Around the world, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is approaching two million, with that figure increasing by hundreds every day. Nations across Asia are battling the virus in their own ways and with varying degrees of success.
Some countries, such as China, are ahead of the curve many countries are currently going through, and eyes are on these nations to see how they handle the next step. At the Asia Media Centre, we've gathered media coverage from across Asian countries as they grapple with the pandemic
Confirmed cases of COVID-19 around the world and in Asia
Despite cases easing off in China recently, early this week, the country reported its highest number of daily confirmed cases in nearly six weeks, prompting fears of a second wave of COVID-19. China's border with Russia is now reportedly a new frontline in stamping out the virus, as a large number of new cases are from Chinese nationals returning through the border. While border and quarantine controls have been put in place, two experimental vaccines have been approved for human testing in Beijing.
Read China media reports:
Caixin Global: Second COVID-19 wave could hit in November, says expert
South China Morning Post: Economic havoc wreaked by coronavirus has likely throttled US-China trade deal
Inkstone: Coronavirus: online classes add another challenge to China's grueling college entrance exam
Eyes have turned to South Korea as recovered COVID-19 patients have tested positive for the virus again. It is not clear whether the patients – more than 100 – have been reinfected or if the virus has been reactivated.
Read South Korea media reports:
The Korea Herald: Spread of COVID-19 in South Korea
The Korea Times: South Korea mulls easing social-distancing rules
Yonhap News Agency: Rising relapse cases raise alert amid virus infections slowdown
The Japanese prefecture Hokkaido is bracing for an expected second wave of COVID-19 cases and has announced another state of emergency which will go into early May. The first state of emergency was declared on February 28. By early April, some schools had started to reopen, but a sudden spike of cases over April 9 and 10 raised concerns.
Read Japan media reports:
The Japan Times: Coronavirus news updates (figures)
The Japan Times: Osaka and Fukuoka call on businesses to shut down to fight pandemic
The Mainichi: Swift use of coronavirus antibody tests in Japan difficult
As part of efforts to tackle the virus, Singapore officials have established community isolation facilities for those diagnosed with COVID-19. It’s one of many measures taken in the country – including calling for blood donations from recovered patients to help develop treatments and barring work pass holders from working if they’re caught flouting lockdown rules.
Read Singapore media reports:
Channel News Asia: Singapore's COVID-19 cases exceed 3000; situation remains 'critical'
The Straits Times: More will die if people keep flouting circuit breaker measures
Today: Ministry of Education lifts suspension on Zoom for home-based learning
Thailand has marked a decrease in daily confirmed cases over the last several days, but experts are warning against lowering social distancing and lockdown measures due to higher numbers of cases in neighbouring countries. In other news, the Songkran water festival celebrating the Buddhist New Year has been cancelled.
Read Thailand media reports:
Bangkok Post: COVID-19 outbreak (figures)
Bangkok Post: Coronavirus could destroy up to 10 million Thai jobs
The Thaiger: South Asia risks becoming the next epicentre for COVID-19
Songkran - normally a time of celebration - has had public festivals shut down to stop COVID-19. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Late last week, Jakarta officials started a city-wide lockdown, even as the central government opted not to implement one on a national scale. The lockdown has since expanded to satellite cities, as Indonesia reports some of Southeast Asia’s highest fatality numbers.
Read Indonesia media reports:
The Jakarta Post: Indonesia’s latest official COVID-19 figures
Jakarta Globe: ‘Large-Scale’ social restrictions expanded to Jakarta’s satellite cities
As confirmed cases of COVID-19 rise over 10,000, Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended India's nationwide lockdown until May 3. India's Union Health Ministry said the extension was needed to help break the chain of transmission, as cases spiked early this week, to a daily high 1211 cases - the highest the country has seen since January.
Read India media reports:
The Times of India: Live updates on coronavirus
The Hindu: Why has Mumbai seen the most cases in Maharashtra?
Hindustan Times: 20 days, 20 steps: a look at the Government’s measures against COVID-19
Read Myanmar media reports:
Myanmar Times: Myanmar reports another surge in COVID-19 cases
Frontier Myanmar: With lax enforcement of COVID-19 rules, the beer keeps flowing in Yangon
Frontier Myanmar: Workers, mothers, and elderly to benefit in $25m from foreign aid
Lax enforcement in Myanmar has seen some bars and restaurants remain open, despite official advice. Photo: Photo by mnm.all on Unsplash
Read Vietnam media reports:
Nhan Dan: PM orders stricter physical distancing
Viet Nam News: Vietnamese, Indian PMs discuss COVID-19 in phone talks
Read Philippines media reports:
Inquirer: COVID-19 cases in the Philippines (figures)
Philippines Star: Duterte orders immediate purchase of rapid COVID-19 test kits
Inquirer: COVID-19 taskforce tracks down 15,000 potential carriers of virus
Read Malaysia media reports:
Malaysiakini: COVID-19 in Malaysia (figures)
Malaysiakini: Don’t place economy over safety MTUC tells PM
New Straits Times: Malaysia Airlines operates rescue and deportation flights
Read Bangladesh media reports:
The Daily Star: Coronavirus: a deadly new threat (figures)
New Age: Can the government turn a chaotic start into a good end?
The Daily Star: Community transmission of COVID-19 found
- Asia Media Centre