A big increase in new COVID-19 cases from new variants in parts of Southeast Asia and East Asia has prompted new restrictions, lockdowns and attempts to rapidly accelerate immunization programs across the region.
China Thursday reported 24 new COVID-19 cases on the mainland, the country's health authority said in a statement.
China's National Health Commission said nine cases were imported, and the 15 local cases were all in southern Guangdong province. No new deaths were reported, Reuters said.
China had 91,170 confirmed cases of the virus as of June 2. Its death toll remained unchanged at 4,636.
In Malaysia, a strict, two-week lockdown has been enforced to contain thousands of new daily coronavirus infections and record deaths.
Authorities said they were determined to round up undocumented migrants as part of rigid pandemic measures, ABC News Australia reported Thursday.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has announced 40 billion ringgit ($12.5 billion) in aid in the wake of the latest lockdown, which he said was aimed at helping those in the most precarious situations, like day laborers.
In Vietnam, a new coronavirus variant has been discovered which appears to be a mutation of the Delta variant, previously referred to as the India variant, according to the Independent.
Vietnam has recorded 7,572 cases and just 48 deaths since January 2020, The New York Times database shows.
On Monday, the government ordered a two-week lockdown of the Go Vap District of Ho Chi Minh City, home to around 700,000 people.
Japan, for its part, has distributed COVID-19 vaccine doses to more than 10 million people, the Prime Minister's Office said Wednesday, as the country attempts to ramp up vaccinations that are lagging far behind other developed countries.
Facing criticism for the government's slow vaccine distribution, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has called for up to 1 million doses to be given out nationwide each day, Kyodo News reported.
India's COVID-19 tally increased to 28,307,832 with 132,788 new infections reported in the past 24 hours, health officials said. As many as 3,207 fatalities since Wednesday morning took the overall death toll to 335,102, Xinhua News Agency said.
In the Philippines, the government missed its target of immunizing a fifth of senior citizens and people with comorbidities since the country began its vaccination campaign in March, ABS-CBN News reported.
The Philippine News Agency recently said in Southeast Asia, the Philippines was second to Indonesia in COVID-19 vaccine doses administered.
Meanwhile, the world tally for COVID-19 soared to 171.2 million Wednesday, while deaths climbed to 3,567,444, data by Johns Hopkins University show.