Southeast Asia

  • World

    Indonesia bars unvaccinated foreign visitors as Delta variant spreads

    Foreign nationals who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 will be barred from entering Indonesia as the Southeast Asian country works to contain the more transmissible Delta variant. The order goes into effect tomorrow. The government made an announcement yesterday saying that along with being vaccinated, foreign travellers must test negative for Covid-19 and undergo an 8-day quarantine upon arrival.…

  • Coronavirus (Covid-19)

    Laos reports first Delta variant cases, patients had returned from Thailand

    Laos has reported its first Covid-19 cases involving the rapid-spreading Delta variant of the virus. The patients who tested positive for the variant had returned to Laos from Thailand, according to the National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control. Since the mutated strain, which was first found in India, is the most transmissible Covid-19 variant identified, Laos health officials are…

  • ASEAN

    Southeast Asia sees highest tally of Covid-19 infections in a single day

    Southeast Asia has recorded its highest number of Covid-19 infections in a single day, with 26,435 new cases reported yesterday. However, the death rate has lowered overall. Yesterday’s infections were an increase on Saturday’s 25,656 and the highest in 2 weeks. According to a Nation Thailand report, 387 additional deaths were reported yesterday, down from 426 the day before. ASEAN…

  • Malaysia

    Lockdown extended for another 2 weeks in Malaysia

    The Covid-19 lockdown in Malaysia, which was due to be lifted today, is being extended for another 2 weeks, until June 28. The decision follows a spike in infections, including 60 clusters linked to religious festivals. According to a TTR Weekly report, the extension has been confirmed by Senior Defence Minister, Ismail Sabri Yaakob. During the lockdown, economic activities may…

  • Drugs

    UN report: Changes in Southeast Asia drug trafficking during the pandemic

    While the notorious Golden Triangle remains a major production base for methamphetamine, drug syndicates in Southeast Asia have changed up trafficking routes and added production bases to not only survive but capitalise during the pandemic. Large-scale methamphetamine production has emerged in Cambodia during the pandemic, according to the annual UN Office on Drugs and Crime report on synthetic drugs in…

  • Cambodia

    United States to return 27 stolen antiquities to Cambodia

    The United States is returning 27 stolen antiquities to Cambodia. The antiquities, which include Buddhist and Hindu statues from the Angkorian era, are valued at around USD$3.8 million. It’s unclear where the statues were found, or when they were smuggled to the US, but reports say investigators in New York spent years working to recover the antiquities. Operations from Manhattan’s…

  • Southeast Asia

    Defrocked American priest on trial in East Timor for alleged child sex abuse

    The trial has started for the 84 year old defrocked American priest who allegedly sexually abused girls at an orphanage he founded in East Timor back in the early 1990s. Richard Daschbach, once revered by the Southeast Asian community for founding the Topu Honis Shelter to support impoverished children and orphans, is now facing charges of sexual abuse, child pornography and…

  • Drugs

    Large-scale methamphetamine production emerges in Cambodia during pandemic

    During the pandemic, Cambodia has become a major base for the large-scale production of methamphetamine as drug traffickers workaround Covid-19 restrictions, according to the United Nations. Last year, during the pandemic, 170 tonnes of methamphetamine were seized by authorities in Asia, a 19% increase from the year prior, according to a report by the UN Office of Drugs and Crime.…

  • Thailand

    Taiwan reports holdup on Thai-made AstraZeneca vaccine order

    Taiwan is expecting a holdup on its order of the Thai-made AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. Malaysia and the Philippines have also reported that shipments of the vaccine from the Siam Bioscience manufacturing plant in Thailand have been delayed. Siam Bioscience, which is wholly owned by a subsidiary of the Crown Property Bureau, is planned to be the AstraZeneca distribution hub for…

  • Coronavirus (Covid-19)

    Malaysia reports delay for orders of the Thai-made AstraZeneca vaccine

    Several countries have reported delays for orders for the Thai-made AstraZeneca vaccine, and now Malaysia’s science minister says the country is expecting a delay. The reports of delays from the Thai vaccine plant come amid Thailand’s most severe wave of Covid-19 with limited vaccine doses available. Just over the past week, company Siam Bioscience handed over 1.8 million doses to…

  • Myanmar

    Myanmar’s ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi to go on trial next week

    The trial of Myanmar’s detained and ousted leader is set to go on next week. The military arrested Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the National League for Democracy and a Nobel laureate, in the February 1 coup, saying the reason behind the takeover was due to a fraudulent election. She had won the election for state counsellor in a landslide. 75…

  • Southeast Asia

    ASEAN delegation to visit Myanmar to help find a solution to ongoing crisis

    To help find a solution to the ongoing situation in Myanmar following the military coup, an ASEAN delegation will visit Myanmar tomorrow to meet with the leaders of the junta’s State Administrative Council, which has taken the place of the elected civilian government led by the National League of Democracy. Since the February military takeover, an estimated more than 800…

  • World

    Rebel troops kill 20 Burmese officers, former leader Aung San Suu Kyi appears in court

    At least 20 Myanmar security forces were killed in a clash with rebel troops on Sunday and a police station was seized by the rebel fighters, according to the anti-coup movement the People’s Defence Force. The former state counsellor, Aung San Suu Kyi, also appeared in court for the first time since the February coup when the see was detained…

  • Thailand

    More than 15,000 foreigners arrested since January for illegal border crossings

    Thousands of foreign nationals have been arrested this year for illegally crossing land borders into Thailand. Due to fears that those entering Thailand illegally and evading the mandatory 14-day quarantine could possibly lead to the spread of Covid-19, particularly more contagious variants of the virus, Thai authorities say they will take tough legal action on illegal migrants and labour traffickers.…

  • Coronavirus (Covid-19)

    Covid-19: Thailand struggles with South and Southeast Asia

    In 2020, Thailand was hailed worldwide for its iron-fisted lockdown that curbed Covid-19 spread almost completely. Thailand was the second country in the world after China to identify a Covid-19 infection in January of last year but managed to keep its numbers impressively low, at least until December’s second wave of outbreaks. That wave drove the numbers up to nearly…

  • Coronavirus (Covid-19)

    Southeast and South Asia struggling with rapid Covid-19 spread

    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…

  • Laos

    Laos prime minister orders an extension on lockdown measures

    While the majority of countries across the globe have been grappling with Covid-19 outbreaks for the past year, Laos, just North of Thailand, has only reported 1,177 cases with the vast majority of the infections detected over the past month. Laos PM Phankhan Viphavanh says ordered an extension on lockdown measures, now until May 20, saying it is essential in…

  • Coronavirus (Covid-19)

    Vietnam extends quarantine for overseas arrivals to 21 days

    Just the thought of 14 days in isolation has driven away many prospective tourists. Imagine 21 days in quarantine. If you want to travel to Vietnam, you’ll now have to go through the 3 week quarantine upon entering the country, Vietnam’s Minister of Health Nguyễn Thanh Long announced yesterday. The country of 96 million people has kept cases low at…

  • Environment

    Mekong unseasonal water levels endanger nesting birds in Thailand

    The following story was written by Tyler Roney for Third Pole, a “multilingual platform dedicated to promoting information and discussion about the Himalayan watershed and the rivers that originate there.” Just 50 metres from the Mekong, in the shadow of a discarded plastic cup, a lone chick sits camouflaged on the sand. It is a newly hatched small pratincole in…

  • Economy

    Foreign investors eye business in Thailand as hotels face closure during new outbreak

    The new wave of Covid-19 infections this month has led to a drop in occupancy rates at Thailand hotels, some reporting drops of 5% to 30%, battering hoteliers that have already been struggling from a year of little to no foreign tourists. Some hotel operators have been forced to sell their businesses, according to the president of the Arjarnnar Asset…

  • World

    Suicide bombers attack Indonesia cathedral, at least 20 injured

    At least 20 people were injured in an explosion at a cathedral in Indonesia believed to have been cause by 2 suspected suicide bombers involved in an Islamist militant network. The blast went off at 10:30am, just after the Palm Sunday Mass had just finished at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral in Makassa, a major port city in South…

  • Myanmar

    Australian couple detained in Myanmar as they tried to flee the country

    As violence continues after the Myanmar coup with the death toll now past 200, an Australian couple was detained as they were trying to leave the country on a relief flight, according to Agence France-Presse. They are now believed to be on house arrest. Reports say Matthew O’Kane and Christa Avery ran a consultancy business in Yangon, the country’s largest…