Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 0600 GMT, Jan. 13

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TOKYO -- The Japanese government is mulling the idea of making shorter the 14-day period of self-isolation currently in place for those who have come into close contact with a person infected with the Omicron COVID-19 variant, officials said Thursday.

In a bid to lessen the growing strain on the nation's medical facilities, the government's plan to lessen the period of self-isolation has been underpinned by the idea that Omicron's incubation period may be shorter in comparison to other variants. (Japan-COVID-19)

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SEOUL -- South Korea reported 4,167 more cases of COVID-19 as of midnight Wednesday compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 679,030.

The daily caseload was slightly down from 4,385 in the previous day amid the tightened anti-virus measures. (South Korea-COVID-19)

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SYDNEY -- Following a government mandate to log positive Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs), the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) recorded a vast record of 92,264 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday.

Of the new cases, 30,877 were done through traditional PCR testing and a further 61,387 were self-reported by citizens since the government opened the self-reporting system on Wednesday. (Australia-COVID-19) Enditem

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