COVID-19 pandemic in Southeast Asia
The COVID-19 pandemic in Southeast Asia is part of the ongoing worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). It was confirmed to have spread to Southeast Asia on 13 January 2020, when a 61-year-old woman from Wuhan tested positive in Thailand, making it the first country except China to report a case. The first death occurred on 2 February, involving a 44-year-old Chinese man in the Philippines, also the first outside China.
|COVID-19 pandemic in Southeast Asia|
|First outbreak||Wuhan, Hubei, China|
|Index case||Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok, Thailand|
|Arrival date||13 January 2020|
(9 months, 1 week and 6 days)
|ASEAN COVID-19 Cases|
By 24 March, all states in the region had announced at least one case. As of 26 October, Indonesia has the highest number of cases and deaths, ahead of the Philippines in both aspects. No deaths have been reported in Cambodia, East Timor, and Laos.
On 12 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that a novel coronavirus was the cause of a respiratory illness in a cluster of people in Wuhan, Hubei, China, which was reported to the WHO on 31 December 2019.
Southeast Asia was among the first regions to be affected by the pandemic. Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Malaysia reported the index cases in January and since then their cases were increasing. Indonesia, a country with 273 million population, reported its first cases in March which was relatively late compared to its neighbouring countries, but now being the worst-hit nation in the region.
Several countries experienced a significant rise in cases following a Tabligh Jamaat event from 27 February to 1 March at a mosque in Kuala Lumpur, where many people are believed to have been infected. Major outbreaks emerged in dormitories for migrant workers in Singapore where social distancing was unable to be practiced.
Vietnam faced its second wave in early August. However, the country has successfully contained the virus. Meanwhile, Myanmar is currently facing its second wave along with Malaysia, which is experiencing a spike in cases after elections. On the other hand, Indonesia begins to see its 'endless first wave' peak as it records an average of more than 4,000 cases daily, most notably contributed by provinces in Java and central part of Sumatra.
Brunei confirmed its first case on 9 March 2020 in Tutong, involving a 53-year-old man who had returned from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 3 March. It has spread to all districts of Brunei, except in the exclave of Temburong.
East Timor confirmed its first COVID-19 case on 21 March 2020. It was an imported case and its origin is unknown.
Indonesia reported its first cases on 2 March 2020, after a dance instructor and her mother tested positive for the virus. Both were in contact with a Japanese national who later tested positive in Malaysia. By 9 April, it had spread to all 34 provinces in the country. Jakarta, East Java, and West Java are the worst-hit provinces.
Laos confirmed its first case on 24 March 2020, becoming the last country in Southeast Asia to report a case.
Malaysia announced its first cases on 25 January 2020. It started when eight Chinese nationals were quarantined at a hotel in Johor Bahru on 24 January after coming into contact with an infected person in neighbouring Singapore. Despite early reports of them testing negative for the virus, three of them were confirmed to be infected on 25 January and subsequently quarantined at the Sungai Buloh Hospital in Selangor.
The pandemic reached Myanmar on 23 March 2020. Its first two cases involved a 36-year-old man travelling back from the United States and a 26-year-old man returning from Great Britain. Both were Myanmarese nationals and had tested positive.
On 30 January 2020, the Philippines confirmed its first case in Metro Manila. It involved a 38-year-old Chinese woman who was confined in San Lazaro Hospital in Manila. The second case was confirmed on 2 February, involving a 44-year-old Chinese man who died a day earlier, which was also the first confirmed death from the disease outside mainland China.
Singapore reported its first case on 23 January 2020, involving a 66-year-old Chinese man who flew in from Guangzhou with his family.
Thailand became the first country outside China to report a case. Its first case was on 13 January 2020, involving a 61-year-old Chinese woman who was a resident of Wuhan. She flew with her family to Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok on 8 January where she was detected using a thermal surveillance and then hospitalised. A few days later she was tested positive for the virus.
On 23 January 2020, it was confirmed that the pandemic had spread to Vietnam, when a 66-year-old Chinese man traveling from epicenter Wuhan to Hanoi to visit his son tested positive. His son contracted the virus from his father when they met in Nha Trang.
|Countries or territories||Index case(s)||Confirmed||Recovered||Deaths||Active|
|East Timor||21 March||Unknown||29||28||0||1|
|Malaysia||25 January||Sungai Buloh||22,957||14,931||199||7,827|
|Vietnam||23 January||Ho Chi Minh City||1,144||1,046||35||63|
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