Guards stand in front of an empty night market following the recent rise in the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections in Taipei, Taiwan May 23, 2021. REUTERS/Ann Wang

Taiwan’s parliament approved on Monday an extra T$420 billion ($15.20 billion) in stimulus spending to help the economy deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, as the island curbs business activity to counter a spike in domestic infections.

Early and effective prevention steps, including largely closing its borders, had succeeded in shielding Taiwan from the worst of the pandemic.

But cases have surged in recent weeks, prompting the government to limit personal gatherings and shut entertainment venues while it

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