China reported 508 new cases of COVID-19 infections and 71 deaths as of Tuesday. Of that 68 deaths occurred in Wuhan.
The 71 reported deaths, however, has been the lowest daily number of fatalities in the past two weeks. To date, China's total number of COVID-19 infections is now at 77,658 and deaths are now at 2,663.
More provinces have reported no new cases in the past days. The World Health Organization is now looking into the possibility that the virus has already peaked in the Asian country. WHO told a 25-member team meeting in Beijing that China has successfully delayed more possible cases of human-human transmission, opening more window of opportunity for other nations to prepare.
In another sign that the Asian country is serious in its tackling of the outbreak, China postponed key political meetings, a step that was never seen before.
Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, about 50,000 construction workers were laid off while another 80,000 are now working on reduced hours, hence, reduced compensation as well. At the same time, Hong Kong Construction Industry Employees General Union said more than 50% of its 57,000 members are now without work.
Outside China, among its close neighbors, South Korea reported 60 new cases. The country has now 893 total cases, more than Japan where the number of cases is now at 851 because of infected people onboard Diamond Princess. Of that, 461 are tourists from China and other parts of the world.
Even with the present situation, Japanese officials remain confident that Tokyo will push through its hosting of the International Olympic Committee. The IOC said countermeasures against the infection are in place.
The Philippines is evacuating crew members from Diamond Princess. It already dispatched two chartered Philippine Airlines flights to get the Filipino crew onboard the cruise ship. To be clear, Filipinos who have tested positive for the virus will not be flown back to the Philippines and instead will remain in Japan where they will receive treatment.
Elsewhere in the world, there are now 34 countries with confirmed cases. In Asia and nearby regions, Singapore reported 90 cases, Hong Kong 76, Thailand 35, Taiwan 30, Malaysia 22, and Vietnam 16. The Philippines has three confirmed cases of which one has already died and become the first fatality outside of China.
Meanwhile, Indonesia, which remains free of the virus, is now planning to evacuate 188 Indonesian nationals who are working in the World Dream cruise ship docked in its Riau province.