Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, March 14

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HONG KONG -- Some households in a residential building in Hong Kong's Tai Po area were evacuated to a quarantine center on Saturday night after three residents of the building were diagnosed with COVID-19, Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection (CHP) said.

The CHP reported earlier Saturday three additional confirmed COVID-19 cases, one of them involves a 59-year-old male living in the same building with a couple who were members of a tour group to Egypt and were diagnosed with COVID-19 earlier this week. (Hong Kong-COVID-19)

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SINGAPORE -- Singapore's Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Saturday it had confirmed and verified 12 new COVID-19 cases as of 12:00 March 14, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 212.

Among the 12 new confirmed cases, nine were imported cases. (Singapore-Coronavirus)

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HONG KONG -- Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection (CHP) said on Saturday afternoon that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong has risen to 140, while another case has been preliminarily tested positive for the virus and is expected to be confirmed later on Saturday.

The CHP reported at a daily press briefing three additional cases confirmed on Saturday, including a 39-year-old female who has been to Dubai, the United Arab Emirates and Madrid, Spain during the incubation period, and a 28-year-old female who traveled to London, Britain on Jan. 23 and returned to Hong Kong on March 11. (Hong Kong-COVID-19)

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TOKYO -- The number of COVID-19 infections in Japan increased by 23 to reach a total of 720 on Saturday, according to data from Japan's health ministry and local governments.

The majority of confirmed cases stemmed from Japan's northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido which has confirmed 137 cases and declared a state of emergency over the situation. (Japan-COVID-19)

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KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysia on Saturday announced 41 new cases of the COVID-19, bringing the total number in the country to 238.

A total of 35 patients have been cured and discharged while five are being held in intensive care, Health Ministry Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a statement. (Malaysia-COVID-19) Enditem

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