(This article will be updated continuously. It was originally published on January 28, 2020. It was last updated on February 16, 2021)
Details of COVID-19 availability in all ten ASEAN countries and another 30 Asian nations.
Due to the developing situation in China and Asia concerning the Coronavirus, we will be operating this article as a running live update service to keep businesses involved in ASEAN and Asia updated with the latest relevant regional news.
For specific updates concerning China and related business advisory, please click here.
ASEAN coronavirus updates (Live updates by country)
Brunei has joined the global Covax scheme and is expecting to have the COVID-19 vaccine in Q1 2021, having sourced enough supplies to cover 50% of the population. Discussions are on-going with other suppliers.
- One new case reported on February 12, taking the total to 184.
- Brunei reported one new case on February 11, bringing the total to 183.
- The country reported one new case on February 8, bringing the total to 182.
- Brunei saw one new case on February 7, taking the total to 181.
Cambodia is expected to import vaccines from both China and Russia. China’s vaccines are still undergoing clinical trials while Russia has already commenced production. Australia has offered financial support to aid vaccine coverage in several southeast Asia countries including Cambodia.
- One new case reported on February 11, taking the total to 479.
- Cambodia recorded two new cases on February 10, taking the total to 478.
- Two new cases recorded on February 9, taking the total to 476.
- Cambodia saw two new cases on February 8, taking the total to 474.
Indonesia has commenced vaccinations with just over nine million doses being given to front line workers from last month. China’s Sinovac is in discussions with Indonesia to provide supplies, however, the Government faces difficulties with a large population of 268 million and price sensitivity at Sinovac’s estimated costs at 200,000 rupiah (US$20) a dose. Indonesia’s Health Ministry’s Disease Control and Prevention Director-General Achmad Yurianto said that vaccinations would only be provided to citizens aged 18-59. The vaccine has also been required to pass halal certification prior to use and it is uncertain how the country can source enough vaccines to reach a sizeable part of its population. Australia has stated it will also provide financial support to solve these issues.
- Indonesia reported 6,462 new cases and 184 deaths on February 15, taking the totals to 1,223,930 cases and 33,367 deaths.
- Indonesia reported 6,765 new cases and 247 deaths on February 14, bringing the tallies to 1,217,468 cases and 33,183 deaths.
- The country saw 8,844 new cases and 280 deaths on February 13, taking the tallies to 1,210,703 cases and 32,936 deaths.
Laos has been trialing the Russian Sputnik V vaccine and is also in discussions with China about acquiring supplies.
- The country saw one new case on February 3, taking the total to 45.
- Laos recorded three new cases on January 25, taking the total to 44.
- Laos saw two new cases on December 7, bringing the total to 41.
- Laos saw 14 new cases on November 25, taking the total to 39.
Malaysia is to provide vaccines free of charge to its nationals, but foreigners will need to pay for the treatment, according to the Malaysian Minister of Health, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who has signed a deal with Pfizer for 12.8 million doses. These will be administered in two stages of 6.4 million people each, with the program to commence in Q1 2021. The country aims to inoculate between 80-100% of its citizens.
- Malaysia recorded 2,176 new cases and 10 deaths on February 15, taking the tallies to 266,445 cases and 975 deaths.
- Malaysia reported 2,464 new cases and seven deaths on February 14, bringing the totals to 264,269 cases and 965 deaths.
- Malaysia reported 3,499 new cases and five deaths on February 13, taking the tallies to 261,805 cases and 958 deaths.
Myanmar is seeking assistance from the Gavi and Covax programs to acquire vaccines, while Australia is also providing financial relief. At present, the Government aims to treat 20 percent of the ‘most at risk’ in the country with vaccines. The Government is struggling with finances and logistics and is also under US sanctions, while cases are surging. The Government has banned the celebration of Christmas and other seasonal celebrations.
- Myanmar recorded 36 new cases and one death on February 15, taking the tallies to 141,637 cases and 3,190 deaths.
- Myanmar reported 16 new cases and one death on February 14, taking the totals to 141,601 cases and 3,189 deaths.
- Myanmar reported 42 new cases and four deaths on February 13, bringing the tallies to 141,585 cases and 3,188 deaths.
The Philippines aims to commence vaccinations from June 2021 and expects to inoculate about 25 million people (about 25 percent of its population) over the course of the year. The country has been badly affected by the virus and has the second-highest rate in Southeast Asia. The business community has reacted, more than 30 local companies signed an agreement to purchase at least 2.6 million vaccine doses from AstraZeneca in the country’s first such deal to secure coronavirus vaccines, ten days ago. They plan to donate a large part of the doses to the government for its planned vaccination program and use the rest to inoculate their employees.
- The Philippines saw 1,685 new cases and two deaths on February 15, taking the totals to 550,860 cases and 11,517 deaths.
- The Philippines reported 1,928 new cases and eight deaths on February 14, taking the totals to 549,176 cases and 11,515 deaths.
- The Philippines reported 1,960 new cases and 12 deaths on February 13, bringing the tallies to 547,255 cases and 11,507 deaths.
Singapore has been working on producing its own ‘Lunar’ vaccine, in a joint venture between the US company Arcturus together with the Duke-NUS medical school. It is a single dose, mRNA shot, developed from genetically engineering COVID-19 genes into an otherwise harmless virus. This technique is marginally safer than other vaccines which rely on dead Covid-19 material to provoke an immune response. The vaccine is expected to be available from Q1 2021. High-risk personnel will receive the vaccine first in a process to be determined by the government.
- Singapore saw nine new cases on February 15, taking the total to 59,809.
- Singapore reported 14 new cases on February 14, taking the total to 59,800.
- Nine new cases reported on February 13, taking the total to 59,786.
- The country recorded 18 new cases on February 12, bringing the total to 59,777 amid 29 deaths.
Thailand is currently expecting vaccines to be delivered in mid-2021. The doses would cover 13 million people in a population of about 69 million. Thailand’s National Vaccine Institute signed a non-refundable advance market commitment contract worth 2.38 billion baht (US$79 million) with AstraZeneca to reserve the supplies. Discussions are also on-going with Oxford University in the UK to secure a vaccine that could be available in Q1 if trials are completed in time.
- Thailand saw 143 new cases and two deaths on February 15, taking the totals to 24,714 cases and 82 deaths.
- Thailand reported 166 new cases on February 14, taking the total to 24,571 amid 80 deaths.
- Thailand saw 126 new cases on February 13, bringing the total to 24,405 amid 80 deaths.
- The country recorded 175 new cases on February 12, bringing the tally to 24,279 amid 80 deaths.
Vietnam’s National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE), a division of Vietnam’s Ministry of Health, has signed an agreement with Medigen Vaccine, a Taipei, Taiwan-based vaccine company to secure the supply of 3 million to 10 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in 2021. Medigen is currently conducting Phase II studies of the vaccine, co-developed with the USA’s National Institutes of Health (NIH), in Taiwan and Vietnam with a view to a Q1 2021 rollout.
Vietnam is also working on producing its own vaccine, with the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC) in Nha Trang City, partnering with New York City-based Icahn School of Medicine and the global health non-profit organization PATH. Phase 1 trials are already underway in Vietnam, while Phases 2 & 3 will be conducted at the beginning of 2021. The institute plans to submit documents for approval to the health ministry as early as April next year and claims to be capable of producing 30 million doses a year, expecting that a national vaccine could be distributed to the general population in October 2021.
- Vietnam reported 41 new cases on February 15, taking the total to 2,269 amid 35 deaths.
- Vietnam reported 33 new cases on February 14, taking the total to 2,228 amid 35 deaths.
- The country saw 53 new cases on February 13, taking the total to 2,195 amid 35 deaths.
This article was first published by AseanBriefing which is produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm assists foreign investors throughout Asia from offices across the world, including in in China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, India, and Russia. Readers may write to [email protected] for more support.
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Has Covid-19 prompted the Belt and Road Initiative to go green?
– Chinese overseas investment dropped off in 2020
– Government remains committed to the wide-ranging infrastructure programme
– Sustainability, health and digital to be the new cornerstones of the initiative
Following a year of coronavirus-related disruptions, China appears to be placing a greater focus on sustainable, digital and health-related projects in its flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
As OBG outlined in April last year, the onset of Covid-19 prompted questions about the future direction of the BRI.
Launched in 2013, the BRI is an ambitious international initiative that aims to revive ancient Silk Road trade routes through large-scale infrastructure development.
By the start of 2020 some 2951 BRI-linked projects – valued at a total of $3.9trn – were planned or under way across the world.
However, as borders closed and lockdowns were imposed, progress stalled on a number of major BRI infrastructure developments.
In June China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that 30-40% of BRI projects had been affected by the virus, while a further 20% had been “seriously affected”. Restrictions on the flow of Chinese workers and construction supplies were cited as factors behind project suspensions or slowdowns in Pakistan, Cambodia and Indonesia, among other countries.
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