Indonesia confirmed its first Covid-19 case on March 2 and now has the highest fatality toll from the disease in Southeast Asia – and second only to China in Asia – meaning the country now faces its biggest political and economic challenge since the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis.
As Covid-19 dominates global headlines, it is easy to lose track of other news and developments. Here are some of the issues that Access Asia Group has been following in Southeast Asia under the shadow of Covid-19.
It is too soon to say whether Vietnam – or indeed anywhere – has dodged the covid-19 bullet. But, in terms of infection caseloads, the nation of some 90 million is containing numbers better than anywhere in the region on a per-capita basis.
Tensions continue to simmer in the South China Sea as Covid-19, or ‘the coronavirus’ remains headline news. Will the viral outbreak drive the region closer together or farther apart? Either way, it’s possible that Vietnam stands the most to gain.
The coronavirus is not yet a pandemic, but China is so key to the global economy that a Chinese “local epidemic event” is global in its ramifications.
A novel coronavirus is swiftly emerging as a global health risk that will have significant economic, social and political repercussions. The 2019-nCoV, or the Wuhan coronavirus, undoubtedly has access to every corner of the planet – and it is unfolding in a new age of information that will heighten the fear factor.