What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:

Lessons unlearned

As the coronavirus spread through the Diamond Princess cruise ship with passengers dying in what became one of the first hot spots outside China, Japanese authorities issued no warnings to the Costa Atlantica cruise ship docked at another Japanese port.

The Costa Atlantica now hosts one of Japan’s biggest clusters of the coronavirus, with a quarter of the more than 600 people then onboard infected.

Public health experts say a lack of additional measures on cruise ships after the Diamond Princess outbreak, toothless coronavirus legislation and a nationwide paucity of virus testing combined to allow the outbreak on the ship to blossom.

Getting out from under the doona

Australia laid out a three-step road map to ease social distancing restrictions on Friday, aiming to remove all curbs by July and get nearly one million people back to work.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it will be up to Australia’s various states and territories to decide when to begin implementing each stage. Each step will likely be separated by a four-week transition.

“You can stay under the doona forever. You’ll never face any danger,” Morrison told reporters, using an Australian word for quilt.

“But we’ve got to get out from under the doona at some time.”

Safe haven for business

After proclaiming success in containing the coronavirus, Vietnam is positioning itself as a safe place to do business, capitalising on demand from international manufacturers looking to diversify supply chains away from China.

Advisers who help foreign firms relocate internationally said Vietnam’s success in dealing with the pandemic had already boosted the confidence of foreign investors in the country.

Vietnam is targeting annual gross domestic product growth of more than 5% this year, a rare pocket of progress in a global economy facing a deep recession.

Suntanning with plexiglass screens

Santorini beach bar owner Charlie Chahine is not a fan of the plexiglass screens that have been added around the lounge chairs at his establishment, but if that is the way it has to be for tourists to return, then that is what he is doing.

Businesses on Greece’s most popular holiday island are adopting all kinds of hygiene measures, anxious for the season to start.

“We don’t want this, but if this is necessary, and if this is what people’s safety depends on, such a construction or any such construction – we want to work, we want to get going,” said Chahine.

Bookings in June last year were at 70%, while now they hover at 30% at most, vice president of the Santorini Hotel Association Andreas Patiniotis said.

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