By Gina Lee – South Korea will create a KRW 40 trillion ($32.44 billion) fund to increase liquidity and give payment guarantees to companies.

Japan is mulling implementing crowd-thinning measures as soon as possible at supermarkets to prevent the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, the United States Senate passed a $484 billion package overnight to help small business pay their employees. The House is expected to debate the package as early as Thursday. 

Asia Pacific

South Korea will create a KRW 40 trillion fund to provide liquidity and payment guarantees to companies, President Jae-In Moon said after emergency meetings on the economy earlier in the day.

An existing program will be expanded by KRW 35 trillion won and KRW 10 trillion will be used to help stabilize employment.

The fund is the government’s third extra budget to help industries suffering from the COVID-19 outbreak.

IJapanTokyo’s Governor Yuriko Koike said the metropolitan government is considering measures to reduce crowding at supermarkets, such as limiting the number of customers or social distancing measures in the checkout linesto decrease the risk of spreading the virus. 

Koike said that she wants to implement measures as quickly as possible.

North America

In the United States, the Senate passed a $484 billion package overnight, including $320 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program designed to help struggling small businesses keep their workers on the payroll.

The House could take up the legislation as early as Thursday. 

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump imposed a two-month ban on green card issuance, with a second, more restrictive executive order further reducing immigration, as well as additional extensions of the ban on permanent residency visas possible. 

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