Even outside of China, Japan and South Korea, Asia has recorded hundreds of coronavirus case. It disrupts daily life, travel and commerce. The offices of the Straits Times report how the region is coping.
Towards a shared response from ASEAN
Videoconferences take place in the traditionally busy calendar of ASEAN meetings as the bloc tries to mobilize a regional response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Last Friday, senior health officials from the region held a special videoconference to discuss critical gaps in national and collective efforts, the latest in a series of digital meetings since last month to try to coordinate responses. Chinese health experts also participated.
The information shared included topics such as infection detection, testing and providing medical care, public awareness and notification of risk assessments based on big data analysis, said Mr. Lee Yoong Yoong, director ASEAN secretariat community affairs, in response to the Sunday Times. requests.
Malaysia: have political unrest contributed to the upsurge in cases?
The number of coronavirus cases in Malaysia has skyrocketed since the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan administration on February 24, which left no one at the top to lead its ministries, including the crucial Ministry of Health.
This begs the question: has Malaysia missed an opportunity to contain the virus?
Under the then Minister of Health, Dzulkefly Ahmad, Malaysia experienced a high recovery rate and the cases remained relatively low.
Vietnam: citizens rally behind rapid government action
The promoters of the first Formula 1 race in Vietnam recently announced the completion of its 5.6 km 23-lap circuit in Hanoi, but the asphalt may take a while to feel the action.
Next month, the Vietnam Grand Prix – funded by local conglomerate VinGroup – has been postponed amid tough measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic. Another Bahrain race scheduled for later this month has also been suspended, Formula 1 announced on Friday.
With the rapid spread of the coronavirus in Europe, Vietnam is also putting up more barriers to entry. As of today, it will prohibit visitors from or to Great Britain or the Schengen Area from entering Europe in the past 14 days.
Thailand’s tourism sector hit hard, with massive layoffs and closings
More than 300 workers at the Windsor Suites hotel in central Bangkok are struggling to find new jobs after announcing a six-month shutdown by the end of next month amid the coronavirus epidemic, which has seen 82 confirmed cases and one death in the country since yesterday.
It was one of the largest layoffs due to the gradual closings of tourism operators, particularly those hosting Chinese tourists, who accounted for more than a quarter of visitors to Thailand last year.
In an internal memo seen by The Sunday Times, during the closure, the hotel will be renovated and renamed, but will reopen without the same staff.
Indonesia: comics from Jokowi to the quarantine islands
After nearly two months of claiming to be free from coronavirus, Indonesia finally confirmed its first two cases on March 2. In the two weeks since then, she has registered a total of 96 positive infections and five deaths.
It was also reported that foreigners were infected during their visit to the country and that Indonesian nationals were positive abroad.
The government, criticized for downplaying the problem and explaining the lack of cases for religious reasons, has since stepped up efforts to restore public confidence.
Philippines: Most Overseas Filipinos Choose To Stay
For more than 10 million Filipinos living abroad, the coronavirus makes them feel even more isolated from their country.
Many feel abandoned by their government, even if it has offered free charter flights to repatriate workers to countries in crisis.
They take care of themselves while they are in quarantine, prevented from seeing their families at home and facing downturns that could cost them their jobs.
India: rigorous test for a severely strained health system
This is how Covid-19 gets home to India: on phones, the latest Bollywood hit no longer sounds as a dial tone – what the Indians hear now is a disturbing cough, followed by a public service message with advice on how to stop the spread of the virus.
Telecommunications operators began broadcasting a message approved by the Ministry of Health from March 8, following a request from the government.
Then there was the unprecedented measure announced by the Indian government that came into effect last Friday: the country was virtually quarantined with visas for most of the incoming visitors canceled until April 15. The government added that it would quarantine travelers arriving from seven affected country viruses.
Learn the harsh truths of this pandemic
Stealthy and opportunistic, the coronavirus infected celebrities and workers, triggering closures in both rural communities and big cities. In recent weeks, he has also exposed the latent strengths and weaknesses of governments on the front lines of this pandemic.
Rich countries, it seems, do not always have all the answers.
In the Philippines, as understaffed hospitals struggle with more than 90 cases of infection, the epidemic has highlighted the exhaustion of the health system – not only because of the flight of doctors and nurses to the city. foreigner, but also dark cuts in health budgets.