Asia Today: South Korea, Australian hot spot see declines

South Korea has added 119 more cases of the coronavirus, its lowest daily jump in more than three weeks amid a downward trend in new cases

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea has added 119 more cases of the coronavirus, its lowest daily jump in more than three weeks amid a downward trend in new cases.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday the additional figures took the country’s total to 21,296 with 336 deaths.

It’s the fifth straight day the country’s daily jump has stayed under 200. The 119 additional cases are the lowest in kind since mid-August.

South Korea’s caseload had risen since early last month, with many associated with churches, restaurants and schools and an anti-government street rally in the greater Seoul area. In late August, South Korea’s daily jump once marked over 400.

But the caseload has gradually slowed down, largely thanks to toughened social distancing rules that restricts at dining at restaurants and bans gatherings at churches, night spots, after-school academies and fitness centers.

In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:

— Australia’s hot spot Victoria state on Monday recorded its lowest count of new COVID-19 cases in more than 10 weeks. The state reported 41 new cases and nine deaths in the latest 24-hour period. Restrictions were slightly eased in Melbourne on Sunday but the state capital and Australia’s second-largest city will remain in lockdown until at least Oct. 26. The 14-day average in Victoria is now 96 a day. Victorian Premier Danial Andrews said the average will have to be below 50 before restrictions can be relaxed. “This is not about eradicating it. We will finish up with cases and outbreaks in 2021, but they’ll be of such low numbers that we can probably put the lid on those and not have to put restrictions back on,” Andrews said.

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