Coronavirus News Asia

Iconic sites reopen as virus controls are eased

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The Church of the Nativity and the ruins of ancient Pompeii reopened to pilgrims and tourists on Tuesday, as countries further eased coronavirus controls and reopened shuttered economies.

Many of the hardest-hit nations, including Italy and Spain, are trying to salvage their summer tourism seasons – the latest tentative steps out of lockdown buoying world markets.

But the virus, apparently brought under control in Asia and much of Europe, is continuing its spread. 

On Tuesday, the number of cases worldwide passed 5.5 million, according to an AFP tally of official sources.

The number of declared cases has doubled in a month and more than one million new cases of Covid-19 have been registered in the last 11 days. 

More than 346,000 deaths have been recorded worldwide.

The virus and the associated  economic and social lockdowns have plunged the world economy into a severe slump – and ominous figures and forecasts continue to pile up.

Asian trading hub Singapore warned on Tuesday its economy could shrink by as much as 7% this year. EU leaders, meanwhile, will announce an unprecedented trillion-euro recovery package on Wednesday.

The virus has also had an immense political impact. 

US President Donald Trump weathered a torrent of criticism for playing golf as the death toll in his country neared 100,000 on the weekend. He later accused his critics in the media of being “sick with hatred and dishonesty.”

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