Asia Today: Returnee from US is Vanuatu’s 1st virus case

Vanuatu has recorded its first case of the coronavirus after a citizen repatriated from the United States tested positive in quarantine

The Pacific nation had been among the last few countries to have avoided the virus altogether.

Health authorities say the 23-year-old man was asymptomatic when he returned on Nov. 4 and his infection was confirmed Tuesday after routine day 5 testing.

Authorities say they plan to keep everyone from the same flight in quarantine and to trace the man’s close contacts but don’t need to impose any broader measures in the nation of 300,000 people.

In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:

— The number of South Koreans with jobs annually declined for the eighth straight month in October, a streak unseen since a 2009 financial crisis. Statistics Korea on Wednesday said the number of employed people in the country was measured at 27.09 million last month, 421,000 fewer than a year earlier, with fears of viral spread and global lockdowns decimating jobs in both domestic service industries and export-driven manufacturing sectors. “The (domestic) resurgence of COVID-19 since August and the prolonging of the virus crisis have expanded the job losses,” Statistics Korea official Chung Dong-myung during a briefing. The country added 146 new cases on Wednesday, its fourth straight day of over 100, bringing its caseload to 27,799, including 485 deaths.