03/23/2020, 10.40
JAPAN-KOREA-TAIWAN
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Coronavirus: Olympics in Japan at risk. Seoul and Taipei fear new infections

Tokyo assesses the first ever postponement of the Olympics. Seoul strengthens quarantine measures for those arriving from abroad. Dialogue with Pyongyang. Taipei closes airports and records a slight increase in contagion cases.

Tokyo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe today admitted for the first time that the Tokyo Olympics could be postponed due to the coronavirus (Covid-19).

The change in direction came after Canada and Australia withdrew from the event, which is set to start on July 24, asking for it to be postponed to 2021. The Olympic Committee is set to make a decision by the end of April. Yesterday Japan reported 34 new cases of infection. There are a total of 1100 infected in the country with 45 dead.

South Korea's health authorities, meanwhile, say the government must tighten quarantine measures to avoid a wave of foreign infections. Having overcome the initial difficulties, Seoul has been effective in containing the spread of Covid-19.

The South Korean strategy ("Trust") is based on a strong control and quarantine measures, resorting to homogeneous tests and a rigorous treatment system for patients. Yesterday, 64 new infections occurred in the country: the lowest number since the beginning of the crisis. Of these, 14 are cases imported from other countries. Overall, almost 9 thousand people are infected and 104 people have died.

The South Korean ministry for Unification has approached North Korea to work together to prevent the spread of lung infection.

Yesterday Pyongyang announced that U.S. President Donald Trump said he intends to help the North Korean government fight the epidemic. Officially, North Korea did not report any cases of infection, despite doubts from the international community.

In Taiwan, all airports will be closed from March 24 until April 7, at least. Due to the low number of users, local railways have announced that services will be reduced between April 18 and June 21. Taipei has so far successfully tackled the epidemic. But there were 26 new cases of infection yesterday, bringing the total to 195; the dead are 2.

Analysts believe the sharp increase, compared to previous numbers, provoked a sharp drop in the local stock exchange, which is about to close with a loss of 3.72%.

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