Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 0600 GMT, Dec. 31

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YANGON -- Myanmar's Ministry of Transport and Communications has further extended the temporary suspension period of international commercial flights until the end of January.

The ministry on Thursday issued an announcement to extend the effective period for temporary measures to prevent importation of COVID-19 to the country through air travel which will end on Thursday night. (Myanmar-International Flights)

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NEW DELHI -- India's COVID-19 tally rose to 10,266,674 on Thursday, as 21,822 new cases were registered during the past 24 hours, said the latest data from the federal health ministry.

According to the data, the death toll mounted to 148,738 as 299 COVID-19 patients died since Wednesday morning.

There are still 257,656 active cases in the country, while 9,860,280 people have been discharged so far from hospitals after medical treatment. (India-COVID-19)

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VIENTIANE -- China and Laos will further promote the building of a community with a shared future between the two countries in the upcoming year of 2021 to better benefit the two peoples, Chinese Ambassador to Laos Jiang Zaidong said.

The Chinese ambassador made the remarks here Wednesday in an interview with Chinese and Lao media. He said China and Laos will jointly celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 2021. (China-Laos-Ties)

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SEOUL -- South Korea reported 967 more cases of COVID-19 as of midnight Wednesday compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 60,740.

The daily caseload fell below 1,000 in three days, but it hovered above 100 for 54 days since Nov. 8 due to small cluster infections in Seoul and its surrounding Gyeonggi province as well as imported cases.

Of the new cases, 365 were Seoul residents and 219 were people residing in Gyeonggi province. (South Korea-COVID-19)

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SYDNEY -- Australia's New Year's Eve celebrations have been hampered by fresh COVID-19 cases in Sydney and Melbourne, with the public urged to spend the occasion at home.

On Thursday Sydney recorded 10 additional locally acquired cases, while Melbourne broke a two-month COVID-19 free streak with three local cases the day before and added three additional cases on Thursday which were linked to the Sydney outbreak. (Australia-New Year) Enditem

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