HONG KONG, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan on Monday decided to close its educational institutions amid the rising COVID-19 cases, and Indonesia's infections surpassed 500,000.
The educational institutions in Pakistan will be closed from Thursday to Jan. 10 next year and academic exams will be halted.
Indonesia reported 4,442 news cases as the total number of infections reached 502,110 and death toll at 16,002, showed the latest data from the Health Ministry.
Malaysia reported 1,884 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the national total to 56,659, the Health Ministry said. Health Ministry Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a press statement that two of the new cases are imported and the rest 1,882 are local transmissions.
Bangladesh reported 2,419 new COVID-19 cases and 28 new deaths, making the tally at 449,760 and the death toll at 6,416, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said.
Afghanistan reported 282 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases after health authorities conducted 1,323 tests within a day, bringing the number of total cases to 44,988, the country's Ministry of Public Health said.
Up to 1,695 deaths have been recorded since the outbreak of the pandemic in February, an increase of eight within the past 24 hours.
Lao Ministry of Health reported 14 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country, with its total number rising to 39.
Sri Lanka saw its total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases surpass the 20,000-mark with the newly reported cases being about 400. The Health Ministry statistics showed the national tally rose to 20,171 with 87 deaths and 14,069 recoveries from the COVID-19 pandemic.
South Korea reported 271 more cases of the COVID-19 compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 31,004.
The daily caseload fell below 300 in six days, but it grew in triple digits for 16 days due to the continued small cluster infections in Seoul and its surrounding Gyeonggi province as well as imported cases.
Eighteen more U.S. soldiers and four other individuals in South Korea have tested positive for COVID-19, the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) said.
The Department of Health (DOH) of the Philippines reported 1,799 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the country's total tally to 420,614.
The DOH said that 135 more patients recovered, raising the total number of recoveries to 386,604. The death toll rose to 8,173 after 50 more patients died from the coronavirus epidemic.
Thailand has extended the emergency rule against the COVID-19 pandemic from early December until mid-January next year.
The cabinet of ministers approved a proposal from the government-run Center for the COVID-19 Situation Administration for the extension of the emergency decree to be enforced nationwide for the period, beginning from Dec. 1 until Jan. 15, 2021, according to officials attached to Government House.
India's COVID-19 tally reached 9,139,865 as 44,059 new cases were registered, according to the latest data from the health ministry. The death toll mounted to 133,738 as 511 COVID patients died since Sunday morning.
Evidence has shown that human's immune system could maintain its protection mechanism against a second infection of the COVID-19 virus for as long as eight months, easing previous concern that people could lose the immunity in just a few months, Australian researchers said.
The study was the result of a collaboration among Monash University, Alfred Hospital and the Burnet Institute in Australia, led by Monash University Department of Immunology and Pathology Associate Professor Menno van Zelm.
New Zealand reported no new community cases and two cases detected in recent returnees in managed isolation.