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Singapore, Vietnam and Taiwan fight to remain COVID havens

Upticks in cases and variant fears doom events and squeeze businesses

Shoppers in Singapore stock up on groceries on May 14, after new curbs on dining out and social gatherings were announced.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- It was only three weeks ago that Singapore was named "the world's best place to be" during the COVID-19 pandemic in a Bloomberg ranking. Residents were enjoying meals out on the town or taking "staycations" under carefully calibrated safety measures while vaccinations proceeded apace.

Now the city-state is back in batten-down-the-hatches mode as authorities fear the coronavirus is quietly spreading, possibly driven by more infectious variants. From Taiwan to Vietnam to mainland China, other parts of Asia regarded as relative "safe havens" are also scrambling to stamp out modest yet alarming outbreaks.

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