Financial markets in Asia have mostly steadied out today after a week where the coronavirus outbreak triggered huge losses around the world.
The number of new cases reported by China has dropped sharply, but the epidemic is still spreading rapidly in other countries.
The total number of COVID-19 infections around the world now exceeds 89,000 people.
More than 3,000 have died. Indonesia and several other countries are reporting their first cases. Officials in Italy, the worst-hit country in Europe, said the number of people infected with the virus jumped by 50 percent to nearly 1,700.
Schools in Japan have begun closing to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.
The decision by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe affects some 12.8 million students across nearly 35,000 schools, and very many working parents. With opinion polls showing public dissatisfaction with Abe's handling of the coronavirus outbreak, it appears the prime minister is betting on school closures as an effective strategy to bring new COVID-19 infections under control.
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