Hot Off The Press

These are the top stories making the front pages of major newspapers from across Southeast Asia today. 

Get up to speed with what’s happening in the fastest growing region in the world.  

China virus deaths rise past 900, overtaking SARS toll

The death toll from the Novel Coronavirus surged past 900 in mainland China on Monday, overtaking global fatalities in the 2002-03 SARS epidemic, even as the World Health Organization (WHO) said the outbreak appeared to be stabilising.

With 91 more people dying in Hubei, the province at the centre of the outbreak, the toll is now higher than the 774 killed worldwide by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

The latest data came after the WHO said the last four days had seen “some stabilising” in Hubei, but warned the figures could still “shoot up”. – The Borneo Post

China says it has spent US$6.2 billion to fight virus outbreak

China has spent RMB31.6 billion (US$6.2 billion) to control the outbreak of the new Coronavirus, Finance Minister Liu Kun said.

About RMB71.9 billion (US$10.2 billion) of fiscal funds have been allocated to the epidemic, including ensuring medical care and outbreak control measures are in place, Mr Liu said on Sunday (9 Feb). – The Straits Times

PH among economies most vulnerable to virus

The country’s economic managers are preparing a raft of measures to counteract the economic impact of the novel coronavirus (nCoV) outbreak after the Philippines was identified as being among the three most vulnerable countries to the ongoing contagion.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said on Friday that while it was too early to determine the impact of the outbreak to the Philippine economy, the government was “ready to implement monetary and fiscal tools to counter potentially adverse economic fallout.” – Philippine Daily Inquirer

Poor security worsened toll: PM

Following Nakhon Ratchasima's shooting rampage, which left 30 people dead, including the gunman, and 57 others injured, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Sunday ordered a review of security measures at the military's armouries.

"All I can say is if we had fully followed [the standard security procedure], we would have been able to mitigate the degree of violence [in this incident]," said Gen Prayut after a briefing on the weekend's shooting spree. – Bangkok Post

PM proposes sporting events to ease border tensions with Laos

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday reportedly asked visiting Lao President Bounnhang Vorachith to help ease border tensions by allowing his soldiers to participate in sporting events with Cambodian troops.

Border tensions had escalated in recent years following the Lao-troop encroachment of Preah Vihear province’s Chhep district in 2019 and the Mom Bei area in Stung Treng province in 2017. Cambodia had responded by deploying its soldiers, but both incidents resulted in peaceful withdrawals. The two sides then agreed to continue border demarcation work and avoid confrontation. – Khmer Times