Xinhua Asia Pacific news summary at 1630 GMT, May 16

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MUMBAI-- With hospitals over-flowing with COVID-19 patients, India's financial capital Mumbai has now decided to convert its iconic cricket stadium in the city into a quarantine facility.

Established in 1974, the cricket stadium, spreading over 13 hectares including 7.5 hectares for a private club house, has a seating capacity of over 33,000 spectators.

The city civic authority has written a letter to Mumbai Cricket Association seeking custody of the stadium to turn into a quarantine facility as Mumbai is expected to see a surge in COVID-19 cases in the next two weeks, according to civic officials. (Mumbai-Stadium-Quarantine Facility)

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ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan has decided to open its border crossings with Afghanistan for 24 hours a day and 6 days a week to facilitate cross-border trade, which has been affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic in both countries, local media reported Saturday.

The National Command and Operation Center, a high level body leading the country's fight against the COVID-19, took the decision of opening the Torkham and Chaman crossings with Afghanistan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces, reports said, quoting a notification issued on Friday by the Interior Ministry of Pakistan. (Pakistan-Afghanistan-Border)

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DHAKA -- Bangladesh reported 930 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, dipping from Friday's high of 1,202.

A total of 930 new COVID-19 positive cases and 16 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours across Bangladesh, Senior Health Ministry official Nasima Sultana told a media briefing on Saturday afternoon in Dhaka.

"The total number of positive cases is now 20,995 and death toll stands currently at 314 with the fresh fatalities of 16 people" she added. (Bangladesh-COVID-19 Cases)

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JAKARTA -- Indonesia on Saturday announced 529 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections in the Southeast Asian country to 17,025.

There were also 13 new deaths, taking the total number of fatalities to 1,089, the government's spokesperson for the COVID-19-related matters Achmad Yurianto said at a press conference. (Indonesia-COVID-19 Cases)

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ISLAMABAD -- The Pakistani government has extended the suspension of international flight operations by the end of the ongoing month and announced partial resumption of domestic flight operations, local media reported Saturday.

Local media quoted Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan as saying that the suspension of international flights has been extended up to May 31 but special, cargo and relief planes holding special approval would be allowed to continue operations as per the permissions granted to them.

Pakistan suspended the international flight operations on March 21 following the arrival of COVID-19 cases from abroad, especially from Iran and the Gulf states. (Pakistan-International Flight-Suspension Extension) Enditem

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