Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 0600 GMT, Nov. 12

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TOKYO -- The Japanese government on Friday decided to secure 1.6 million doses of COVID-19 oral medication and increase hospitalization capacity for COVID-19 patients by 30 percent compared to the peak level this summer, local media reported.

"By securing a medical system based on the worst-case scenario and enhancing early treatment, we will be able to continue our economic and social activities even if infections spread," Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said at a special task force meeting Friday morning. (Japan-COVID-19 Response Package)

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BANGKOK -- The cumulative COVID-19 cases in Thailand surpassed 2 million on Friday, as the country recently lifted travel curbs to vaccinated international visitors in an effort to reboot its tourism-reliant economy.

With 7,305 new cases recorded in the past 24 hours, the total number of COVID-19 infections in Thailand stood at 2,004,274, according to the country's health ministry. (Thailand-COVID-19)

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VIENTIANE -- The Lao government has called for all sectors and stakeholders to prepare for a smooth transition in plans to graduate from the Least Developed Country (LDC) status in 2026.

Addressing a virtual meeting on Thursday, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Phoxay Khaykhamphithoune stressed the importance of developing a smooth transition strategy to prepare for Laos' graduation from LDC status, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Friday. (Laos-LDC Status)

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SYDNEY -- The Australian state of Victoria prepared to introduce vaccination mandates for construction industry workers.

The state reported 1,115 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases and nine deaths on Friday, while more than 86 percent of eligible Victorians have been double vaccinated.

Victoria chief health officer Brett Sutton issued a warning in a statement that several vaccination deadlines are "approaching", and all the Victorian construction workers must be fully vaccinated by Saturday to be eligible to continue working on site. (Australia-COVID-19) Enditem

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