Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1000 GMT, March 3

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SEOUL -- South Korea confirmed 851 more cases of the COVID-19 on Tuesday, raising the total number of infections to 5,186.

As of 4:00 p.m. local time (0700 GMT), the number of infected patients totaled 5,186, up 851 from 24 hours ago. Five more deaths were reported, lifting the combined death toll to 31. (S.Korea-COVID-19)

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DHAKA -- The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved a 200-million-U.S.-dollar loan for a Bangladeshi project to improve access to electricity and service efficiency in capital Dhaka and elsewhere in the country.

While the Bangladeshi government has implemented various programs to meet growing demand for power, mainly as a result of rapid industrialization and urbanization, about 22 percent of the population still lack access to electricity, said the Beijing-based lender in a statement posted on its website on Tuesday. (Bangladesh-AIIB)

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KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysian Central Bank, Bank Negara Malaysia, on Tuesday announced to reduce its policy rate by 25 basis points to 2.5 percent to support the country's economy.

The bank said in a statement that the monetary policy committee (MPC) has decided to lower the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) to provide a more accommodative monetary environment to support the projected improvement in economic growth amid price stability. (Malaysia-Policy rate)

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TOKYO -- An aide in charge of policy for former Japanese Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of violating Japan's election law amid an election payments scandal involving Kawai's wife, Anri, a ruling party lawmaker.

Hiroshima district prosecutors arrested former policy secretary Shinsuke Takaya, 43, as well as Hiroshi Tatemichi, 54, a second secretary to Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker and upper house member Anri Kawai, as well as Yugo Waki, 71, a senior official of Anri Kawai's campaign team. (Japan-Former minister-Scandal) Enditem

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