Asia virus latest: Japan proposes state of emergency, Singapore quarantines dorms

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Restrictions in Japan have so far remained mild but the government is now expected to declare a state of emergency

Here are the latest developments in Asia related to the coronavirus pandemic:

- Japan state of emergency -

Japan's prime minister proposed a state of emergency for several major regions seeing a sharp rise in coronavirus cases, as well as a stimulus package worth $1 trillion to cushion the impact on the world's third-biggest economy.

The official declaration of the state of emergency would likely come as soon as Tuesday, Shinzo Abe told reporters, as the country grapples with a recent spike in coronavirus cases, especially in the capital Tokyo.

- Singapore quarantines foreign workers -

The city-state has put nearly 20,000 migrant workers under quarantine for two weeks after a growing number of infections were detected in their dormitories.

Authorities reported 120 new virus cases Sunday, the highest jump in a single day, with many linked to the dorms.

Many workers from less affluent countries -- particularly parts of South Asia -- come to Singapore to work in construction, and are typically housed in large dormitory complexes.

- Markets up, oil down -

Asian markets rose as some of the world's worst-hit countries reported falling death rates, although oil prices were rocked after a meeting of top producers was delayed.

- Virus-stricken cruise ship docks near Sydney -

A cruise ship that has accounted for a quarter of all COVID-19 deaths in Australia was allowed to dock near Sydney after 200 crew members began exhibiting coronavirus symptoms.

The Ruby Princess berthed at Port Kembla, some 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of Sydney, after weeks stranded at sea to allow doctors to assess sick crew members and take the most serious cases ashore for medical treatment.

- South Korea reports fewer than 50 cases -

South Korea reported fewer than 50 new coronavirus cases for the first time in more than six weeks, having once been the hardest-hit country outside China.

The South confirmed 47 new cases on the previous day, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, taking its total to date to 10,284. It was the lowest increase since late February.

- Singapore airport to suspend Terminal 2 operations -

Singapore's Changi Airport, one of Asia's busiest travel hubs, will suspend operations at its Terminal 2 for 18 months from May 1 due to the steep fall in passenger numbers, its operator said.

The operator also said it would consider suspending operations at Terminal 4, which have already been scaled back considerably, if more airlines axe flights or adjust their schedules.

- Indonesian police to guard virus victims' burials -

Indonesia's capital Jakarta has launched a special police unit to guard the burial of coronavirus victims over concerns that scared residents would try to block their funerals.

The move comes days after angry mobs in several cities on Sulawesi island and in Central Java blocked streets to prevent ambulances from transporting victims of the deadly illness to local cemeteries.

- Mumbai hospital shut after medics test positive -

A major private hospital in Mumbai was shut to new patients and declared a "containment zone" after 26 nurses and three doctors tested positive, an official said.

Mumbai city authority spokesman Vijay Khabale-Patil told AFP that "extreme precautions" were being taken at the Wockhardt Hospital, which included quarantining 300 staff members.

- Easter bunny 'eggs-empt' from New Zealand lockdown -

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern officially granted the Easter Bunny an exemption from strict travel restrictions imposed under a nationwide lockdown.

"You'll be pleased to know that we do consider both the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy to be essential workers, but as you can imagine they're potentially going to be quite busy at home with their own bunnies," she said -- cautioning youngsters may have to organise their own egg hunts.

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