Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, June 9

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COLOMBO -- Sri Lankan Minister of Health Keheliya Rambukwella said on Thursday that wearing face masks in public places is no longer mandatory with effect from Friday.

The minister said, however, it is advisable for those suffering from respiratory diseases to keep wearing a face mask. (Sri Lanka-Face Mask Mandate-Lifting)

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YANGON -- The United Nations (UN) on Thursday condemned the killing of a staff member of the World Health Organization (WHO) in southeastern Myanmar.

Ramanathan Balakrishnan, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Myanmar, called for all parties and stakeholders to respect the neutrality of the UN and humanitarians and to protect the rights and safety of civilians. (Myanmar-WHO-UN)

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MUMBAI -- Iran is exploring an alternative banking mechanism within the framework of the international law to promote two-way trade with India, said visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian here Thursday.

"I had a fruitful discussion with senior ministers of the Indian government to establish such a banking mechanism," the foreign minister told an interactive meeting organized by MVIRDC World Trade Center Mumbai, an international trade promotion organisation, and All India Association of Industries, an industry body. (India-Iran-Trade)

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HANOI -- Vietnam recorded 802 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, down by 111 from Wednesday, according to its Ministry of Health.

Among the new infections, only three were imported while the rest were domestically transmitted in 45 provinces and cities. (Vietnam-COVID-19 Update) Enditem

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