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Singapore and rest of aging Asia scurry to avoid COVID baby bust

Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong all eye ways to spur marriage and childbirth

A Singaporean preschool class in the COVID-19 era: Across Asia, the pandemic is making some couples think twice about marriage and having kids.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- The coronavirus pandemic is threatening already aging Asian economies with a baby bust, sending some governments scrambling to introduce new programs to encourage citizens to marry and have more children.

Starting this month, Singapore is offering a grant of 3,000 Singapore dollars ($2,200) for each new baby born over the next two years, through September 2022. The government also eased social distancing rules on weddings, allowing a maximum of 100 people -- including the couple -- to attend.

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