India reopens parliament amid soaring coronavirus figures
Daily deaths from the virus remain above 1,000 in the country.
India has reopened its parliament after more than five months as the country continues to report the highest daily level of new coronavirus infections in the world, with daily virus deaths remaining above 1,000.
MPs must wear masks and follow other sanitisation protocols, sit on seats separated by transparent plastic sheets and keep their meetings limited.
The normal Question Hour, when MPs hold ministers to account, will not be allowed.
Opposition parties have protested over the decision to do away with the Question Hour and are expected to grill the government over its handling of the pandemic, as well as the nosediving economy and simmering tensions with China.
India’s health ministry reported a single-day spike of 92,071 confirmed coronavirus cases on Monday, as well as another 1,136 deaths.
The country has now reported more than 4.8 million infections and more than 79,700 deaths since the pandemic began.
Meanwhile, New Zealand will keep its virus restrictions in place for at least another week as the country continues to battle a small outbreak that began in Auckland last month.
Prime minister Jacinda Ardern said the country had taken a cautious approach to the virus from the beginning, which had helped save lives and allowed the economy to reopen in a sustained way.
Ms Ardern said New Zealand will continue its strategy of trying to eliminate the virus. Under the restrictions, everybody must wear masks on public transport and planes, and the sizes of most gatherings are limited to 10 in Auckland and 100 elsewhere.
Health authorities announced one more case of the virus on Monday, bringing the number of active cases to 96.
South Korean officials have reported the country’s lowest daily virus tally in about a month as it began easing tough social distancing rules in the greater Seoul area.
The disease control and prevention agency said the 109 new cases added in the past 24 hours took the country’s total to 22,285 with 363 deaths.
It is the 12th consecutive day of at least 100 cases for South Korea’s daily total. However, the 109 additional cases mark the lowest daily tally since mid-August.
In the Indonesian capital Jakarta, main streets were less crowded at the start of two weeks of social restrictions to curb a rise in infections that has pushed its critical-care hospital capacity to unsafe levels.
Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan announced the restrictions will last until September 27 to combat an outbreak he called an emergency situation.
Medical facilities are filling with sick patients. Seven of 67 Covid-19 referral hospitals in Jakarta are 100% occupied, while 46 are more than 60% occupied.
Indonesia’s virus task force said more than 54,000 of the nation’s 218,000 cases of Covid-19 are in Jakarta. The city has recorded 1,391 deaths among the nation’s overall toll of 8,723.