Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, June 10

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COLOMBO -- Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Friday instructed tourism officials to formulate new strategies to attract tourists.

The president gave the instructions during a progress review meeting of the Ministry of Tourism.

Rajapaksa said the tourism industry, which involves more than 4 million people and has been crippled by the Easter Sunday attacks in 2019 and the COVID-19 pandemic, needs to recover to navigate Sri Lanka out of the current economic crisis. (Sri Lanka-President-Tourism)

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MANILA -- Philippine President-elect Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos on Friday vowed to foster stronger and deeper Philippines-China relations during his six-year administration.

In his speech at the awarding ceremony to Filipinos that contributed to the promotion of the Philippines-China mutual understanding, the newly-elected Philippine leader lauded China's role in helping the Philippines in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. (Philippines-China-Marcos)

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JAKARTA -- Indonesia has detected the first cases of more contagious Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of COVID-19 on the island of Bali, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said on Friday.

"Four people in Bali were affected by BA.4 and BA.5," Sadikin said.

The authorities were currently investigating how the subvariants' transmission power is and the extent to which the COVID-19 vaccine is capable of dealing with the subvariants. (Indonesia-COVID-19)

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HONG KONG -- The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government said Friday that it will distribute around 200,000 sets of COVID-19 rapid antigen test (RAT) kits as part of a follow-up on the recent detection of the COVID-19 virus in sewage samples.

The test kits will be distributed to residents, cleaning workers and property management staff working in estates in Central and Western, Tuen Mun and Tai Po with positive sewage testing results showing relatively high viral loads, in order to help identify infected persons. (Hong Kong-COVID-19) Enditem

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