Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, Feb. 22

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MACAO -- The Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) on Monday started inoculating local residents who are not in prioritized groups with COVID-19 vaccines produced by the mainland.

Around 2,600 residents made reservations for inoculation on the first day at 12 medical facilities, which can offer services to 5,000 people in total on a daily basis, according to the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Center of Macao. (Macao-COVID-19-Vaccination)

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BANGKOK -- The Thai government announced Monday to extend the emergency rule against COVID-19 for another month, but ease some restriction measures as the country's daily new caseload fell below 100 in recent days.

The Center for the COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) extended the emergency rule until the end of March to effectively stem the domestic pandemic, said CCSA spokesman Taweesin Visanuyothin. (Thailand-COVID-19-Emergency rule)

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COLOMBO -- The total number of infected COVID-19 patients surpassed 80,000 in Sri Lanka on Monday after over 600 new patients were detected during the day, statistics from the Health Ministry showed here.

According to official figures, out of the 80,222 patients patients infected, 75,110 patients had recovered and been discharged from hospitals while 445 deaths had been reported from the virus. (Sri Lanka-COVID-19-Caseload)

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MANILA -- The Philippine House of Representatives passed on Monday a bill that creates an indemnity fund to pay Filipinos "in case of death, permanent disability or hospitalization" due to serious side effects after receiving the coronavirus vaccine shots.

The COVID-19 vaccination bill, which includes a provision that allocates an indemnification fund of 500 million pesos (roughly 10.3 million U.S. dollars), also seeks to hasten the government's purchase of the coronavirus vaccines. (Philippines-Law-COVID-19 Vaccination) Enditem

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