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Asia virus latest: cyclone prompts infection fears; Korea football row over sex dolls

DESTRUCTION: A woman in Bangladesh looks at her houe destroyed by Super Cyclone Amphan.

Asia virus latest: cyclone prompts infection fears; Tokyo 2020 logo row

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

– Millions cram cyclone shelters despite virus risks –

At least 88 people died as the fiercest cyclone to hit parts of Bangladesh and eastern India this century sent trees flying and flattened houses, with millions crammed into shelters despite the risk of coronavirus.

Millions more were left without power after Cyclone Amphan, packing winds of around 150 kilometers per hour (95 mph), carried away electricity pylons, walls and roofs, officials said as they began to assess the damage.

– China’s top political meetings open with minute silence over virus –

China’s annual high-level political meetings opened Thursday with a minute’s silence for the victims of the coronavirus pandemic and a threat to hit back at the US in an escalating blame game over the disease.

More than 2,000 delegates from across the country bowed their heads after singing the national anthem in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People.

On the eve of the annual session of the National People’s Congress, spokesman Zhang Yesui warned Beijing would “take countermeasures” if the US Congress passed legislation authorising President Donald Trump to level sanctions against China over the virus.

– Korean football club gets record fine over sex dolls in stands –

South Korea’s FC Seoul was fined a record 100 million won ($81,000) for using sex dolls to fill seats at a match held behind closed doors, with K-League officials saying the football club had “deeply humiliated women fans”.

With spectators barred because of the coronavirus, FC Seoul came under fire after dozens of dolls wearing T-shirts or holding placards with the logo of a sex-toy seller appeared at Sunday’s game.

– ‘Insensitive’ Japan Olympic virus logo pulled after row –

A satirical mock-up depicting the Tokyo Olympics logo as the new coronavirus has been pulled after Olympic organisers branded it “insensitive” and said it infringed copyright.

The design combines the distinctive, spiky image of the coronavirus cell with the blue-and-white Tokyo 2020 logo, and appeared on the front page of an in-house magazine published by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan (FCCJ).

– Wuhan clamps down on wild animal trade –

The central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus surfaced late last year, implemented rules to clamp down on the breeding, trade, and hunting of wild animals.

The move comes after China’s central government announced a nationwide ban in February, with some provinces unveiling plans last week that encouraged breeders to switch livelihoods.

The illegal wildlife trade has been blamed for the outbreak, and the virus is widely believed to have passed from bats to people before spreading worldwide.

– Jump in Indonesia cases –

Indonesia recorded its biggest one-day jump in cases with 973 new infections, as the world’s fourth most populous country battles widespread social-distancing violations.

“This increase is outrageous — it’s the biggest jump so far,” the government’s virus task force spokesman Achmad Yurianto told reporters.

The country’s death toll stands at 1,278 — the highest in Asia outside China — with 20,162 infections confirmed nationwide, but the true toll is widely believed to be much higher.

– State of emergency lifted in Japanese cities –

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lifted a state of emergency in several big cities in western Japan and hinted that the measure would be removed nationwide as early as next week.

“We decided to lift the state of emergency for Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo,” Abe told reporters, leaving Tokyo and its neighbouring regions as well as the nation’s northern island of Hokkaido under restrictions.

– Robot dog on virus park patrol in Singapore –

A yellow robot dog called Spot which found fame online for dancing to hit song “Uptown Funk” has been deployed to patrol a Singapore park and ensure people observe social distancing.

The hi-tech hound is remote-controlled and can clamber easily over all types of terrain, which its creators say means it can go where wheeled robots cannot.

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