Tens of millions of people in China are under lockdown, including in the largest city Shanghai. Thailand’s infection numbers continue to creep up, already much higher than at their peak last year. Hong Kong morgues are overwhelmed and patients being turned away from hospitals. In South Korea health authorities are reporting the most cases per capita in the world. Vietnam is also reporting record case numbers, being in the world’s to 10 for total infections over the past few weeks.
In other part of Asia the story is completely different with the worst of their Omicron surge, seemingly in the rear view mirror. Over the past two years, places like Singapore, South Korea, and even China, were reported as Covid-19 success stories, their stringent, even draconian border rules helping them to keep case numbers low.
And total deaths too, when compared to much of the rest of the world.
A bit further south the low infection rates in Australia and New Zealand before the Omicron variant overwhelmed their earlier defences. But as many countries are now reopening and try to reboot their battered economies, much of Asia is still in a Covid twilight zone… on one had trying to reopen but on the other hand trying to cope with the surging numbers. Sure, Omicron and its latest variants are a key part of the cause, running rampant through countries with previously low infection rates.
But that’s not the full story…
Tim Newton reporting.