Coronavirus ‘boils’ in Southeast Asia: Cases at record levels

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Panic due to the outbreak noted in cases coronavirus prevails in Southeast Asia.

Thailand on Monday (26/7) announced a record number of coronavirus cases at a time when Malaysia exceeded 1 million infections as the Delta mutation carries out a deadly “path”.

Thailand had 15,376 new cases of coronavirus, a record number for the second consecutive day in the country of 66 million inhabitants.

Malaysia, which has one of the highest per capita infection rates in Southeast Asia, reported 17,045 new cases yesterday, bringing the total to 1,013,438 and nearly 8,000 deaths, despite being in a lockdown since June.

As in many countries in the region of more than 650 million inhabitants, hospitals and medical staff in Malaysia have suffered the most from the outbreak of the pandemic amid shortages of beds, respirators and oxygen.

Thousands of contract doctors in Malaysia went on strike today on the terms of their contracts, promising that patients would not be affected by the protests.

The vaccination campaign in Malaysia, however, according to the Athens News Agency, citing local media, is surpassing that of many neighboring countries, with about 16.9% of its 32 million inhabitants fully vaccinated.

The Thai government last week imposed tougher lockdown measures in the capital Bangkok and 12 high-risk areas.

Coronavirus: Indonesia loosens some restrictions

THE Indonesia, the most populous country in the region, with over 270 million inhabitants, has the highest number of infections in Southeast Asia. It has recorded more than 3.1 million infections and 83,000 deaths.

However, amid economic pressure, the government announced yesterday that although the restrictions will be extended for a week, some measures will be relaxed, allowing the reopening of traditional markets and outdoor restaurants. Hospitals were filled with patients last month, particularly on the densely populated island of Java and Bali, but yesterday President Joko Widodo said the number of infections and hospital occupancy rates had dropped, but did not elaborate.

“The decision does not seem to be related to pandemic but with the economy, “said Padu Riono, an epidemiologist at the University of Indonesia, urging people to adhere to health protocols.

Indonesia last week recorded a record number of deaths in four single days, the latest of which killed 1,566 on Friday, bringing the total death toll to more than 83,000 as authorities pledged to add more intensive care units.

After successfully controlling the virus for most of the pandemic, Vietnam is facing a new boom, with the financial capital Ho Chi Minh and surrounding provinces recording the most new cases. The Ministry of Health announced 7,531 cases yesterday, compared to the daily increase of a record 7,968 cases on Saturday.

Myanmar has also seen an increase in cases since June and yesterday announced 355 deaths, a new record, while daily cases exceeded 6,000 last Thursday.

In the Philippines, authorities are struggling to stem the spread of the delta strain. Infections have recently begun to rise and authorities have suspended travel from Malaysia and Thailand and tightened restrictions in the Manila area.

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