Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 0600 GMT, July 30

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SEOUL -- Sentiment among South Korean businesses over economic situation improved for three straight months to July, central bank data showed Thursday.

The business sentiment index (BSI) stood at 60 in July, up 4 points from the previous month, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). The reading below 100 means pessimists outnumbering optimists. (South Korea-Business Sentiment)

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NEW DELHI -- India's health ministry Thursday morning said 775 new deaths due to COVID-19, besides fresh 52,123 positive cases, were reported during the past 24 hours across the country, taking the number of deaths to 34,968 and the total cases to 1,583,792.

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

On Wednesday morning, the number of COVID-19 cases in the country was 1,531,669, and the death toll 34,193. (India-COVID-19)

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SYDNEY -- Australia recorded its deadliest day of the COVID-19 pandemic so far on Thursday, with 13 deaths, on top of a record 744 new infections.

The southeastern state of Victoria recorded 723 of Thursday's positive tests, taking the total number of active cases within the state to over 5,500.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said that wearing a face mask would become mandatory across the state as of midnight Sunday, expanding on rules already in place for capital city, Melbourne. (Australia-COVID-19)

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HONG KONG -- China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government said Wednesday night that European Union's (EU) conclusions and measures in response to the enactment of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the HKSAR was a wrong decision.

The EU's intention to provide Hong Kong residents with more relaxed asylum, migration and residency policy on the pretext of the enactment of the national security law in Hong Kong "is a blatant interference in the affairs of the HKSAR," and "such moves are deeply regretted," a spokesman for the HKSAR government said. (Hong Kong-EU-National Security Law)

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TOKYO -- One person has died and at least 17 others have been injured in an explosion Thursday morning at a restaurant in Koriyama City in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, fire department officials said.

Investigators said the explosion occurred shortly before 9:00 a.m. local time at a "shabu shabu"-style hot pot restaurant.

Police and fire department officials said that one body was recovered from the site, with two people seriously injured in the explosion, while 15 others suffered slight injuries. (Japan-Restaurant-Blast) Enditem

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