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Virus cases drop to zero in China but surge in Latin America

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Virus cases drop to zero in China but surge in Latin America

A cleaning woman eyes the camera through her fogged up goggles, inside the intensive care unit for C… – Provided by Associated Press

A cleaning woman eyes the camera through her fogged up goggles, inside the intensive care unit for COVID-19, at the Guillermo Almenara hospital in Lima, Peru, Friday, May 22, 2020. Despite strict measures to control the virus, this South American nation of 32 million has become one of the countries worst hit by the disease. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

TOKYO (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic continued to drop in much of Asia on Saturday even as the outbreak surged in Latin America, as the world grappled with balancing the urge to restart economies with fears about health risks. China, where the outbreak began late last year, reported no new confirmed cases for the first time. In South Korea, there were 23 fresh infections, mostly from the densely populated Seoul area where authorities shut down thousands of nightclubs, bars and karaoke rooms to stem transmissions.

The encouraging signs are likely to set off a much awaited thrust to get back to business as governments have been readying social-distancing measures to reopen economies.

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In Japan, a group representing bar hostesses and other nightlife workers issued guidelines to protect employees as outfits reopen, telling them to wear masks, gargle every 30 minutes and disinfect karaoke microphones after each use.

The Bank of Japan, which recently announced measures to ensure easy lending in the world’s third largest economy, said in a joint statement with the government that both sides “will work together to bring the Japanese economy back again on the post-pandemic solid growth […]

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