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UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
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Vietnam

Southeast Asia wins kudos for keeping Covid-19 in check

After looking vulnerable to the pandemic, the region has succeeded where others have failed

Joseph Benny

Joseph Benny

Updated: June 16, 2020 10:53 AM GMT
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Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Southeast Asia wins kudos for keeping Covid-19 in check

People ride an escalator with social distancing signs at the Terminal 21 shopping mall in Thai capital Bangkok on June 15. (Photo: AFP)

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Unlike in Europe, North America and recently Russia and Brazil, the Covid-19 pandemic has applied the brakes to its killing spree in Southeast Asia.

A few months ago, much of Southeast Asia appeared to be heading for a health crisis. However, the region’s worst fears have been mostly avoided due to deft handling of the situation.

Tourism-oriented Thailand was reported to be vulnerable due to the large number of travelers it had received from Wuhan, where the pandemic first emerged in China. By January-end, it had the second-highest number of cases outside China.

Initially, the virus caused deaths and misery across the region, particularly in the Philippines, Indonesia and cramped workers’ dormitories in Singapore and Malaysia. But now, six months after the pandemic began, Southeast Asia has won kudos for its response after economic and social life started ticking again in accordance with the “new normal.”

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