The Covid-19 pandemic continues to cause issues throughout the world and Southeast Asia has not escaped its effects.
More than 1.2 million cases and 28,000 deaths have so far been recorded in the region. Both are around 2% of the global total.
Hard Hit Nations
The worst hit country in Southeast Asia is Indonesia where there have now been 557,877 cases and 17,355 deaths. The country remains locked down with restrictions on internal travel as the country continues to record high numbers of daily cases, 8,369 in the last 24 hours.
The Philippines has also been hit hard by Covid, 435,413 cases so far including a further 1,061 in the last day. Deaths in the country now stand at 8,446. The impact of the pandemic has been especially difficult in areas which have recently been hit by a series of severe typhoons and tropical storms.
Initially Myanmar (Burma) escaped the worst of the pandemic, but a second wave hit the country with much higher numbers of cases and fatalities. The country now has more than 95,000 confirmed cases and just over 2,000 deaths.
Malaysia had started to relax restrictions internally but many areas have now seen them increase again as more cases and deaths are experienced. The country recorded a further 1,075 cases in the last 24 hours, giving a total of 69,095 for the pandemic. A further 11 deaths now mean that there have been 376 fatalities.
Singapore initially experienced a relatively high number of cases, many of which were concentrated in the dormitories used to house migrant workers. Since then numbers have slowed considerably, just 9 new cases in the last 24 hours, 58,239 in total, and 29 deaths.
Low Covid Cases But Economic Impact
Even countries with low numbers of cases have been hard economically. Vietnam, with just 1,361 cases and 35 deaths, has experienced a US$23 billion impact following the loss of tourism for much of the year.
Thailand has recorded just over 4,000 cases but the tourist industry has been ravaged with just 6.7 million tourists expected in 2020, down from 40 million in 2019. The prospects for 2021 look bleak as well with the Thai Finance Minister recently predicting just 8 million tourists and a full recovery not expected until 2024.
Brunei, Cambodia, Laos and Timor have only recorded just over 500 cases and 3 deaths in total.
Tourism has yet to recover in the region and prospects for a quick return are slim.
Cambodia, in theory, is open to tourists, but there are many restrictions.
Singapore has created a number of travel corridors and Green Lane agreements but the high hopes that they had for the travel bubble with Hong Kong has been postponed following an increase in cases in Hong Kong.
Concerns have been raised in Malaysia for the viability of many tourist businesses and jobs in the country if the lockdown continues.
More details on Covid-19 in the region, the effect on tourism and travel restrictions is available here.
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