Here are the latest developments in Asia related to the coronavirus pandemic:
Schools reopen in South Korea
Hundreds of thousands of South Korean students returned to school as educational establishments started re-opening after being shuttered by coronavirus for more than two months.
Students lined up for temperature checks and were given hand sanitiser as they entered schools, while teachers greeted them with smiles and occasional elbow bumps.
Singapore slammed for ‘cruel’ Zoom death sentence
Singapore was criticised for being “cruel and inhumane” after a death sentence was handed down via video-conferencing platform Zoom.
Malaysian drug trafficker Punithan Genasan was Friday sentenced to hang in a hearing conducted remotely due to restrictions in place to combat the spread of coronavirus, court officials said.
The Supreme Court said it was the city-state’s first criminal case where a death sentence was handed down in a remote hearing.
China trade growth warning
A recovery in China’s trade growth is not sustainable unless coronavirus is brought under control globally, the minister of industry and information technology warned.
China’s exports saw a surprise increase in April — partly because of rising medical product shipments — as production resumed after months of closures to control the outbreak, while imports and exports fell less than expected in renminbi terms during the first four months.
But Miao Wei told a news conference that “although our imports and exports in renminbi terms from January to April have increased moderately, I think that if the global pandemic cannot come under effective control, this is unsustainable”.
Kiwis eye shorter work week after lockdown
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern raised the prospect of New Zealanders enjoying extra public holidays and a shorter working week to help kickstart the post-lockdown economy.
Ardern said she wanted to encourage “nimble” and creative ideas for recovery after a strict seven-week lockdown that helped New Zealand contain coronavirus but stalled the economy.
South Korean football league to investigate ‘sex doll’ row
A top South Korean football club accused of using sex dolls to fill empty seats in its stands will face disciplinary proceedings this week, K-league officials said.
With fans banned from matches because of the coronavirus, FC Seoul came under fire for deploying dozens of silicone spectators wearing T-shirts or holding placards with the logo of a sex-toy seller.
Japan scraps beloved high-school baseball tournament
Japan’s beloved high-school summer baseball tournament has been cancelled for the first time since World War II due to the coronavirus, causing heartache across the country and millions of dollars in lost revenue.
The Japan National Tourism Organization, meanwhile, said the total number of visitors to the country in April was just 2,900 — down 99.9 percent from the same month last year — a record low since they started keeping records in 1964.
Myanmar arrests Canadian pastor for breaking virus rules
Myanmar police arrested a Canadian pastor for allegedly holding a service in defiance of a coronavirus ban on mass gatherings after which he and dozens of his followers and their families became infected.
Cambodia lifts ban on foreigners
Cambodia has lifted a ban on travellers from six virus-ravaged countries — Iran, Italy, Germany, Spain, France and the US — that was imposed more than two months ago.
But some conditions still apply to travellers from the affected nations, as it does to all arriving foreigners. These include obtaining a health certificate declaring them coronavirus-free and having health insurance.
No hugs as China football draws up virus plan
The Chinese Super League (CSL) will be stripped of exuberant goal celebrations — and fans — as it attempts to start during the coronavirus pandemic, reports said.
The CSL has ambitions of launching the season in late June or early July, and Chinese football authorities have drawn up detailed plans to keep players and fans safe.