South Korea, China and Singapore are among the Asian countries facing a second coronavirus wave, fuelled by people importing it from outside.
China, where the virus first emerged, confirmed it had no new domestic cases on Wednesday for the first time since the outbreak began, a major milestone.
But it reported 34 new cases among people who recently returned to China.
Singapore also reported 47 new cases, of which 33 were imported – 30 of them returned Singapore residents.
South Korea saw a jump in new cases on Thursday with 152, though it is not clear how many were imported.
A new cluster there is centred on a nursing home in Daegu, where 74 patients have tested positive.
Japan reported three new cases on Wednesday. But Hokkaido, the worst-affected Japanese region with 154 cases, is lifting its state of emergency – in place since late February – after officials said the spread of the virus appeared to be ending.
Officials have urged people to remain cautious and stay at home, but said there had been “no surge of infected patients that led to the collapse of the medical environment”.
“We’ve carried out powerful measures on refraining from going out, but from now on, we will move into a stage of reducing risks of the spread of infection while maintaining social and economic activities,” governor Naomichi Suzuki said on Wednesday.
Contributed by HE Prof Colin O Jarrett
Director of News and Current Affairs