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Southeast Asian auto sales sink 40% for largest drop in a decade

BANGKOK — New-vehicle sales in Southeast Asia plummeted 40% on the year in March, the biggest monthly drop-off in the past decade, data compiled by Nikkei finds.

Automakers sold only 196,802 vehicles in six of the region’s leading markets that month as the coronavirus pandemic undercut both demand and consumer outings. 

Because Southeast Asian auto production essentially ground to a halt last month, sales in April likely fell by an even wider margin than in March.

In Thailand, one of the region’s biggest markets, sales plunged 42% to 60,105 vehicles in March. Many Thais have seen their income decline after

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Japan’s egg and milk glut does not extend to largest food bank

TOKYO — Japan’s agricultural sector could soon be reeling from a glut of eggs and dairy products with the closure of schools and restaurants due to the coronavirus pandemic, while the country’s largest food bank is paradoxically facing a shortage as the number of users surges.

“The surplus eggs have nowhere to go if the coronavirus is prolonged,” said a worker at a major egg company.

The wholesale price of eggs dropped 5.3% to 180 yen ($1.68) per kilogram on May 1 from a week ago, according to Jaz-Tamago, an egg unit of the National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations.

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India extends world’s largest lockdown for second time

NEW DELHI — India’s lockdown of over 1 billion people was extended Friday by two weeks to fight the spread of the coronavirus that has led to more than 1,150 deaths across the country.

This is the second extension of the shutdown initially imposed for three weeks on March 25 and then extended until Sunday. Friday’s extension will run until May 17.

While announcing the extension, the Ministry of Home Affairs also issued new guidelines to regulate activities during this period, with certain districts of the country given colors — red, green and orange — based on contagion risk. Red

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India extends world’s largest lockdown after infections spike

NEW DELHI — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday extended the country’s three-week lockdown until May 3 to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

“We have to be very vigilant about hot spots,” or clusters with positive cases, Modi said in a televised address. “The creation of new hot spots will further challenge our hard work and penance,” he said, adding that stricter measures will be taken to fight the pandemic in the coming week.

Modi’s address comes as India’s tally of confirmed coronavirus cases reached 10,363, an increase of 1,211 since Monday morning and the biggest 24-hour spike

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