Asia Briefs: WHO: Zika virus set to spread through Asia

A worker spraying chemicals to kill mosquitoes in the Sathon district of Bangkok. Two Thai babies have been diagnosed with Zika-linked microcephaly.
A worker spraying chemicals to kill mosquitoes in the Sathon district of Bangkok. Two Thai babies have been diagnosed with Zika-linked microcephaly.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

WHO: Zika virus set to spread through Asia

MANILA • The Zika virus is set to spread through Asia, the World Health Organisation warned yesterday, with hundreds of cases reported in Singapore and two Thai babies diagnosed with Zika-linked microcephaly.

A WHO report released at its annual regional meeting in Manila said the virus was "highly likely to further spread in the region".

The WHO said the mosquito-borne virus has been detected in 70 countries worldwide, including at least 19 nations in the Asia-Pacific.

REUTERS

Muhyiddin as PM? Mahathir not so sure

KUALA LUMPUR • Two weeks after Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) president Muhyiddin Yassin was the most likely choice to become the next prime minister, the former prime minister appeared to have changed his tone.

"I think, at the moment, with support, I think he can lead," Dr Mahathir told Malaysiakini in an exclusive interview last Wednesday and, after a quick but noticeable pause, added "the party".

"Whether he can lead the government is another matter," he added.

Thai govt barred HK activist, says China

BEIJING • Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Li Baodong said yesterday it was the Thai government that made the decision to block Hong Kong student activist Joshua Wong's entry to Thailand last week.

A deputy commander of airport immigration police, Colonel Pruthipong Prayoonsiri, was quoted by The Nation newspaper as saying China had sent a request "to seek cooperation to deny" Wong entry.

Col Pruthipong declined further comment.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has said Wong's expulsion was a matter for China, not Thailand.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 11, 2016, with the headline 'Asia Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe