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Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, Oct. 23

HANOI -- Vietnam recorded 158 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, down by 317 from Saturday, according to its ministry of health.

This is the lowest number recorded in the country in nearly one year, said the ministry, adding that all the new cases were locally transmitted.

The newly reported infections brought the total tally to 11,496,987. The country reported no new deaths from the pandemic on Sunday, with the total fatalities staying at 43,159.(Vietnam-COVID-19-Updates)

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ISLAMABAD -- The death toll from this season's monsoon rain and floods since mid-June has risen to 1,731 along with 12,867 injuries in Pakistan, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said.

According to a report released by the NDMA on Saturday night, 645 children and 350 women were among those who lost their lives in separate rain or flood-related incidents in the South Asian country so far.

The southern Sindh province was the worst-hit region, where 792 people were killed. (Pakistan-Floods-Deaths)

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NEW DELHI -- Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) early Sunday successfully launched 36 satellites using its heaviest rocket LVM3, officials said.

The satellites were launched from Satish Dhawan Space Center (SDSC) in Sriharikota, off the Bay of Bengal coast located in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh at 12:07 a.m. local time.

"LVM3 M2/OneWeb India-1 mission is completed successfully. All the 36 satellites have been placed into intended orbits," ISRO in a brief statement said. (India-Satellites-Rocket)

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CANBERRA -- Australia's treasurer has warned that inflation in the country is expected to peak towards the end of the year and it will persist for a little bit longer because of the impact of natural disasters and energy prices.

Jim Chalmers, who will on Tuesday night hand down his first federal budget, on Sunday said inflation is the primary influence on this budget, which guides the approach to cost of living relief.

"On the current Treasury forecasts, inflation will persist for longer than we'd like," he told Australian Broadcasting Corporation television.(Australia-Inflation-Treasurer)