COVID-19 and South-East Asia – 19th October

We have monitoring the COVID-19 Pandemic in South East Asia for the past few months, following individual countries response and the emerging trends and statistics.

We are continuing to monitor the situation in South East Asia and how it affects tourism.

The following tables show the official confirmed COVID-19 statistics for South-East Asian countries. Please note that the level of testing and reporting regime in each individual country will have an effect on the figures, some will have widespread testing and others may only test those with symptoms or who have been admitted to hospital.

Follow the links for more information on individual countries response to the Covid-19 pandemic. We have also published information on the latest tourism situation in South East Asia.

The latest information on UK Travel Advice is also available.

Please note that the data in the tables will display best on a computer or tablet.

Corona Tracker

Indonesia365,240 (+3,373)289,24312,617 (+106)
Philippines359,169 (+3,373)310,3036,675 (+26)
Singapore57,915 (+4)57,80728 (+0)
Myanmar36,025 (+0)17,076880 (+0)
Malaysia21,363 (+865)13,717190 (+3)
Thailand3,691 (+5)3,48859 (+0)
Vietnam1,140 (+6)1,04635 (+0)
Cambodia283 (+0)2780
Brunei141 (+0)1382 (+0)
Timor-Leste29 (+0)280
Laos23 (+0)220
South East Asia845,019 (+6,891)693,14620,486 (+135)
South-East Asia Covid-19 Cases

Indonesia continues to have the highest fatalities in the region, now over 12,600 and has overtaken Philippines in the number of cases, now with more than 365,000. The number of new cases in the Philippines has slowed over the last two weeks, although there has been a brief spike in the last few days which is worth monitoring.

Myanmar continues to see a consistent increase in cases and deaths.

Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam continue to have minimal new cases each day.

South East Asia COVID-19 Cases

It also useful to look at the Fatality % (based on total number of cases and deaths) and the recovery rate (based on total number of cases and those reported as fully recovered).

CountryFatality Rate %Recovery %
South East Asia2.4%82.0%
South-East Asia Covid-19 Cases

Indonesia (3.5%) and Vietnam (3.1%) both have higher fatality rates than the rest of South East Asia (2.4%) and worldwide (2.8%). It is not clear why this may be the case although in Vietnam the majority of deaths were related to one outbreak that originated in Da Nang among older, domestic tourists.

South East Asia COVID-19 Fatality Rate

Myanmar has by far the worst recovery rate although this is likely to be due to the fact that the majority of their cases have been reported more recently. This has been steadily improving as many of their cases start to recover. Many countries are much further down the pandemic timeline and many cases were reported a number of months ago and so have had additional time to recover.

South East Asia COVID-19 Recovery Rate


With more than 359,000 cases of COVID-19, the Philippines has the second highest number of cases and deaths (almost 6,700) in the region.

Cases have been fluctuating from just over 1,000 per day to around 4,000 a day over the last two weeks. There were 2,638 new cases and 26 fatalities reported in the last 24 hours.

The Philippines is currently not open to foreign tourists although some holders of long-term visas are now permitted entry.


Cases have been increasing relatively rapidly for the last couple of weeks and are now over 365,000, the highest in the region, including 3,373 new cases in the last 24 hours. The country has also suffered the highest number of fatalities in the region, now more than 12,600, and 106 in the last 24 hours.

All foreign nationals are barred from entering and transiting through Indonesia except:

  • foreign nationals with limited (KITAS) and permanent stay (KITAP) permits.
  • foreign nationals with diplomatic visa and working visa
  • holders of diplomatic stay permits and business stay permits
  • those working on medical and food assistance
  • transportation (air, sea, or land) crew
  • foreign nationals working on national strategic projects

Even if you are in one of the above groups you will need pass additional health related tests.


The majority of the 57,915 confirmed cases in Singapore have been reported as being within the packed dormitories used for immigrant workers, rather than being in the general population.

Numbers of new infections continue to be low with just 4 new cases in the last 24 hours.

Singapore has already announced a number of “Green Lane” travel arrangements. These are designed to allow two-way traffic for essential and business travel only. Currently these are in place with Brunei, China, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore.

Restricted tourists are allowed from Brunei and New Zealand under certain restrictions.

Transit through Changi Airport is available but only on certain routes and travellers must be flying on Singapore Airlines, Scoot or SilkAir to be eligible to transit.

More information is available in our article Singapore Tourism Update.


After reporting relatively few cases for the first few months of the pandemic, Myanmar has seen a rapid increase and have now seen 36,025 confirmed cases and 880 deaths.

Myanmar is currently not open to foreign tourists.


Malaysia put their pandemic measures into place very early and have seen relatively low number of cases, although there has been a recent increase. there are currently 21,363 confirmed cases (865 in last 24 hours) and 190 deaths (3 in last 24 hours).

Malaysia currently prohibits entry into the country to the vast majority of foreign nationals. At the present time there are no plans to open borders to foreign tourists for the rest of 2020.

Malaysia is allowing medical tourists from Australia, Brunei, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea under certain conditions.

Transit through Malaysia is allowed if you have a connecting flight through Kuala Lumpur Airport, remain air-side and do not need to transit between terminals.

Our article Malaysia Tourism Update includes the latest information on tourism in Malaysia.


Thailand is another country that locked down very early and managed to stop the spread of infection despite being the first country outside of China to have a confirmed case.

At the time of writing just under 3,700 cases (5 in the last 24 hours) and 59 deaths have been reported in Thailand who has now started to reopen its borders but only in a limited way.

For general tourists the only way of currently entering Thailand is through the Special Tourist Visa (STV). It is only available to visitors from selected countries with low rates of COVID-19.

The STV allows foreign tourists too stay for up to 90 days and could be extended up to twice for a maximum stay of 270 days.

Tourists under the STV need to arrange and pay for 14 days quarantine in a hospital or an Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) hotel on arrival.

They also need to have proof of long-stay plans and a COVID-19 free certificate and suitable travel and health insurance.

Our Thailand Tourism Update article has more details.


Vietnam was lauded as the template of how to respond to the pandemic by many as it reported very low numbers of cases and no deaths.

A second outbreak, after almost 100 days without a case, hit Vietnam with considerable more numbers of cases and the first deaths.

The number of cases has reduced again and total numbers are now 1,140 with 35 deaths.

Vietnam has not yet opened its borders to foreign travelers, apart from a few specific exemptions. So for the time being you cannot travel into Vietnam.


Just 283 confirmed cases and no deaths have been reported in Cambodia.

In theory the air border is open but you have to:

  • Get a visa before arrival, you cannot get a visa on entry at the present time
  • Have a medical certificate from a “competent” health authority stating you do not have COVID-19 dated no longer than 72 hours prior to arrival.
  • Have proof of insurance including a minimum of US$50,000 medical cover
  • Deposit US$3,000 for COVID-19 service charges which includes a COVID test plus overnight stay at a hotel while waiting for results. If you test negative and have no further issues then you will get any remaining money refunded when you leave.
  • If one person on a flight tests positive, then all passengers will be quarantined


Brunei has reported 141 cases of COVID-19 and 2 deaths.

Entry to Brunei is severely restricted and you must apply for a permit to enter or exit Brunei through the Prime Ministers Office.

Timor-Leste (East Timor)

East Timor has reported 29 cases of COVID-19 and no deaths.

Visas are available for Timor but you will need to quarantine for 14 days in a government facility or in your approved accommodation. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 you will be taken to a health facility for a COVID-19 test and, if positive, will be subject to isolation. There are also health control measures in place on exit from the country.

The situation can change quickly in Timor-Leste however.


23 confirmed cases and no reported deaths in Laos.

Laos is currently only issuing visas in exceptional circumstances.

UK Travel Advice

The following table lists the current UK travel advice. Please check for details regarding your own country.

CountryTravel AllowedQuarantineBorders
South-East Asia Covid-19 Cases

Travel allowed refers to if the country is exempt from UK Government advice against all but essential travel.

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