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Asia scans the world for best practices to reopen economies

South Korea latest to ease coronavirus restrictions, with Singapore eager to follow

People exercise in a Bangkok park on March 29. Fitness clubs were closed in a nationwide state of emergency that is now being eased. (Photo by Akira Kodaka)

SEOUL/SINGAPORE/WASHINGTON -- Economies from Asia to North America have started lifting restrictions on social and business activity as the coronavirus pandemic shows signs of easing, moves health experts warn hold a risk of sparking new infections.

South Korea, once the hardest-hit Asian nation outside of China, this week removed rules against nonessential travel after the virus' spread within the country fell to near zero. Lunchtime crowds have returned to a district of central Seoul popular with restaurant-goers.

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