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New COVID-19 cases slow in Asia as omicron wave ebbs

Malaysia, South Korea drop outdoor mask restrictions in step toward normalcy

Singapore has eliminated almost all its coronavirus-related restrictions except for requiring that masks be worn indoors.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE/MANILA -- Asian nations have picked up the pace of their economic reopening as the omicron variant of the coronavirus loses steam against rising vaccinations and natural immunity.

New COVID-19 cases in 19 Asian countries and territories totaled roughly 100,000 on Saturday, down from 1.06 million on March 16 when these countries accounted for nearly half the world's new infections, seven-day moving averages compiled by Johns Hopkins University show.

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