Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1700 GMT, May 9

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CANBERRA — Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said that the country will remain closed for the foreseeable future.

Morrison said in an interview with News Corp Sunday newspapers that there is no “appetite” among Australians to re-open the country’s borders to international travelers as COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the world.

“I don’t see an appetite for that at the moment,” he said. “I think what we’re seeing at the moment is the appreciation of the people that the pandemic isn’t going anywhere.” (Australia-COVID-19-Borders)

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NEW DELHI — India’s COVID-19 tally crossed the 22-million mark on Sunday, reaching 22,296,414, as 403,738 new cases were registered in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said.

Besides, as many as 4,092 deaths took place in the country since Saturday morning, taking the total death toll to 242,362, added the ministry. This was the fourth consecutive day when over 4,000 deaths were recorded in 24 hours.

There are still 3,736,648 active cases in India, with an increase of 13,202 active cases through Saturday. A total of 18,317,404 people have been cured and discharged from hospitals so far across the country. (India-COVID-19 Cases)

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KABUL — The death toll has risen to 50, while over 100 others were wounded in three successive explosions outside a girls’ high school in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, the Afghan police confirmed on Sunday.

“The nature of one of the blasts was a car bomb explosion. Two other blasts were caused by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) placed at the same location,” Kabul police spokesman Ferdaus Faramarz told reporters via a text message.

The incident occurred in front of Sayyed-ul-Shuhada High School in Etifaq Township, Police District 13, roughly at 4:30 p.m. local time on Saturday. The attack occurred when students were leaving the building. Most of the victims were school girls while many passers-by were also affected. (Afghanistan-Explosions-Death toll)

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NEW DELHI — Anti-epidemic supplies including 100 oxygen concentrators and 40 ventilators donated by the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) arrived in India on Sunday, Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong said in a tweet.

The shipment by a Chinese cargo flight from China’s southwestern city of Chengdu was the first batch of anti-epidemic supplies donated by the RCSC to India, according to the ambassador.

Sun also said the RCSC has also decided to provide 1 million U.S. dollars in cash in assistance to the Indian Red Cross Society through the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to help India fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. (India-Donation-China)

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TIRIN KOT, Afghanistan — Four policemen have been confirmed dead in an insider attack that happened in Afghanistan’s southern Uruzgan province on Saturday, provincial governor Mohammad Omar Shirzad confirmed on Sunday.

A Taliban infiltrator disguised himself as police opened fire on a police checkpoint outside provincial capital Tirin Kot on Saturday night, killing four policemen on the spot and escaped, the official said.

The official added that the security forces backed by fighting planes targeted the Taliban hideout within hour and killed the perpetrator along with four more insurgents. (Afghanistan-Attack)

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