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Asia COVID cases hit record as virus outpaces vaccine campaigns

Surges in Philippines and India bode ill for region's economic recovery

A worker in a hazmat suit disinfects a Manila street as a preventive measure against COVID-19 on March 19.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- Asia's daily confirmed COVID-19 cases renewed a record high this week, defying the global effort to end the pandemic and clouding the region's economic recovery outlook.

New Asiawide infections reached 146,664 on Wednesday, the first fresh high since late November, according to the statistics website Our World in Data. The site's definition of Asia stretches from Japan to India to Turkey, while excluding Australia and New Zealand.

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