New virus hotspots emerge in Asia Pacific

Several countries in the Asia-Pacific prided themselves on containing the novel coronavirus earlier this year.

But new record surges have shown that the worst is not over.

In Australia, Thursday was the deadliest day of the pandemic yet.

The country recorded 13 deaths and a record high of more than 700 new cases, mostly in its second-most populous state, Victoria.

Authorities there have now ordered all residents in the state to wear masks.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison defended a possible new array of lockdown measures on Thursday.

''We have now been in this lockdown now for some weeks, and we are not getting the results we would hope for. And as a result the further measures that are taken are certainly necessary. They will come at an impact to the economy - we understand that but, equally, not containing these outbreaks will have that effect also. And so it's important that we continue to work together to get on top of this and to take whatever actions are necessary."

With just over 900 active COVID-19 cases linked to Victorian-aged care homes, the Federal government has sent 1,400 military personnel and five emergency teams to Melbourne to support those caring for the elderly, including with contact tracing.

Vietnam, which was virus-free for months -- this week reported a sudden outbreak that had spread to six cities and provinces in just six days.

Thousands had flocked to the coastal city of Danang to take advantage of cut-rate travel deals..., the government has suspended all flights there after the virus resurfaced.

At least nine cases have been linked to the city.

Eighty-one thousand people are now in quarantine...

...and on Thursday the government sent a text message to all of the country's mobile phones urging those who visited Danang to report to disease control centers.

Even isolated North Korea is on alert.

Weeks ago a defector suspected of having the virus. . .

illegally crossed the highly fortified border BACK over from South Korea.

It's prompted strict quarantine and screening measures at the border.

But so far -- North Korea says it has no domestic cases.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting