BFF-34 Asia virus latest: China appeals to US, Japan to conduct antibody tests





Asia virus latest: China appeals to US, Japan to conduct antibody tests

SINGAPORE, May 15, 2020 (BSS/AFP) – Here are the latest developments in
Asia related to the novel coronavirus pandemic:

– China asks US to ‘meet halfway’ after Trump threat-

China urged the United States to meet it halfway and strengthen cooperation
in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic after President Donald Trump
threatened to sever bilateral ties.

Relations between the world’s two largest economies have deteriorated in
recent weeks, with both sides trading barbs over the origins of the virus
that has killed more than 300,000 people.

– Aussies book out Sydney bars as curbs eased –

Sydney’s bars and restaurants opened their doors to customers as a weeks-
long lockdown eased, with owners hoping a busy booking calendar will make up
for restrictions on crowd numbers.

Although social distancing and work-from-home arrangements kept the city’s
streets quiet on Friday morning, venues said locals were eager to get back
into bars and restaurants over the weekend under the relaxed rules.

– Typhoon forces thousands from homes in virus-hit Philippines –

Tens of thousands of people were forced into cramped shelters by the
powerful storm pounding the Philippines, making social distancing nearly
impossible as the nation battles the coronavirus pandemic.

Typhoon Vongfong flattened flimsy coastal homes when it roared ashore on
central Samar island on Thursday, but then weakened into a severe tropical
storm on its path north to the capital Manila.

– Singapore rolls out swab van as it ramps up tests of foreign workers –

Singapore has rolled out a mobile swab station as it seeks to test the more
than 300,000 foreign workers living in dormitories in the city-state.

The specially-equipped ambulance can be swiftly deployed and allows health
care workers to carry out swab tests on people as they stand outside the

The city-state has reported over 26,000 infections, one of the highest
tallies in Asia, with most cases among low-paid migrant workers living in
crowded dorms.

– Japan to conduct antibody tests –

Japan’s health minister said the nation will conduct antibody testing from
next month for about 10,000 people.

The test results should help experts better understand the extent of the
coronavirus’s spread in Japan, with local media reporting it may also shed
light on whether “herd immunity” can be achieved.

– Social-distancing a pipe dream in Hong Kong’s ‘cubicle flats’ –

Squashed inside the 50-square-foot living space she shares with her son,
Wong Mei-ying knows social-distancing during the coronavirus pandemic is all
but impossible.

The 70-year-old Hong Konger lives in one of the city’s notorious “cubicle
flats” — subdivided apartments that make up some of the most densely packed
buildings in the world.