Houston mayor lunches dim sum, showing support for Asian communities amid COVID-19 concerns

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HOUSTON, March 5 (Xinhua) -- The mayor of Houston, U.S. state of Texas, on Thursday invited city executive staff members and community members to lunch at a Chinese restaurant, showing his support for the Asian community.

In a media briefing held in Ocean Palace, a Chinese seafood and dim sum restaurant, Mayor of Houston Sylvester Turner said, "This is an opportunity for us to support local businesses and to encourage local businesses and let people know that we're moving forward."

In recent weeks, Houston's Asiatown has experienced a decline in tourism and business amid growing concerns over COVID-19. The fear of catching the disease is causing some to avoid Asian communities like Chinatown, which led to a sharp drop in customers.

The mayor said, "You have to continue to engage to do business to interact with one another. And we don't want fear to paralyze us. You know that's the worst thing."

"We will be more adversely affected by our fear than by the virus itself," the mayor said.

Local officials on Thursday reported two confirmed cases of new coronavirus in Harris County where the city of Houston locates.

The news came one day after a "presumptive positive" case was announced Wednesday night in Fort Bend County which is adjacent to Harris County. Enditem

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