Asia Briefs: H7N9 bird flu mutates in south China

H7N9 bird flu mutates in south China

BEIJING • The H7N9 bird flu has mutated to a new strain in south China, which has proven to be more dangerous to poultry but poses no new threat to humans, according to the country's disease control and prevention authorities.

The mutation was found last month in two people who had contracted H7N9 bird flu in Guangdong province.

The Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed the finding and reported the case to the World Health Organisation.


Nepal to hold first local polls in 20 years

KATHMANDU • Nepal will hold its first local elections in two decades on May 14, the government has announced, a key moment in the country's fraught transition to democracy.

The nation emerged from a brutal decade-long civil war in 2006, which brought an end to the 240-year-old Hindu monarchy and transformed it into a secular republic.

Local government representatives were last elected in 1997.

Deep political divides have prevented the country from implementing a new Constitution that paves the way for elections.


Cash still king in Japanese households

TOKYO • Japanese households hold roughly 11 times more of their assets in cash or savings accounts than those in Sweden do, according to a survey that shows their love for cash remains intact.

In 2015, the ratio of Japanese households' cash holdings, including bank accounts, to nominal gross domestic product was 19.4 per cent, according to a Bank for International Settlements survey cited by the Bank of Japan (BOJ).

The BOJ, in a report yesterday, said Japan's ratio was the highest among 24 countries surveyed by the Basel-based institution.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 22, 2017, with the headline 'Asia Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe