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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Southeast and South Asia struggling with rapid Covid-19 spread

Neill Fronde



PHOTO: The Thaiger rounds up Covid-19 updates throughout South and Southeast Asia. (via

With outbreaks in many countries throughout the region, and India in a Covid-19 crisis, the World Health Organisation and other health bodies are urging action in South and Southeast Asia. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have joined the call to action to aid the Earth’s most populous region, and the pandemic now ravaging it. The Asia-Pacific regional director urged action in a statement.

“We need to act now and we need to act fast to have any hope of containing this human catastrophe. This virus has no respect for borders and these variants are running rampant across Asia.”

The newest wave has been spreading quickly and rampantly, reaching through countries in the region and creating a crisis-level catastrophe in many. The massive strain on many nation’s medical facilities and needed supplies for testing and treatment has resulted in shortages of beds and needs like oxygen.

Over 2.7 million new Covid-19 infections were reported in Southeast and South Asia this week, 19% more than last week. And fatalities rose a staggering 48% this week with over 25,000 deaths reported. India is the main factor behind these statistics, with the country currently making up a quarter of all deaths in the world and half of all Covid-19 infections this week.

But beyond India’s borders, neighbouring South Asian countries like the Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka are experiencing their own Coronavirus spreads. In Southeast Asia, Covid-19 infections are reaching levels vastly outnumbering all waves in 2020 in Cambodia, Indonesia and Thailand.

Today, The Thaiger looks at the Covid-19 situation in each of these countries. Full stories can be found by clicking each country below:

Sri Lanka – A fivefold increase in daily cases, largely due to New Years celebrations similar to Songkran has battered a nation with only 5% vaccinated.
The Maldives – Last week set record daily infections numbers, but Asia’s smallest nation is still welcoming tourists, even from India.
Nepal – From Kathmandu up to Mount Everest, infections surged 1200% as Indians flee north to escape their own crisis.
Cambodia – Strict lockdowns were ended this week amid humanitarian outcry, but Covid-19 cases are surging.
Indonesia – Already the most Covid-19 in Southeast Asia, expected defiance of a travel ban for the end of Ramadan holiday and a scam of reused nasal swabs threatens to see further infection spread.
Thailand – Globally admired for Covid-19 containment in 2020 despite being the first country the virus travelled to, this year’s third wave has been devastating and uncontrolled.
India – Amidst a deepening crisis, Thailand’s King and Queen send desperately-needed oxygen supplies and aid to the struggling country.



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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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