Asia Asia virus latest: Back to school in Wuhan; China hits back at...

Asia virus latest: Back to school in Wuhan; China hits back at US in lab leak row

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Here are the latest developments from Asia related to the novel coronavirus pandemic:

– Students in Wuhan return to school –
Chinese youngsters in Wuhan, where the coronavirus first emerged, filed back to class, wearing masks and walking in single file past thermal scanners.

Senior school students in 121 institutions were back in front of chalkboards and digital displays for the first time since their city shut down in January.

“School is finally reopening!” posted one user on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like short messaging platform.

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– Pompeo has no evidence about virus lab leak: China –
China hit back at US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over his claims that the coronavirus originated in a lab in Wuhan, saying he “doesn’t have any” evidence.

Washington and Beijing have clashed repeatedly over the virus, which emerged in China late last year but has since spiralled into a global pandemic.

Meanwhile, Beijing’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva said China will not prioritise inviting international experts in to investigate the source of the virus until after the pandemic is beaten.

– South Korea returns largely to normal –
South Korea returned largely to normal as workers went back to offices, and museums and libraries reopened under eased social distancing rules after new coronavirus cases dropped to a trickle.

The country endured one of the worst early outbreaks of the disease outside China and while it never imposed a compulsory lockdown, strict social distancing had been widely observed since March.

– Stocks enjoy further gains as restrictions eased –
Most equities rose again as investors grew increasingly, but cautiously, hopeful that the worst of the coronavirus has passed and as countries begin to slowly open up from lockdown.

While a string of data highlighted the calamity visited upon the global economy by COVID-19, a slowdown in both infections and deaths in some nations is allowing them to ease restrictions that have kept half the planet stuck at home.

– Taiwan company eyes human trials for vaccine –
A Taiwanese company said it was seeking approval to begin human trials after a COVID-19 vaccine they developed over the last four months had worked in animals.

Adimmune Corporation said their candidate vaccine had produced antibodies that could “effectively inhibit the virus” within mice during testing, and it hoped to start human trials later this year.

In Australia, research is set to begin into using blood plasma from recovered coronavirus patients as a therapy for those who become infected, the latest country to investigate the possible treatment.

Melbourne-based bio-pharmaceutical firm CSL Behring said the first phase of research in Australia would focus on developing a test to detect the presence of antibodies that fight the virus in plasma.

– Macau reaches infection-free milestone –
The tiny gambling enclave of Macau reached the landmark of 28 days in a row with no new confirmed cases — which many epidemiologists says is the threshold for being able to declare an outbreak over.

The densely crowded semi-autonomous Chinese city had early infections but quickly shut its borders. It has recorded just 45 cases and no deaths.

– Bangkok millionaires’ club enjoys lockdown luxury –
Gourmet take-out delivered by a butler in a black sedan — Thailand’s super-rich have not forgone luxury during a pandemic which has locked the country down, crushed the economy and left millions unemployed.

For the rich in Bangkok, the pandemic has brought the inconvenience of restricted movement — with an overnight curfew still in place despite some businesses reopening — but no end to the lifestyle of plenty.

Concierge company the Silver Voyage Club has retooled its services to meet the cravings of the elite, delivering high-end meals from top-tier restaurants.

burs-sr/rma

© Agence France-Presse

/AFP

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