Asia virus latest: Thai curfew, oil slips after surge

The latest developments in Asia related to the novel coronavirus pandemic:

- Thai curfew to begin -

Thailand will begin enforcing a six-hour curfew from Friday night in a bid to control the spread of coronavirus, and has warned anyone who breaches the order faces a two-year jail term.

The curfew runs from 10 pm to 4 am (1500 to 2100 GMT), and bars everyone in the country from leaving their homes, except for workers in essential services.

- Oil slips back -

Crude prices slipped in Asian trade after the previous day's record surge as traders questioned Donald Trump's claims that Russia and Saudi Arabia were set to slash output, while regional bourses were mixed after another thunderous rise in US jobless claims caused by the virus crisis.

- Olympic chiefs brace for extra costs after delay -

Olympic chiefs said they were bracing themselves for the extra costs incurred by rescheduling the Tokyo Games by a year to 2021 due to the virus outbreak.

According to the latest budget, the Games were due to cost $12.6 billion, shared between the organising committee, the government of Japan and Tokyo city.

The postponement affects every aspect of the organisation -- the Olympic Athletes' Village, hotels, ticketing, venues and transport, being among the major headaches.

- Modi candle call -

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on Indians to hold candles and mobiles aloft for nine minutes on Sunday in order to dispel the "darkness and uncertainty" of the coronavirus crisis.

"Friends, amidst the darkness spread by the Corona pandemic, we must continuously progress towards light and hope," Modi said in an address to the nation of 1.3 billion people under a lockdown since March 25.

- Asian Development Bank warning -

The coronavirus pandemic could cost the global economy $4.1 trillion as it ravages the United States, Europe and other major economies, the Asian Development Bank warned.

The estimated impact is equivalent to nearly five percent of worldwide output based on a range of scenarios, but the lender said losses from "the worst pandemic in a century" could be higher.

- Japan shifts focus to patients with severe symptoms -

Japan shifted its focus more to coronavirus patients with severe symptoms, asking those who are less ill to stay home or at accommodation designated by local authorities, as specialised beds run short with the outbreak spreading fast.

Health minister Katsunobu Kato said his ministry issued the instruction to all prefectures, including hard-hit Tokyo.

- Australia warning against forcing tenants to pay up -

Australia's corporate watchdog threatened real estate agents with fines and jail time if they tell financially struggling tenants to withdraw money from their retirement accounts to pay their rent during the COVID-19 crisis.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission said in a letter to professional real estate bodies that it had "significant concern" over reports that agents were pressuring tenants unable to pay their rent due to the economic impact of the pandemic to use their retirement savings.

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