Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 0600 GMT, July 24

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SYDNEY -- The Ruby Princess cruise ship, which docked in Sydney in March and has been linked to 21 deaths and 700 cases of COVID-19 across Australia, will be the subject of a class action lawsuit announced Friday.

Shine Lawyers has filed a class action against Carnival Plc and Princess Cruise Lines Ltd, saying that the cruise operators were negligent in their handling of the situation and failed in their duty of care to passengers. (Australia-Cruise Ship Lawsuit)

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VIENTIANE -- The Lao Ministry of Health reported one new case of COVID-19 on Friday for the first time in 102 days.

The new case is a South Korean man, who is a staff of a hydropower project in Laos, the Lao Ministry of Health said in a statement on Friday.

The 32-year-old patient travelled from Japan and transited through South Korea on July 18, and arrived in Laos on the same day. He went to a quarantine center in Lao capital Vientiane by a van with six passengers. (Laos-COVID-19)

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SEOUL -- South Korea reported 41 more cases of the COVID-19 as of 0:00 a.m. Friday local time compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 13,979.

The daily caseload continued to grow in double digits due to the continued small cluster infections and imported cases.

Of the new cases, 13 were imported from overseas, lifting the combined figure to 2,158. (South Korea-COVID-19)

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VIENTIANE -- Dengue cases in Laos have risen to 3,684 with eight deaths since January, according to a report from Lao Ministry of Health.

The highest number of 779 dengue patients were recorded in the Lao capital Vientiane, Center of Information and Education for Health under Lao Ministry of Health reported in its press release on Friday. (Laos-Dengue)

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NEW DELHI -- India's health ministry Friday morning said 740 new deaths due to COVID-19, besides fresh 49,310 positive cases, were reported during the past 24 hours across the country, taking the number of deaths to 30,601 and total cases to 1,287,945.

This is the highest single day spike in the number of fresh positive COVID-19 cases in the country so far.

According to ministry officials, so far 817,209 people have been discharged from hospitals after showing improvement. (India-COVID-19)

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MANILA -- The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) confirmed on Friday that four of the five soldiers aboard the Huey helicopter that crashed shortly after taking off on Thursday night in the northern Philippines have died.

AFP spokesperson Major General Edgard Arevalo said the Philippine Air Force (PAF) UH-1D Huey helicopter was conducting proficiency training for night flying when the accident happened around 7 p.m. local time. (Philippines-Helicopter Crash) Enditem

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