COVID-19 cases continue to surge in Southeast Asia on April 26 hinh anh 1People queue for free food from a community pantry amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Quezon City, Metro Manila, on Apr 23, 2021. (Photo: Reuters)

Hanoi (VNA)
- The number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines passed the milestone of 1 million on April 26 as the infections continued to surge in the country.

The Philippines' Department of Health (DOH) reported on the day 8,929 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 1,006,428.

The death toll climbed to 16,853 after 70 more patients died from the viral disease, the DOH said.

The 1 million mark comes just over three months after the Philippines surpassed 500,000 COVID-19 cases on January 17. The infections surged in March this year, surpassing the previous peak in August 2020. The government placed Metro Manila and four adjacent provinces, home to over 28 million people, under a strict lockdown since the end of March.

Meanwhile, Laos reported 113 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on April 26, of which 54 were detected in Champasak province, 31 in Vientiane, 13 in Savannakhet, seven in Bokeo, and the others in Oudomxay, Phongsaly Sekong, Xayaboury, Luang Prabang and Vientiane province.

With the 31 new cases, including two Vietnamese, Vientiane capital city now counts 274 infections.

On the day, five more provinces in Laos reported infections, raising the total number of Lao localities with COVID-19 cases to 14 out of 18. Notably, seven of them border the nine Vietnamese provinces of Son La, Dien Bien, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam and Kon Tum.

The Lao Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) worried that Vientiane could document some 2,000 SARS-CoV-2 infections in the second wave.

In the face of the complex developments of the pandemic in Laos, the Vietnamese Embassy in the country has called on the Vietnamese community there to stay calm, step up prevention measures, think twice about returning home and seriously observe measures set by the Lao government.

Meanwhile, WHO representative in Cambodia Li Ailan said the current outbreaks in factories and markets serve as a painful reminder of the importance of investing in mitigation measures before cases occur, in order to help prevent the virus from spreading.

The call was made in the context that Cambodia logged 9,975 COVID-19 infections, and 74 deaths.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 25 ordered tightened measures to prevent the outbreak.

In Thailand, new restriction measures were introduced, trying to halt the spiraling outbreak.

Wearing face masks is now compulsory in public spaces in Bangkok as well as other 46 provinces. Violators risk a fine up to 20,000 THB (640 USD) under the Communicable Disease Act.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Thailand is increasing. As of April 26, the country recorded 57,508 cases, including 148 deaths./.