Asia Today: China reports 2 virus cases after mass testing

China has reported two new coronavirus cases in the cities of Shanghai and Tianjin as it seeks to prevent small outbreaks from becoming larger ones

The National Health Commission said that there were two new locally spread cases in the previous 24-hour period, one in each city. It also reported 20 cases among people who had arrived from overseas.

In Shanghai, the mass testing of 17,719 workers at the city’s Pudong aiport found one infection, a Fedex employee. Everyone else tested negative.

Three UPS workers at the airport have also tested positive in recent days, along with the wife of one of them. In all, Shanghai has reported eight non-imported cases since Friday.

In Tianjin, where 2.3 million people had been tested as of Monday, the city reported one case in a person who developed symptoms after testing positive earlier. China does not include people without symptoms in its confirmed case count.

In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:

— Philippine officials say about 60 million Filipinos are being targeted for vaccination against the coronavirus next year at a cost of more than 73 billion pesos ($1.4 billion) to develop considerable immunity among a majority of Filipinos. Carlito Galvez Jr., who oversees government efforts to secure the vaccines, said negotiations were underway with four Western and Chinese pharmaceutical companies, including U.S.-based Pfizer Inc. and China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd., to secure the vaccines early next year. He said that one company based in the U.K., AstraZeneca, can commit to supply up to 20 million vaccines. The Philippines has had more than 420,000 confirmed cases, the second-most in Southeast Asia behind Indonesia, and 8,173 deaths.

— India has registered 37,975 new confirmed cases of coronavirus and 480 deaths in the past 24 hours, maintaining a downturn. The latest increase has taken the total number of cases since the pandemic began to 9.18 million, with 134,218 deaths, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday. Even though the number of daily cases nationwide has remained below 50,000 for several weeks, after peaking in September, several cities have are seeing a jump in cases and are implementing stricter restrictions. State governments in Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat have decided to impose a night curfew on some of their cities and have postponed the re-opening of schools.

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