Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, July 9

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HONG KONG -- The number of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong has been rising in double digits for the past six consecutive days, prompting health authorities to step up anti-epidemic measures.

Hong Kong's Center for Health Protection (CHP) on Thursday reported 42 new cases of COVID-19, including 34 local cases, raising the total confirmed cases here to 1,365.(Hong Kong-COVID-19)

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BANGKOK -- Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha told the media late Thursday that he will reshuffle his cabinet, after four ministers resigned from the ruling Palang Pracharat Party.

Earlier in the day, members of a formerly-leading faction of the party resigned from party membership but still hold onto their cabinet seats, following a major change in the ruling party's executive board.(Thailand-Cabinet reshuffle)

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ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan's Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood announced on Thursday that the government decided to conditionally reopen all educational institutes from Sept. 15 under the strict standard operating procedures (SOPs) formed to control the spread of COVID-19.

The minister said at a press conference that the educational institutions across the country will be reopened after a months-long hiatus if the health indicators improve and the percentage of COVID-19 positive cases out of total number of tests conducted daily drops significantly.(Pakistan-COVID-19-Education)

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MACAO -- Chief Executive of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) Ho Iat Seng said on Thursday the Macao SAR government was dedicated to maintaining economic vitality, noting that Macao's efforts in epidemic control had achieved good results.

Delivering a speech at the 2020 Plenary of Macao Economic Development Council, Ho said the COVID-19 pandemic had critically affected the global economy and Macao would face the risk of economic contraction in the second half of the year.(Macao-Economy) Enditem

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