As rules relax, Asian cities inch closer to normality

Ta Hien Street, known as the beer corner, in Hanoi

Some of Asia’s biggest cities are slowly limping back to normal as governments begin to ease restrictions.

Vietnam, one of the world’s success stories in curbing the pandemic, has allowed non-essential businesses, such as bars, restaurants, cinemas and spas to reopen in recent weeks.

And Hanoi’s popular Ta Hien Street, known as the beer corner, is once again looking like it used to.

Thailand too has seen life inch closer to normality as outdoor markets reopened earlier in the month. The country also started to open shopping malls and department stores last week.

It has confirmed a little more than 3,000 cases, among the lowest in the world.

Traffic has returned to cities such as Myanmar’s Yangon and Pakistan’s Karachi, which saw some of its roads clogged last week after the government allowed businesses to reopen with social distancing norms.

The government said rules could be reimposed if cases start to spike again.

Standalone shops in Indian cities have also begun to reopen.

Both India and Pakistan have begun to relax restrictions, even as cases continue to rise, because the economic impact of lockdown has proved costly.

The two countries have not seen a high number of fatalities – a trend they hope will hold.

Source: BBC

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