Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, March 21

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PHNOM PENH -- Cambodia's Ministry of Health (MoH) confirmed late on Saturday that two more people were tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of the confirmed cases in the kingdom to 53.

The new patients are French tourists, aged 67 and 80 years old, the MoH said in a press statement, adding that the two men arrived in the coastal province of Preah Sihanouk on March 18 and stayed in a hotel. (Cambodia-COVID-19)

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HANOI -- Vietnam will temporarily ban all foreigners, except for entrants on diplomatic or official purposes or other special cases permitted, from entering the country from 0:00 a.m. Sunday local time in a bid to control the COVID-19 outbreak, the Vietnamese government announced Saturday.

The exception cases, also including those entering the country to participate in major diplomatic events and experts, business managers and highly skilled workers, may obtain a visa if necessary, but will be subject to mandatory medical declaration and need to isolate themselves at places of resident as currently regulated, the government said. (Vietnam-COVID-19)

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SINGAPORE -- Singapore's health authority confirmed 47 new COVID-19 cases here Saturday, bringing the total number of infected cases in the country to 432.

This is the highest number of cases reported in a day, and the same number of cases was reported on March 18. (Singapore-COVID-19)

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ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan has decided to suspend international flight operations for two weeks starting from 8:00 p.m. local time on Saturday in a bid to control the spread of coronavirus in the country, said an official.

"Only a few international flights of Pakistan International Airlines will be allowed to fly back to the country," Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Security Division and Strategic Policy Planning Moeed Yusuf said in a press conference. (Pakistan-Flights)

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HONG KONG -- Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection (CHP) Saturday reported 17 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 20 preliminary positive cases, most of which had overseas travel history.

With the 17 newly confirmed cases, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong has risen to 273. (Hong Kong-COVID-19)

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HERAT, Afghanistan -- Four militants including Taliban key commander Mullah Manan have been confirmed dead in Afghanistan's western Herat province, provincial government spokesman Jilani Farhad said Saturday.

According to the official, Mullah Manan and his men were preparing to target security forces in Gulran district but the government forces in preemptive operation struck his base early Saturday killing him and three of his armed men on the spot. (Afghanistan-Militants) Enditem

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