Asia this week: 24 – 30 June 2021

Summary of key events in Asia over the past week.

MFR Graphic

MFR Graphic

🇧🇩 Bangladesh

New COVID lockdowns

Overrun by the more infectious Delta variant the nation goes into a lockdown starting Thursday.

Blast kills seven, injures many

Seven people were killed and more than 50 were injured in an explosion in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka. The cause of the blast was not immediately known.

🇨🇳 China

Celebrating 100 years of China's Communist Party

On Thursday, 1 July, China's Communist Party celebrates 100 years.

Human Rights Watch criticises censorship at Australian universities

Australian universities have failed to protect the academic freedom of students from China and of academics who criticize the Chinese Communist Party, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

Chip sector ready for disruptions by Malaysia’s lockdown

China's semiconductor industry insiders said the domestic sector is prepared to cope with potential disruptions posed by Malaysia's decision to impose an indefinite lockdown due to the COVID-19.

🇮🇳 India

Cipla gets approval to distribute Moderna vaccine

Drugmaker Cipla Ltd has received regulatory approval to distribute partner Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine in India clearing the way for India’s first mRNA shot to be imported.

International flight ban extended till July 31

India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) says suspension of scheduled international commercial passenger flights will continue till July 31. International scheduled flights can be allowed on selected routes on a case by case basis, the DGCA said.

UN Secretary General calls on India to end use of pellets against children

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on the government of India to take preventive measures to protect children, including by ending the use of pellets against children, ensuring that children are not associated in any way to security forces, and endorsing the Safe Schools Declaration and the Vancouver Principles in the UN Report on Children 2021.

🇲🇾 Malaysia

Digital bank race heats up

The deadline to apply for digital banking licenses in Malaysia passed on Wednesday, with big corporations and e-wallet operators among the parties positioning themselves to take on the country's traditional banks. Bank Negara Malaysia, the central bank, did not immediately reveal the number of applications but last month said about 40 parties had expressed interest.

Massive COVID-19 aid package announced

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced a USD36.2 billion aid and stimulus package as the country continues to battle one of Asia’s worst outbreaks of COVID-19.

🇳🇵 Nepal

Ventilator banks help rural hospitals against COVID

A ventilator “bank” where hospitals can rent machines for COVID-19 patients has given Nepal’s cash-strapped healthcare system a much-needed lifeline.

🇸🇬 Singapore

New plan to ‘live with covid’

COVID will be treated like other endemic diseases such as the flu and there will be no goals of zero transmission. There will be no quarantines for travellers and close contact of cases will not have to isolate. Daily case numbers will also not be announced,

Central bank chief says 2021 economic growth could exceed forecast

Growth could exceed the upper end of the official four to six percent forecast range this year, central bank chief Ravi Menon said, citing strengthening global demand and progress in the city-state's COVID-19 vaccination programme.

🇱🇰 Sri Lanka

Human Rights Watch says pardons a meagre response to abusive law

Government’s pardon of 16 prisoners convicted under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), though welcome, does not address the urgent need to repeal the draconian law, says Human Rights Watch.

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