News

COVID-19 surge hits Asia; Tokyo, Thailand, Malaysia post record infections

The Olympics host city Tokyo, as well as Thailand and Malaysia, announced record COVID-19 infections on Saturday, mostly driven by the highly transmissible Delta variant of the disease. The surge in Delta variant cases is rattling parts of Asia previously relatively successful in containing COVID-19, such ...

Reuters

Thailand’s hospitals under pressure as Covid crisis deepens

Thailand’s worsening Covid outbreak is placing intense pressure on hospitals, forcing doctors to treat patients in parking lots and turn away people who are severely ill. The country was widely praised for its Covid response last year, when it maintained one of the lowest caseloads in ...

Rebecca Ratcliffe and Navaon Siradapuvadol in Bangkok

Press freedom more important than ever in the Asia–Pacific

The current Covid-19 pandemic has had an alarming impact on press freedom. Over the past 18 months, governments across the Asia–Pacific have – knowingly or not – used the health crisis to restrict the flow of information, stifling the press freedom that underpins societies and ...

OLIVIA PIRIE-GRIFFITHS

How Asean’s Covid-19 recovery measures are missing opportunities for a green future

More than a year after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a public health emergency, the – a region with a combined GDP of US$9.34 trillion and a population of more than 650 million – has not recovered from the global economic tumult ...

Melinda Martinus and Sharon Seah

Thailand tightens measures as daily cases cross 10,000

Thailand has tightened coronavirus restrictions and warned of further measures as daily cases surpassed 10,000 and the death toll hit a record 141 on Saturday despite an overnight curfew in Bangkok and several other provinces. The surge since April has overwhelmed hospitals, strained the economy and ...

Chalida Ekvittayavechnukul

Vietnam puts southern region in lockdown as surge grows

Vietnam put its entire southern region in a two-week lockdown starting midnight Sunday, as confirmed COVID-19 cases exceeded 3,000 for the third day in a row. The lockdown order includes the Mekong Delta and Ho Chi Minh City metropolis, the country’s financial and economic hub with ...

AP News

As Thailand hit by its worst COVID outbreak, economic risks rise

Thailand risks fueling its decade-high unemployment rate and household debt with the imposition of lockdown-like measures to contain the deadliest Covid outbreak to hit the nation. The greater Bangkok area, accounting for about 50% of Thailand’s gross domestic product, will shutter shopping malls, spas, massage and ...

Suttinee Yuvejwattana and Randy Thanthong-Knight | Bloomberg

COVID or not, ‘the desire to eat wildlife’ continues in Asia

Continuing attempts to curb the sale of wild animals and their meat have failed to engender change at wet markets in the Asia Pacific, even as the region struggles to contain the largest and deadliest wave of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. According to ...

Ian Lloyd Neubauer

NESDC set to table new relief measures

The National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) plans to table before the cabinet on Tuesday remedy measures for those affected by the strict lockdown measures that took effect on Monday, says a cabinet source who requested anonymity. The remedy is to be funded by the ...

WICHIT CHANTANUSORNSIRI

COVID-19 Drives New Surge in Trafficking of Women From Laos to China

Economic hardship in Lao villages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is driving a new surge in the trafficking to China of Lao women and girls desperate to find jobs, police and other sources in the Southeast Asian country say. “Right now, our police department is working ...

Reported by RFA’s Lao Service. Translated by Max Avary. Written in English by Richard Finney.

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