Here are the latest developments from Asia related to the novel coronavirus pandemic:
– Singapore to ease restrictions as community spread slows –
Singapore says it will gradually ease some restrictions aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus as community-spread infections have decreased.
Pet food stores and hair salons will be allowed to re-open from May 12 and some students will be allowed to return to school in small groups a week later.
But migrant workers living in dormitories will be required to stay indoors until June 1 as hundreds of new cases are reported in the crowded facilities each day.
– Mick Jagger, Will Smith to join India concert –
Rock legend Mick Jagger and Hollywood’s Will Smith will be among dozens of international and Bollywood stars taking part in a livestreamed concert Sunday to raise funds for the battle against coronavirus in India, where the number of cases is surging.
Cricket superstar Virat Kohli, actors Priyanka Chopra and Shah Rukh Khan are among the top domestic names set to perform or read messages from their homes.
– Hong Kongers hit the beach –
Hong Kongers flocked to country parks and the city’s outlying islands over a long holiday weekend, even as regulations limiting gatherings to four people remain in force.
Long queues were seen outside shops and restaurants that openly support the city’s pro-democracy movement, which helped bring the financial hub to a standstill during months of civil unrest last year.
The city’s social distancing regulations are due to expire on May 7, but authorities have not decided whether to extend them and have asked citizens to remain vigilant.
– Philippines releases inmates as virus hits jails –
The Philippines released nearly 10,000 prison inmates as the country races to halt coronavirus infections in its overcrowded jails.
Social distancing is all but impossible in the country’s prison system, where cells are sometimes filled to five times their capacity due to inadequate infrastructure and an overburdened judicial system.
– New infections spike in Malaysia –
Malaysia recorded 105 new cases on Saturday in the biggest rise in over two weeks.
Much of the country remains under a partial lockdown, with people only allowed to leave their homes to carry out essential tasks.
Authorities detained large numbers of undocumented migrants in a series of Friday raids that a rights group said could trigger a ‘massive’ disease outbreak.
– Sri Lanka to mark Buddhist festival without crowds –
Sri Lanka said it would hold celebrations for a key Buddhist festival next week without public crowds to prevent the spread of the virus.
Low-key ceremonies will begin on Monday to mark Vesak, the commemoration of Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death.
Public sermons by monks will be broadcast live while the usual giant lanterns and coloured lights will not be on display, as the country remains under curfew.
– North Korea’s Kim reappears –
North Korea’s Kim Jong Un made his first public appearance in nearly three weeks at the opening of a fertiliser factory, state media reported, following intense speculation that the leader of the nuclear-armed nation was seriously ill or possibly dead.
As with previous public appearances during the global coronavirus pandemic, Kim and his entourage were not wearing face masks.
Kim’s long absence from the spotlight led some to speculate that he may have caught the virus.
The North has insisted that it has not seen a single case of coronavirus, although experts say that is unlikely.
© Agence France-Presse