peaked. (Australia-COVID-19)
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HANOI -- The number of COVID-19 cases in Vietnam surpassed the 2-million mark on Saturday, reaching 2,007,862, with 35,480 deaths, according to its Ministry of Health.
The Southeast Asian country reported 16,378 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, including 16,305 locally transmitted and 73 imported, the ministry said. (Vietnam-COVID-19)