SEA COVID 19 Cases: Pandemic Update

Disturbing COVID-19 outbreaks are consuming the attention of some governments in Southeast Asia (SEA). After a period of little occurrence, SEA COVID 19 cases are rising again.

Last year, provided an update on COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia. More than a year after COVID-19’s first outbreak, let’s check how Southeast Asia has been.

SEA COVID 19 Situation Update

On April 26, 2021, the Philippines became the 26th nation worldwide to exceed a million COVID-19 cases.

Due to a significant increase in infection in the country in March, President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration imposed a second lockdown in Metro Manila. However, despite the lockdown, the pandemic is still not alleviating. Even in Malaysia, cases are once again increasing. 

After hardly recording cases in the first year of the epidemic, Laos is going through its most severe breakout of the COVID-19. Consequently, the Lao government imposed a two-week lockdown in Vientiane, closing leisure venues and banning inter-provincial travel. 

Cambodia’s situation is not different from Laos. An unexpected spike in cases also urged the Cambodian government to impose a stern lockdown in its capital, Phnom Penh.

Unlike other countries, Thailand has not imposed a nationwide lockdown nor curfew yet, believing that it can subdue the COVID-19 crisis without it. But, notwithstanding that, individual provinces have been permitted to have their own restrictions. 

For a clear view of the number of SEA COVID 19 cases as of May 06, 2021, see the bar graph below.

Vaccination in SEA

Public vaccination, SEA COVID 19 cases
Public vaccination

While nearly all nations have started with their public vaccination campaigns, only Singapore with its widespread coverage remains visible. Singapore has actually vaccinated 23.32 percent of its population as of April 18. 

Singapore stands out from the rest of the Southeast Asian countries

Cambodia came next to Singapore, having vaccinated 7.75 percent of its population as of April 25, followed by Indonesia (4.29 percent), Malaysia (2.47 percent), Laos (1.72 percent), Thailand (1.39 percent), and Vietnam (0.22 percent).

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) anticipated that Singapore would have pulled off general vaccination coverage by early 2022, Vietnam by mid-2022, and Thailand and Malaysia by late 2022.

For the rest of Southeast Asia, including Laos, Cambodia, the Philippines, and Indonesia, general vaccination cannot be expected for at least two years, probably longer. 

We Can Prevent It Anyway

Practicing social distancing and wearing face masks

The slow issuance of vaccines and the ongoing outbreaks are unsettling. It is not questionable that COVID-19 will victimize more Southeast Asians than it did last year. 

Despite the unstoppable increase of SEA COVID 19 cases, what can be done? What can be done with or without vaccination? Let us at least follow the safety protocols, not only to protect ourselves but also to be one with the COVID-19 control and prevention. 

“Practice physical distancing, wear a face mask, and be alert for symptoms.”

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