Quieter Response to Coronavirus in Countries Where China Holds Sway

Top officials in Southeast Asia have played down the threat of the virus and shied away from travel bans. Some have even pushed supposed remedies not supported by science.

In Myanmar, loudspeakers broadcast advice from Buddhist monks: Seven ground peppercorns, exactly seven, placed on the tongue will ward off the coronavirus spreading across Asia and the world.

In Indonesia, Terawan Agus Putranto, the health minister, advised citizens to relax and eschew overtime work to avoid the disease, which has killed more than 300 people and infected more than 14,000 others, mostly in China.

“To prevent it is very easy as long as your immunity is good,” Mr. Terawan said.

And in Cambodia, Prime Minister Hun Sen told a packed news conference on Thursday that he would kick out anyone who was wearing a surgical mask because such measures were creating an unwarranted climate of fear.

In full: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/02/world/asia/china-coronavirus-philippines-thailand.html

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