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COVID-19 pandemic in Asia

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

COVID-19 pandemic in Asia
COVID-19 deaths per million residents as of December 10, 2020.svg
Confirmed COVID-19 deaths per million residents as of December 10, 2020
COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people as of December 10, 2020.svg
Cumulative confirmed cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people as of December 10, 2020
DiseaseCOVID-19
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationAsia
First outbreakWuhan, Hubei, China[1]
Index case1 December 2019
(1 year, 10 months, 2 weeks and 1 day ago)
Confirmed cases17,725,946[2]
Active cases1,770,067[2]
Recovered15,651,219[2]
Deaths
304,660[2]
Territories
49[2]

The COVID-19 pandemic began in Asia in Wuhan, Hubei, China, and has spread widely through the continent. As of 16 October 2021,[3] at least one case of COVID-19 had been reported in every country in Asia except North Korea and Turkmenistan.

The Asian countries with the highest numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases are India, Turkey, Iran, and Indonesia.[4] Despite being the first area of the world hit by the outbreak, the early wide-scale response of some Asian states, particularly Bhutan,[5] Singapore,[6] Taiwan[7] and Vietnam[8] has allowed them to fare comparatively well. China was criticised for initially minimising the severity of the outbreak, but its wide-scale response has largely contained the disease since March 2020.[9][10][11][12]

As of July 2021, the highest numbers of deaths are recorded in India, Indonesia, Iran, and Turkey, each with more than 50,000 deaths and more than 600,000 deaths combined. However, the death tolls in a number of countries[which?] are claimed to be significantly higher than those given in official figures.[13][14]

Statistics by country and territory

Summary table of confirmed cases in Asia (as of 16 October 2021)[15][16]
Country/Territory Cases Active cases Deaths Recoveries Ref
India India 33,934,335 243,224 450,408 33,240,703 [17][18]
Russia Russia 7,717,356 683,075 214,485 6,819,796 [17][19][18]
Turkey Turkey 7,387,537 478,272 65,778 6,843,487 [17][20][18]
Iran Iran 5,683,980 375,687 122,197 5,186,096 [21][22][18]
Indonesia Indonesia 4,225,871 25,551 142,560 4,057,760 [17][23][18]
Philippines Philippines 2,643,494 118,203 39,232 2,486,059 [24][18]
Malaysia Malaysia 2,377,033 97,505 27,770 2,251,758 [17][25][18]
Iraq Iraq 2,020,882 59,851 22,509 1,938,522 [17][18]
Japan Japan 1,708,742 14,399 17,856 1,676,487 [17][18]
Thailand Thailand 1,689,437 110,113 17,534 1,561,790 [17][26][18]
Bangladesh Bangladesh 1,561,463 11,218 27,654 1,522,591 [17][27][18]
Israel Israel 1,302,777 30,807 7,885 1,264,085 [17][28][18]
Pakistan Pakistan 1,256,233 43,648 28,058 1,184,527 [17][29][18]
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan 900,121 47,407 11,459 841,255 [17][30][18]
Vietnam Vietnam 843,281 37,863 20,670 784,748 [17][31]
Jordan Jordan 831,832 13,474 10,789 807,569 [17][32][18]
Nepal Nepal 800,997 15,614 11,210 774,173 [17][33][18]
United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates 737,509 4,664 2,111 730,764 [17][34][18]
Lebanon Lebanon 628,881 18,684 8,379 601,818 [17][35][18]
Georgia (country) Georgia 628,719 21,873 9,192 597,654 [17][36][18]
Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia 547,497 2,224 8,739 536,534 [17][37][18]
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka 524,937 32,488 13,267 479,182 [17][38][18]
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan 490,130 12,631 6,638 470,861 [17][39][18]
Myanmar Myanmar 456,620 29,122 17,465 410,033 [17][40][18]
State of Palestine Palestine 412,393 20,814 4,216 387,363 [17][18]
Kuwait Kuwait 412,016 645 2,453 408,918 [17][41][18]
South Korea South Korea 327,976 33,331 2,554 292,091 [17][42][18]
Mongolia Mongolia 321,657 26,656 1,404 293,597 [17][43][18]
Oman Oman 303,915 4,101 633 299,181 [17][44][18]
Bahrain Bahrain 275,538 612 1,390 273,536 [17][45][18]
Armenia Armenia 269,874 17,716 5,499 246,659 [17][46][18]
Qatar Qatar 237,297 1,027 607 235,663 [17][47][18]
Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan 179,120 2,631 2,616 173,873 [17][48][18]
Uzbekistan Uzbekistan 178,637 3,153 1,271 174,213 [17][49][18]
Afghanistan Afghanistan 155,448 22,278 7,221 125,949 [17][50][18]
Singapore Singapore 120,454 25,303 142 95,009 [17][51][18]
Cyprus Cyprus 119,414 28,101 558 90,755 [17][52][18]
Cambodia Cambodia 114,351 5,053 2,459 106,839 [17][53][18]
China China 96,423 713 4,636 91,074 [17][18]
Maldives Maldives 85,348 1,331 233 83,784 [17][54][18]
Syria Syria 36,453 9,766 2,322 24,365 [17][18]
Laos Laos 27,607 21,025 24 6,558 [17][55][18]
East Timor Timor-Leste 19,651 279 119 19,253 [17][56][18]
Tajikistan Tajikistan 17,084 Unknown 124 16,960 [17][57][18]
Taiwan Taiwan 16,283 153 845 15,285 [17][18]
Hong Kong Hong Kong 12,254 106 213 11,935 [17][58][18]
Yemen Yemen 9,333 1,659 1,773 5,901 [17][18]
Brunei Brunei 8,464 2,225 62 6,177 [17][59][18]
Bhutan Bhutan 2,613 7 3 2,603 [17][60][18]
Macau Macau 75 11 0 64 [17][61][18]
Total 84,592,829 2,799,131 1,346,302 80,447,426


Timeline by country and territory

Afghanistan

On 23 February 2020, at least three citizens of Herat who had recently returned from Qom were suspected of COVID-19 infection. Blood samples were sent to Kabul for further testing.[62] Afghanistan later closed its border with Iran.[63]

On 24 February, Afghanistan confirmed the first COVID-19 case involving one of the three people from Herat, a 35-year-old man who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.[64] On 7 March, three new cases were confirmed in Herat Province.[65] On 10 March, the first case reported outside of Herat province, was in Samangan Province, bringing to the total to five cases.[66]

Armenia

Armenia confirmed the first case of coronavirus during the late night of 29 February/early morning of 1 March, announcing a 29-year-old Armenian citizen had returned from Iran and was confirmed positive for the virus. His wife was tested and results came in negative. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan declared that he is "now in good condition." About 30 people who came in contact with him are being tested and will be quarantined. Armenia had earlier closed its border with Iran. As of 15 March there are 23 confirmed cases with over 300 being in quarantine. [67] On 23 March, it confirmed 23 cases.[68]

Azerbaijan

On 28 February, Azerbaijan confirmed the first case from a Russian national, who was travelling from Iran.[69] On 12 March, a woman died from multiorgan failure who had been diagnosed with COVID-19 a day earlier. This marked the first death of coronavirus in Azerbaijan.[70] On 22 March, the first domestic human to human transmission was confirmed.[71] On 31 March, Azerbaijan declared nationwide quarantine. People are required to stay in private houses and apartments, permanent or temporary places of residence until 20 April.[72]

Bahrain

The first case in the country was confirmed on 21 February. The index case was a school bus driver who had travelled to Iran.[73] Bahrain has recorded a total of 2,009 COVID-19 cases including 7 deaths and 1,026 recoveries. The Bahraini government has unveiled a stimulus packages of 4.3 billion Bahraini Dinars that include exempting consumers from bills of electricity and water for three months.[citation needed]

Bangladesh

The first three COVID-19 cases of the country were found on 7 March 2020 that was officially confirmed on 8 March 2020[74] by Professor Dr Meerjady Sabrina Flora, Former Director, Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), then. Two of those affected returned to Bangladesh from Italy and one was a family member of one of those two.[75] On 18 March, the first known coronavirus death in the country was reported.[76]

On 22 March, Bangladesh declared a 10-day shut down effective from 26 March to 4 April to fight the spread of coronavirus.[77] Bangladesh on Wednesday reported the fifth death from the coronavirus though no new case of the infection came out in the last 24 hours as the country suspended all domestic flights, trains and public transport to fight the pandemic.[citation needed]

The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) has confirmed that one more person has died of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection in Bangladesh, taking the number of deaths from the disease in the country to five, the Dhaka Tribune reported.[citation needed]

Bangladesh on Wednesday confirmed another death taking the death toll in the country to six while number of positive cases rose to 54.The nationwide lockdown has been extended till 9 April to curb the spread, however Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday said that offices and industries could resume work. Health minister Zahid Malik said "another 300 ventilators are being imported. There are about 700 ventilators across private hospitals".[citation needed]

Bhutan

On 6 March, the first case in the country was confirmed, a 76-year-old US male who travelled to the country.[78]

Brunei

On 9 March, the Ministry of Health confirmed that a preliminary coronavirus test had returned positive for a 53-year-old male who had returned from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 3 March.[79] The patient was moved to the National Isolation Centre in Tutong for treatment.[79]

Cambodia

Map of Cambodia with confirmed cases
The hand sanitizer shelf at a pharmacy in Kep, Cambodia, was emptied the day after the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in the country

On 27 January, Cambodia confirmed the first COVID-19 case in Sihanoukville, a 60-year-old Chinese man, travelling to the coastal city from Wuhan with his family on 23 January.[80] Three other members of his family were placed under quarantine as they did not appear to have symptoms, while he was placed in a separate room at the Preah Sihanouk Referral Hospital.[81][82][83] By 10 February, after two weeks of being treated and kept under observation, he had fully recovered, Health Ministry stated on account of testing negative for the third time by Pasteur Institute of Cambodia. The family were finally discharged and flew back to their home country on the next day as of the 80 Chinese nationals who arrived in Sihanoukville on the same flight as the patient, most had since returned to China, although the city of Wuhan remained under quarantine at that time.[84][85]

China

COVID-19 cases in mainland China broken down by provinces[86]

The COVID-19 pandemic first originated in Wuhan, Hubei in which it manifested itself as cluster of mysterious suspected pneumonia cases.[87]

Sophisticated modelling of the outbreak suggests that the number of cases in mainland China would have been many times higher without interventions such as early detection, and isolation of the infected.[88]

Cyprus

On 9 March, Cyprus confirmed its first 2 cases, one in Nicosia and one in Limassol.[89][90]

East Timor

On 20 March, East Timor confirmed its first COVID-19 case.[91]

Georgia

Map of the outbreak in Georgia
(as of 15 April):
Red dots represent medical centers currently treating patients
  Strict quarantine regime
  Confirmed cases reported

All flights from China and Wuhan to Tbilisi International Airport were cancelled until 27 January.[needs update] The Health Ministry announced that all arriving passengers from China would be screened. Georgia also temporarily shut down all flights to Iran.[92]

On 26 February, Georgia confirmed its first COVID-19 case. A 50-year-old man, who returned to Georgia from Iran, was admitted to Infectious Diseases Hospital in Tbilisi. He came back to the Georgian border via Azerbaijan by taxi.[93][94][95][96]

On 28 February, Georgia confirmed that a 31-year-old Georgia woman who had travelled to Italy tested positive and was admitted to Infectious Diseases Hospital in Tbilisi.[96]

29 more are being kept in isolation in a Tbilisi hospital, with Head of the Georgian National Centre for Disease Control, Amiran Gamkrelidze stating there was a "high probability" that some of them have the virus.[97]

On 5 March, five people have tested positive for the new coronavirus COVID-19 in Georgia increasing the total number of people infected in the country to nine. Head of the Georgian National Centre for Disease Control Amiran Gamkrelidze made the announcement at the recent news briefing following today. He said, all of the five people belong to the same cluster who travelled together to Italy and returned to Georgia on Sunday.[98]

On 7 March, three people have tested positive for the new coronavirus in Georgia increasing the total number of people infected individuals in the country to twelve. Head of the Georgian National Centre for Disease Control Amiran Gamkrelidze said at a news briefing the following day that there is still no reason to panic. One of the infected individuals is Gamkrelidze's son Nikoloz. Gamkrelidze wrote on his Facebook page that he contracted the illness from a coworker, who has been tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday. Georgia has suspended direct flights with Italy to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the country. Coronavirus in Georgia has mostly been detected in passengers who have travelled in Italy recently.[99]

Hong Kong

As of 1 March, Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection had identified 100 cases (Including 2 Suspected Recovered Cases) in Hong Kong, with 36 patients since recovered and 2 died.[100][101][102] By 2 April, the number of confirmed or probable cases in Hong Kong has risen to 767 after an influx of returning overseas students. 467, or 60.89% of cases were imported cases.[103]

India

India COVID-19 cumulative cases map

The COVID-19 pandemic in India is a part of the worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). As of 27 September 2021, according to official figures, India has the second-highest number of confirmed cases in the world (after the United States of America) with 33,678,786 reported cases of COVID-19 infection and the third-highest number of COVID-19 deaths (after the United States and Brazil) at 451,980[104] deaths.[105][106][107] However these figures exhibit severe under-reporting.[108][109]

The first cases of COVID-19 in India were reported on 30 January 2020 in three towns of Kerala, among three Indian medical students who had returned from Wuhan, the epicenter of the pandemic.[110][111][112] Lockdowns were announced in Kerala on 23 March, and in the rest of the country on 25 March. On 10 June, India's recoveries exceeded active cases for the first time.[113] Infection rates started to drop in September, along with the number of new and active cases.[114] Daily cases peaked mid-September with over 90,000 cases reported per-day, dropping to below 15,000 in January 2021.[115] A second wave beginning in March 2021 was much more devastating than the first, with shortages of vaccines, hospital beds, oxygen cylinders and other medical supplies in parts of the country.[115] By late April, India led the world in new and active cases. On 30 April 2021, it became the first country to report over 400,000 new cases in a 24-hour period.[116][108] Experts stated that the virus may reach an endemic stage in India rather than completely disappear;[117] in late August 2021, Soumya Swaminathan said India may be in some stage of endemicity where the country learns to live with the virus.[118]

India began its vaccination programme on 16 January 2021 with AstraZeneca vaccine (Covishield) and the indigenous Covaxin.[105][119] Later, Sputnik V and the Moderna vaccine was approved for emergency use too.[120] As of 17 August 2021, the country had administered over 550 million vaccine doses.[105][121]

Indonesia

COVID-19 pandemic cases in Indonesia map (Density).svg

COVID-19 was confirmed to have spread to Indonesia on 2 March 2020, after a dance instructor and her mother tested positive for the virus. Both were infected from a Japanese national.[122][123]

By 9 April 2020, the pandemic had spread to all 34 provinces in the country. Jakarta, West Java, and Central Java are the worst-hit provinces, together accounting more than half of the national total cases. The largest increase of new cases in a single day occurred on 15 July 2021, when 56,757 cases were announced. At most 48,832 recoveries and 2,069 fatalities were ever recorded within a span of 24 hours. On 13 July 2020, the recoveries exceeded active cases for the first time.[124]

As of 15 October 2021, Indonesia has reported 4,233,014 cases, the highest in Southeast Asia, ahead of the Philippines. With 142,889 deaths, Indonesia ranks second in Asia and seventh in the world.[125] Review of data, however, indicated that the number of deaths may be much higher than what has been reported as those who died with acute COVID-19 symptoms but had not been confirmed or tested were not counted in the official death figure.[126]

Indonesia has tested 28,713,630 people against its 270 million population so far, or around 106,503 people per million.[127] The World Health Organization has urged the nation to perform more tests, especially on suspected patients.[128]

Instead of implementing a nationwide lockdown, the government applied "large-scale social restrictions" (Indonesian: Pembatasan Sosial Berskala Besar, abbreviated as PSBB or LSSR), which was later modified into the "community activities restrictions enforcement" (Indonesian: Pemberlakuan Pembatasan Kegiatan Masyarakat, abbreviated as PPKM or CARE).[129]

On 13 January 2021, President Joko Widodo was vaccinated at the presidential palace, officially kicking off Indonesia's vaccination program.[130] As of 15 October 2021 at 18:00 WIB (UTC+7), 105,800,767 people had received the first dose of the vaccine, and 61,756,912 people had been fully vaccinated.[131]

Iran

Iran reported its first confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 infections on 19 February 2020 in Qom.[132] Later that day, the Ministry of Health and Medical Education stated that both had died.[133]

By 21 February, a total of 18 people had been confirmed to have SARS-CoV-2 infections[134] and four COVID-19 deaths had occurred.[133][135] On 24 February, according to the Ministry of Health and Medical Education, twelve COVID-19 deaths had occurred in Iran, out of a total of 64 SARS-CoV-2 confirmed infections.[136][137]

On 25 February, Iran's Deputy Health Minister, Iraj Harirchi tested positive for COVID-19, having shown some signs of infection during the press conference.[138] On 3 March, the official number of deaths in Iran rose to 77, the second highest deaths recorded outside China after Italy which has surpassed Iran, although the number of deaths is believed to be higher, up to 1,200 deaths due to Iranian Government's censorship and its eventual mishandling of virus outbreak.[139][140][141][142] Iran currently has the most cases in Western Asia as well as the fourth most cases worldwide, with China, South Korea, and Italy surpassing Iran.[citation needed]

Iran's death toll goes to 2,234 on 26 March as 29,000 cases are reported. Public gatherings are banned as is transportation between cities; public parks are closed.[143]

Iraq

The first case in the country was confirmed on 22 February.

Israel

On 21 February, Israel confirmed the first case of COVID-19.[144]

On 20 March, the first confirmed death in Israel was reported.[145]

As of 9 August, there are a total of 82,324 confirmed cases, with 57,071 recovered and 593 deaths.[146]

Japan

The first case was confirmed in a 30-year-old Chinese national who had previously travelled to Wuhan, developed a fever on 3 January, and returned to Japan on 6 January.[citation needed] Coronavirus infections in Japan topped 2,000 cases on 1 April, according to a Reuters calculation based on ministry data and media reports. A facility for disabled people in Chiba prefecture, east of Tokyo, found multiple people infected in March, bringing the total there to 121 in April. New York Times reported that Japan, which has the capacity to test 7,500 people per day, has tested a fraction of COVID-19 patients (including asymptomatic carrier), comparing Japan's situation to South Korea's one where about 360,000 South Koreans have been tested as of 26 March 2020. Columbia University professor Jeffrey Shaman suggested that Japan would not realise how things are going badly until it is too late.[147] In late May 2020, however, the death toll did not rise, and Foreign Policy magazine called the situation "Mysterious Success".[148]

Jordan

On 2 March, the first case in the country was confirmed.[149][150] Jordan has 212 confirmed infections on 26 March. Anyone who disobeys nightly curfew will be fined up to 500 dinars (around $700). The government placed Irbid under quarantine after it recorded 26 cases in the area.[143]

Kazakhstan

On 13 March, the first two cases in the country were confirmed.[citation needed]

As of 10 June, there are 13,319 confirmed cases with 62 deaths.[151]

Kuwait

The first case in the country was confirmed on 24 February.

The Kuwaiti prime minister stressed that the State of Kuwait greatly values the contribution of the large Indian community there and would continue to ensure their safety and welfare in the present situation, a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office said.[152]

Modi expressed his thanks and appreciation for the reassurance.[153][154][155]

Both leaders discussed the domestic and international aspects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the statement said.

Kyrgyzstan

On 18 March, the first three cases in the country were confirmed.[156] Kyrgyzstan had confirmed its first three coronavirus cases, Healthcare Minister Kosmosbek Cholponbayev said on Wednesday.[citation needed]

Three Kyrgyz nationals tested positive after arriving from Saudi Arabia.[citation needed]

Laos

As of 23 April, there are 19 confirmed cases in Laos.[157][158]

Lebanon

On 21 February 2020, Lebanon confirmed the first case of COVID-19, a 45-year-old woman travelling from Qom, Iran tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and was transferred to a hospital in Beirut.[159] Lebanon had 386 cases and nine deaths through 25 March, when it instituted a lockdown through 12 April. Essential services, such as drugstores and supermarkets, must close at nightfall.[143]

The number of COVID-19 infections remained unchanged at 333, NNA said.[citation needed]

Meanwhile, the cabinet decided to extend the curfew to 13 April, citing the increasing number of coronavirus infections.[citation needed]

Macau

The first case in Macau was confirmed on 22 January.[160] As of 9 August, Macau has confirmed 46 cases, with all cases discharged.[161]

Malaysia

Eight Chinese nationals were quarantined at a hotel in Johor Bahru on 24 January after coming into contact with an infected person in neighbouring Singapore.[162] Despite early reports of them testing negative for the virus,[163] three of them were confirmed to be infected on 25 January.[164][165]

On 16 February, the 15th infected patient involving a Chinese female national had fully recovered, becoming the 8th patient cured from the virus in Malaysia.[166] The following day, the first infected Malaysian also reportedly recovered, becoming the 9th cured.[167]

In March 2020, several Southeast Asian countries experienced a significant rise in cases following an event held by Tablighi Jamaat at Jamek Mosque in Sri Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, where many people are believed to have been infected.[168] By 17 March, almost two-thirds of the 673 cases confirmed in Malaysia were related to the event. More than 620 people, including those from other countries, who attended the event have tested positive, making it the largest-known centre of transmission in South East Asia.[168][169] In response to the rapid spread of cases, the Government introduced Movement Control Order lockdown restrictions on 18 March 2020, which helped to lower the infection and death rates.[170]

The number of active cases peaked in April and slowly declined, leading to a relaxation of Movement Control Order lockdown restrictions over the next several months.[171] Since mid-September, an outbreak of cases in Sabah, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Johor, Penang and Kedah led to a resurgence of COVID-19 cases throughout the country.[172][173] By 18 November 2020, the total number of cases in Malaysia had exceeded the 50,000 mark.[174] A Sin Chew Daily editorial has attributed the rapid surge of cases to the failure of the public, businesses and their employees including migrant workers to practise health and social distancing procedures during the relaxation of Movement Control Order restrictions throughout 2020.[170]

By 24 December 2020, the total number of cases in Malaysia had exceeded the 100,000 mark.[175] By 6 January 2021, the number of recovered had exceeded 100,000. On the same day, the Director General reported there were 252 active clusters in Malaysia.[176] In late February 2021, the Malaysian Government government launched a twelve-month immunization program, with Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin being the first individual to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.[177]

By 22 May, the total number of cases had reached the 500,000 mark, reaching 505,115.[178] By 2 June 2021, the total number of recoveries had exceeded the 500,000 mark, reaching 501,898.[179] By 4 July, eight percent of the Malaysian population (roughly 2,618,316 people) had completed two doses of COVID-19 vaccination.[180]

On 26 July, the total number of cases exceeded the one million mark, reaching 1,013,438.[181] By 5 August, the death toll had reached the 10,000 mark, reaching 10,019.[182] By 7 August, the total number of recoveries had reached the 1 million mark, reaching 1,009,343.[183]

Maldives

On 7 March, the first two cases in the country were confirmed.[184] By 21 July there are 3,252 confirmed cases in Maldives.[185]

Mongolia

On 10 March, the first case have been confirmed, a 57-year-old French citizen came from Moscow-Ulaanbaatar flight on 2 March and symptoms were shown on 7 March.[186]

Myanmar

On 23 March, Myanmar confirmed its first and second COVID-19 cases.[187] Myanmar reported its first coronavirus death on 31 March, a 69-year-old man who also had cancer and died in a hospital in the commercial capital of Yangon, a government spokeswoman said.[citation needed]

He had sought medical treatment in Australia and stopped in Singapore on his way home, according to the health ministry.[citation needed]

After the coup d'état on February 1, 2021, testing collapsed and the medical response to COVID-19 in the country became severely hampered.[188]

Nepal

A Nepali student who had returned to Kathmandu from Wuhan became the first case of the country and South Asia on 23 January 2020.[189][190] The first case of local transmission inside the country was confirmed on 4 April, while the first COVID-19 death came on 14 May.[191] The country observed an almost four-month-long nationwide lockdown between 24 March and 21 July.[192] As of 8 October 2021, the country has a total of 800,997 cases, 774,173 recoveries, and 11,210 deaths.[193]

Oman

On 24 February, the first two cases in the country were confirmed.[194][195] As of 22 July, there are a total of 69,887 confirmed cases, with 46,608 discharged and 337 deaths.[196]

Pakistan

Pakistan reported its first two cases of COVID-19 on 26 February 2020.[197][198] By early September 2020, Pakistan had the 10th-highest number of confirmed cases in Asia.[199]

Palestine

The first seven cases were confirmed in the State of Palestine on 5 March.[200][201]

Philippines

Map of provinces (including Metro Manila) with confirmed cases (as of October 16, 2021)[a]
  ≥100000
  10000–99999
  5000–9999
  1000–4999
  500–999
  100–499
  50–99
  10–49
  1–9

The COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines is part of the worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The first case in the Philippines was identified on January 30, 2020, and involved a 38-year-old Chinese woman who was confined at San Lazaro Hospital in Metro Manila.[b] On February 1, a posthumous test result from a 44-year-old Chinese man turned out positive for the virus, making the Philippines the first country outside China to record a confirmed death from the disease.[204][205][206]

After over a month without recording any cases, the Philippines confirmed its first local transmission on March 7, 2020.[207][208] Since then, the virus has spread to the country's 81 provinces.[209] National and local governments have been imposing community quarantines since March 15, 2020, as a measure to limit the spread of the virus.[210] These include the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) that was implemented in March–May 2020.[c][211] On March 24, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, a law that granted him additional powers to handle the pandemic. This was repealed by a follow-up law, the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, which he signed on September 11.[212]

As of October 16, 2021, 2,713,509[104] cases have been reported, resulting in 40,580[104] reported deaths, the second-highest in Southeast Asia, behind Indonesia.[213][214][215] The largest single-day increase in the number of confirmed cases was reported on September 11, 2021, when the Department of Health (DOH) announced 26,303 new cases.[216]

The Philippines had a slightly lower testing capacity than its neighbors in Southeast Asia during the first months of the pandemic in the country.[217][218] COVID-19 tests had to be taken in Australia, as the Philippines lacked testing kits.[219][220] By the end of January 2020, the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Muntinlupa, Metro Manila began its testing operations and became the country's first testing laboratory.[221] 279 laboratories that are capable of detecting the SARS-CoV-2 virus have been accredited by the DOH since then.[222] As of September 10, 2021, 277 of these have conducted 19,742,325 tests from more than 18,551,810 unique individuals.[213][223]

Qatar

Qatar confirmed its first case on 29 February, in a person who had returned from Iran. The first death in Qatar was recorded in on 28 March 2020, a 57-year-old Bangladeshi national who was already suffering from chronic disease.

Russia

Russia implemented preventive measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country by imposing quarantines, carrying raids on potential virus carriers and using facial recognition to impose quarantine measures.[224]

On 31 January, two cases were confirmed, one in Tyumen Oblast, another in Zabaykalsky Krai. Both were Chinese nationals, who have since recovered.[225][224] By 17 April, first case was confirmed in the Altai Republic, thus all 27 federal subjects of Asian Russia had confirmed cases.[citation needed]

Saudi Arabia

On 27 February, Saudi Arabia announced temporary suspension of entry for individuals wanting to perform Umrah pilgrimage in Mecca or to visit the Prophet's Mosque in Medina, as well as tourists. The rule was also extended to visitors traveling from countries where SARS-CoV-2 posed a risk.[226]

On 28 February, the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia announced a temporary suspension of entry for Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) citizens to Mecca and Medina. Citizens of the GCC who had been in Saudi Arabia for more than 14 continuous days and didn't show any symptoms of COVID-19 would be excluded from this rule.[226]

Saudi Arabia confirmed the first case on 2 March, a Saudi national returning from Iran via Bahrain.[227]

On Thursday, 19 March Saudi Arabia suspended the holding of daily prayers and the weekly Friday prayers inside and outside the walls of the two mosques in Mecca and Medina  to limit the spread of coronavirus.[228] As of Thursday, 334 confirmed cases have been reported in Saudi Arabia with eight cases been recovered.[229] No deaths have been reported.

On Friday, 20 March, Saudi Arabia announced it is going to suspend all domestic flights, buses, taxis and trains for 14 days amid the COVID-19 pandemic.[citation needed]

At the virtual G20 meeting, chaired by King Salman on 25 March, collective pledges were made to inject $4.8 trillion into the global economy to counteract the social and financial impacts of the pandemic.[143]

On 26 March, authorities announced a total lockdown of Riyadh, Mecca and Medina, plus a nationwide curfew. 1,012 cases and four deaths are reported.[143]

Singapore

The COVID-19 pandemic in Singapore is part of the worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The first case in Singapore was confirmed on 23 January 2020. Early cases were primarily imported until local transmission began to develop in February and March. In late March and April, COVID-19 clusters were detected at multiple sleeping quarters, for which soon contributed to an overwhelming proportion of new cases in the country.

On 22 January 2020, a multi-ministerial committee was formed with Minister of Finance Lawrence Wong and Minister of Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong as the co-chairs and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies Heng Swee Keat as advisors. On 23 April 2021, Lee announced the appointment of Ong Ye Kung as the Minister for Health, another committee co-chair alongside incumbents Lawrence Wong and Gan Kim Yong from 15 May 2021.[230][231] Singapore also contributed US$500,000 to support the World Health Organization's (WHO) efforts against COVID-19.[232]

In response to the first wave of COVID-19, Singapore enacted the "COVID-19 Control Order", announcing on 3 April 2020 a stringent set of preventive measures collectively called the "circuit breaker lockdown". Initially planned to be applied from 7 April to 4 May, the circuit breaker lockdown was extended to 1 June on 21 April following continued untraced transmission within the community. The Multi-Ministry Taskforce on 19 May announced the three-phased approach to resume activities safely with the gradual re-opening of economic activities in each phase.[233] Phase 1 lasted for 17 days from 2 June and ended on 18 June, with Phase 2 lasting for 6 months and 8 days from 19 June to 27 December. Singapore was in Phase 3 from 28 December 2020 until 7 May 2021;[234] following the rise of the Delta variant, it temporarily reverted to Phase 2 on 8 May,[235] which was raised to "Phase 2 Heightened Alert" from 16 May to 13 June, "Phase 3 Heightened Alert" from 14 June to 21 July and "Phase 2 Heightened Alert" from 22 July 2021 to 9 August 2021. This was followed by "Preparatory Stage of Transition" from 10 August 2021 to 26 September 2021, before reverting to Phase 2 Heightened Alert measures (dubbed the "Stabilisation Phase") from 27 September 2021.[236][237][238] A mass vaccination programme is currently under way following the approval and acquisition of the Pfizer–BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.[239][240]

As of 15 October 2021, 26,775 active cases remain out of a total of 141,772 confirmed cases, with 114,782 recoveries and 215 deaths.[241] Singapore currently has a case fatality rate of 0.15%, one of the lowest in the world.[242] It introduced what was considered one of the largest and best-organised epidemic control programs in the world, along with fellow neighbouring countries such as South Korea and Vietnam.[243][244] Various measures have been taken to mass test the population for the virus, such as isolating any infected people as well as introducing contact tracing apps such as TraceTogether (both app and token) and strictly quarantining those they had close contact with. Such measures have helped avoid further lockdowns after the end of the circuit breaker lockdown measures in June 2020.

South Korea

Epidemic curve of COVID-19 in South Korea

The first confirmed case in South Korea was announced 20 January 2020.[245] The number of confirmed cases increased on 19 February by 20, and on 20 February by 58, giving a total of 346 confirmed cases on 21 February 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Korea (KCDC), with the sudden jump mostly attributed to "Patient No. 31" who attended a gathering at a Shincheonji Church of Jesus the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony church in Daegu.[246] As of 20 February 2020, the number of confirmed cases in South Korea was the third largest after China and the infections on the Diamond Princess.[citation needed] By 24 February, the number of confirmed cases in South Korea was the second largest;[247] as of 14 March 2020, the number was the fourth largest. A reason for the high number of confirmed cases is the high number of tests conducted. In South Korea more than 66,650 people were tested within a week of its first case of community transmission, and South Korea quickly became able to test 10,000 people a day.[248]

Sri Lanka

Confirmed cases per districts[249]

The first case in the country was confirmed on 27 January 2020. The country has 135,796 cases with 892 deaths as of 13 May 2021.[250][citation needed] As of 10 October 2020, Sri Lankan authorities have tracked down over 1,430,864 people who had contacted the identified patients and had ordered self quarantine for such people. Near tested 3 million PCR tested on 5 May 2021.[251]

Syria

Due to Syria already coping with the rampant civil war, fearing that Syria will be the most affected country is raising concerns, following a number of cases found in neighboring Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan, and collapsed healthcare system as the result of the civil war.[252] The Government of Iraqi Kurdistan, in a rare collaboration with its Syrian counterpart on 2 March, ordered complete closure of Syrian–Iraqi border to halt the spread.[253]

The first case in Syria was confirmed on 22 March.[254][255]

Taiwan

Confirmed cases per million residents by subdivision

The pandemic has had a smaller impact in Taiwan than in most other industrialized countries, with a total of eleven deaths out of a population of 23 million as of 11 April 2021,[256] a rate of 0.042 deaths per 100,000 people.[257] The number of active cases peaked on 6 April 2020 at 307 cases.[258] Out of approximately 1,000 cases total, only 77 (along with one additional case of unknown origin) were infected within Taiwan due to strict border control and quarantine measures of incoming travelers and thorough contact tracing of all confirmed cases, allowing for minimal disruption of society, education, and industry. No lockdowns have been imposed in Taiwan.[259] All the other cases have been imported from abroad.[260]

Tajikistan

On 30 April 2020, the first 15 cases of COVID-19 were reported in Tajikistan.[261]

Thailand

On 13 January, Thailand had its first case, also the first outside China.[262][263][264]

On 1 March, the first confirmed death in Thailand was reported.[265]

As of 19 July, there were a total of 3,246 confirmed cases with 58 deaths and 3,096 recoveries.[266]

Turkey

7-day incidence rate per 100,000 residents by province, 12-18 June 2021
  <10
  10–30
  30–50
  50–70
  70–100
  ≥ 100

The COVID-19 pandemic in Turkey is part of the ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

The first case in Turkey was recorded on 11 March, when a local returned home[note 1] from a trip to Europe.[268] The first death due to COVID-19 in the country occurred on 15 March.[268] Turkey stood out from the rest of Europe by not ordering a legal lockdown[note 2][269] until April 2021, when the country enacted its first nationwide restrictions.[270] The government kept many businesses open, and allowed companies to set their own guidelines regarding workers.[269]

The resulting wave of infections never came close to overwhelming the Turkish health system,[269] which has the highest number of intensive care units[271] in the world at 46.5 beds per 100,000 people (compared to 9.6 in Greece, 11.6 in France, and 12.6 in Italy). As of 3 May 2021, Turkey's observed case-fatality rate stands at 0.84%, the 148th highest rate globally.[272][273] This low case-fatality rate has generated various explanations including the relative rarity of nursing homes,[274] favorable demographics,[275] long legacy of contact tracing,[276] high number of intensive care units,[277] universal health care,[276] and a lockdown regime that led to a higher proportion of positive cases among working-age adults.[269]

On 30 September 2020, Turkish Minister of Health Fahrettin Koca acknowledged that since 29 July, the reported number of cases was limited to symptomatic cases that required monitoring, which was met with rebuke by the Turkish Medical Association.[278] This practice ended on 25 November, when the ministry started to report asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic cases alongside symptomatic ones.[278]

United Arab Emirates

The first case in the United Arab Emirates was confirmed on 29 January 2020.[279][280] It was the first country in the Middle East to report a confirmed case.[281]

The first death due to COVID-19 was reported on 20 March 2020.[282]

Uzbekistan

On 15 March, the first case in the country was confirmed.[283]

Vietnam

Map of cities & provinces in Vietnam with confirmed COVID-19 cases

The first two confirmed cases in Vietnam were admitted to Cho Ray Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City on 23 January 2020: a 66-year-old Chinese man traveling from Wuhan to Hanoi to visit his son, and his son who believed to have contracted the virus from his father when they met in Nha Trang.[284]

On 21 March, Vietnam suspended entry for all foreigners from midnight of 22 March, and concentrated isolation for 14 days in all cases of entry for Vietnamese citizens.[285] From 1 April, Vietnam implemented nationwide isolation for 15 days.[286]

Yemen

The pandemic was confirmed to have spread to Yemen when its first confirmed case in Hadhramaut was reported on 10 April.[287]

The country is seen to be extremely vulnerable to the outbreak, given the dire humanitarian situation due to the civil war, exacerbated by the famine, cholera outbreaks, and military blockade by Saudi Arabia and allies.[288][289]

Prevention in other countries and territories

Turkmenistan

As of May 2020, there are no confirmed COVID-19 cases in Turkmenistan.[290] The government has censored use of the word "coronavirus" to control information about the virus, and experts suspect that it may be spreading in the country unreported.[291]

Turkmenistan is a notoriously opaque state, purposefully isolated by an authoritarian regime led by Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, who has also been described as totalitarian.[292][293][294] Independent media in the country is virtually nonexistent so reporting about the current situation is difficult due to the inability to access and confirm reliable information from the country.[295][296]

North Korea

There are no confirmed cases in North Korea.[297] North Korea was one of the first countries to close borders due to COVID-19.[298] In February, wearing face masks was obligatory and visiting public places such as restaurants was forbidden. Ski resorts and spas were closed and military parades, marathons, and other public events were cancelled.[299]

On 31 March 2020, the Asia Times reported that North Korea's measures against the pandemic seemed largely successful.[300] Edwin Salvador, WHO's representative in North Korea, reported that as of 2 April 709 people had been tested, with no confirmed cases, and 509 people were in quarantine.[297] On 23 April, US analyst website 38 North reported that North Korea's early and extensive response appeared to be successful in containing the virus.[301]

Some anonymous reports claimed that North Korea was ineffective in curbing the disease, and that an order was enacted to 'spot and shoot', so as to hide the cases being reported nationwide. Rumours also spread that first cases were reported when three soldiers were found infected, and that they were shot to death.[302]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Breakdown of confirmed cases is according to the COVID-19 Tracker of the Department of Health (DOH). Take note that the map may not reflect all affected localities. The methodology on how COVID-19 patients are recorded in a particular locality in the tracker is unclear and may vary. Cases under validation including cases among repatriates may not reflect on the map.
    • Other independent cities' cases are grouped with their geographically and statistically associated provinces (e.g. Puerto Princesa with Palawan, Zamboanga City with non-contiguous Zamboanga del Sur).
    • Cotabato City's cases are still considered as cases under the Soccsksargen region despite being part of Bangsamoro since the city has not yet formally been turned over to the Bangsamoro regional government at the time records began. For the purpose of the map, its cases are considered part of Maguindanao.
  2. ^ The patient arrived in the Philippines from Wuhan, China via Hong Kong on January 21 and sought consultation on January 25 after experiencing a mild cough.[202][203]
  3. ^ The first imposition of the ECQ in Luzon encompassed the whole island group.
  1. ^ Data Protection Law number 6698[267] precludes the Turkish Ministry of Health from disclosing sensitive patient health information, interpreted broadly to include location during the pandemic.
  2. ^ Turkey's Article 11/C of the Law on Public Health authorizes only provinces to order quarantines, for a maximum period of 15 days. The national government is barred by the constitution from ordering lockdowns.[268]
Map Notes

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Further reading

  • Agarwal, Sumit, et al. eds. Impact of COVID-19 on Asian Economies and Policy Responses (2021) excerpt
  • M. Mofijur et al. "Impact of COVID-19 on the social, economic, environmental and energy domains: Lessons learnt from a global pandemic" Sustainable Production and Consumption (2020), doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.spc.2020.10.016

External links