A Health Worker Disinfecting in Thailand, which became the first country outside China to report a positive COVID-19 case on January 13, 2020
The outbreak of the Novel Corona Virus Disease or COVID-19 in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province in China, right from the start poses a major threat to Southeast Asia given their geographical proximity and that there is high travel flow between the region and China.Southeast Asia covers a total area of 4.3 million kilometres (kms) with a total population of 666.8 million [8.58 percent of the total world population] and a population density being 154 per km – from a low of 27 persons per square km in Laos to a high of 7,022 per square km in Singapore – which makes the region vulnerable to community transmission of the COVID-19. Further, the region is one of the most disaster-prone regions in the world from earthquakes, seasonal typhoons, uncontrolled forest fires, and the impact of climate change, these combine factors exacerbate the spread of various infectious diseases in the region.[i]Thehigh populationdensity along with existing variation in the level of socio-economic development amongst the ASEAN states makes the region highly vulnerable as it may not be in a position to handle a major outbreak of the COVID-19. The World Health Organisation [WHO] has cautioned the region that it is heading towards community transmission of the viral disease and has expressed the urgency to work collectively to slow down transmission, as well as end outbreaks.[ii]
Spread of the COVID-19 in the ASEAN States
Positive cases of COVID-19 has been reported in all the ten ASEAN states. The figure below indicates the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the ASEAN states as of March 30, 2020. As indicated in the bar diagram, Malaysia has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia followed by The Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Brunei, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos.
Figure One: Number of Positive COVID-19 Cases in Southeast Asia [as of March 30, 2020]
On January 30, 2020, the Brunei government announced that all travellers who had visited China’s Hubei provinceup to 14 days before arrival in Brunei would be denied entry, to limit the spread of the COVID 19. While the citizens of Brunei and permanent residents were being exempted, they had to undergo temperature screenings and possible quarantine.[iii] On February 11, 2020 the Brunei government also extended the restrictions to all travellers from the Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces of China.[iv] The Royal Brunei Airlines on February 15, 2020, suspended flights to and from mainland China, and decreased services to other Asian destinations that included Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.[v]On March 9, 2020, Brunei’s Ministry of Health announced the first case of COVID-19. Following this,on March 15, Brunei's Ministry of Health announced that all citizens and foreign residents would be prohibited from leaving the country from March 16.[vi]The Ministry of Home Affairs announced on March 23, 2020, that foreign nationals would be prohibited entry to Brunei whether by land, sea, and air including foreign nationals entering the country for transit.[vii]As of, March 30, 2020, as announced by the Ministry of Health the total number of people who had tested positive for COVID-19 in Brunei Darussalam is 115.[viii]
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on January 27, 2020, who was a 60-year-old Chinese male tourist in Sihanouk Ville. Cambodia’s first local COVID-19 case was reported on March 7, 2020, at Siem Reap. As of March 27, 2020, there were 96 cases of which 38 were Cambodian, 36 French, 12 Malaysian, 5 British, 2 US, 1 Canadian, 1 Chinese, and 1 was Belgian.[ix]Cambodia is one of the few countries that resorted to using the rapid nucleic acid amplification tests technology, developed by a team of researchers in the University of Hong Kong in January. This quick testing technology developed for the testing of the COVID-19 that can produce results in less than two hours was adopted to help contain the spread of the epidemic.[x]On March 14, 2020, the Cambodian government announced a 30-day suspension of entry of foreigners from Italy, Germany, Spain, France, and the US. The suspension went into effect on March 17, 2020. The Cambodian government on March 18, 2020, announced closure of all museums, cinemas, concert halls, bars, karaoke establishments, and put prohibition on any large religious gathering. The Cambodian Ministry of Education issued an immediate and indefinite closure of all schools while the popular tourist destination of SiemReapwas closed.[xi]
On February 2, 2020, Indonesian Foreign Minister RetnoMarsudi announced that Indonesia wouldtemporarily halt flights to and from mainland China for two weeks beginning February 5, amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Indonesia was considered vulnerable due to its ten international airports and direct flights to Wuhan thatwas the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak.[xii]On March 2, 2020, Indonesia reported its first cases of COVID-19, a 64 yearold woman and her 31 year old daughter, both testing positive at a hospital in Jakarta.[xiii]According to Indonesia’s Health Minister TerawanAgusPutrantothe 31-year-old woman that tested positive for COVID-19, had contact with a Japanese citizen in Jakarta in mid-February, and then transmitted the disease to her mother. According to the Ministry of Health, 100 hospitals across 32 of the country’s 34 provinces has been prepared for patients with COVID-19.[xiv]The Government of Indonesia on March 5, 2020, announced the suspension of entry or transit to incoming travellers from Iran, Italy, and South Korea. On March 10, 2020, Indonesia reported the first possible community transmission of the COVID-19, after a citizen with no link to certain confirmed cases or travel history to affected countries tested positive for the virus.[xv]Following this report, the Indonesian government suspended its visa exemption policy for short-stay visit, visa-on-arrival and diplomatic/service visa-free facilities for all countries, for a period of 1 month. It also expanded the list of entry ban on all individuals coming from the Vatican City, Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, and the UK.[xvi]With the rapid spread of the COVID-19 in Jakarta, which became the epicentre in Indonesia religious activities, including Islamic Friday prayers and Christian services, were suspended for 14 days. On March 20, Jakarta Governor AniesBaswedan declared a state of emergency in the capital city for two weeks over the COVID-19 outbreak starting March 23. During this time allnonessential businesses such as bars, spas, and cinemas wouldbe closed withpublic transportationlimited. The governor also urged companies to allow staff to work from home.[xvii]Withthe number of positive COVID-19 cases along with the number of fatalities increasing, there is pressure for President Jokowi to lockdown virus-plagued areas, especially as more cases recorded in many regions of the country were linked to cities with the most severe outbreaks. The government is drafting a regulation to stipulate the procedures and requirements for imposing regional quarantines, also known as lockdowns.[xviii] At the time of writing, with 114 deathsbecause COVID-19, Indonesia had the highest fatality amongst Southeast Asia and Indonesia is looking to quarantine almost 30 million people in its capital and surrounding areas.[xix]
Laos was one of the last countries in Southeast Asia to report a positive COVID-19 case. Prior to the first positive reporting on March 16, 2020, Laos announced new rules for people entering the country including self-quarantine for people arriving from nations with more than 100 cases.[xx]The Laos government on March 23, 2020 adopted in principle an economic stimulus package to minimise the impact caused by the ongoing outbreak of the COVID-19. Though till this time there was no confirmed coronavirus cases in Laos, the widespread outbreak in other countries around the world had resulted in significant impacts on the Lao economy. The Ministry of Health was asked to prepare sufficient medical staff and equipment to handle potential cases in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak in Laos. The head of the government directed the local authorities to strictly enforce the government’s measures in closing local and traditional checkpoints to prevent COVID-19. Further, Prime Minister Thonglouninformedthe Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism to enforce the government’s decision to temporary shutdown all entertainment venues, karaoke and massage venues. The ministry was told to take this opportunity to work with relevant business operators in improving tourism attraction sites in preparation for the resumption of visitors once the COVID-19 outbreak is under control.[xxi]On March 24, the Government of Lao PDR confirmed two positive cases for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Lao PDR.[xxii] The following day on March 25, Laos confirmed another positive COVID-19 case announced by the Lao official at a press conference.[xxiii]
Malaysia has the largest number of COVID-19 cases amongst the ASEAN states which at the time of writing stood at 2,470. Malaysia's first confirmed cases of COVID-19 was announced on January 25, when three Chinese nationals tested positive. The infected individuals had travelled from Singapore to Malaysia. With its first confirm case of the COVID-19, on January 27, the Office of the Prime Minister announced the temporarily suspension of all immigration facilities including eNTRI, visa on arrival, e-visas, and manual visas for Chinese nationals from Wuhan and Hubei province.[xxiv]The first case of a Malaysian national that tested positive for COVID-19 was reported on February 3, 2020.[xxv] The Malaysian government had already imposed a ban on Chinese nationals from the Hubei province and with the total number of cases reaching fourteen by February 6, 2020, it further extended the ban on all Chinese nationals.Under the new regulations, the ban now covers individuals traveling from any province placed under lockdown by the Chinese government. Malaysia Airlines also announced on February 5, that it wouldsuspend its flights between Kota Kinabalu and Shanghai from February 18.[xxvi]By mid-March, there weremore than 500 cases of COVID-19 in Malaysia. On March 16, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced that Malaysia wouldclose its borders to foreign travellers and Malaysian citizens would not be allowed to leave the country from March 18 to March 31. The Prime Minister also announced that all schools, universities, and non-essential government and private businesses wouldbe closed through March 31.[xxvii] With the number of COVID-19 cases as on March 25, increasing to 1,796 with a total of 19 fatalities, the Prime Minister announced the extension of the nationwide movement restrictions to April 14, 2020.[xxviii]
As a measure to contain the deadly coronavirus thatoriginated in Wuhan of China, Myanmar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on February 1, 2020, announced the suspension of visa on arrival to tourists from China. Further, the government also restricted travel and increased health checks along the border with China.[xxix] The government banned all large public gatherings while schools and cinemas remain close since March 13, until the end of April as a precautionary measure.[xxx] The Myanmar government's travel restriction on individuals arriving from countries affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, including Italy, Iran, France, Spain, and Germany. On March 21, Myanmar's Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced additional travel restrictions to prevent further spread of COVID-19. Individuals arriving from countries with high recorded cases of COVID-19, including the US, UK, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark in the preceding 14 days wouldbe required to undergo a 14-day facility quarantine upon arrival in Myanmar. Additionally, travellers would be required to present a medical certificate to prove that do not have any respiratory symptoms prior to check-in.[xxxi] On March 23, the Myanmar government confirmed the first two cases of COVID-19 in the country. The individuals were Myanmar nationals who had returned from the US and the UK. Following this on March 24, Myanmar's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Civil Aviation announced that all travellers arriving in the country, regardless of nationality, from March 25 would be subject to a 14-day facility quarantine. Foreign nationals, diplomats accredited to Myanmar, and UN officials working in the country will be required to show laboratory evidence of the absence of COVID-19 infection issued no more than 72 hours prior to the date of travel before being allowed to board any flight destined for Myanmar.[xxxii]At the time of writing Myanmar had confirmed a total of five COVID-19 cases.[xxxiii]
On January 30, 2020, the Philippine Department of Health reported the first case of COVID-19 in the country ofa 38-year-old female Chinese national.[xxxiv]On February 2, the government announced a travel ban on all individuals traveling from mainland China and its special administrative regions, including Hong Kong and Macau. Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific Airlines announced on February 3, that they had cancelled all flights to mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau along with mandatory home quarantine for 14 days for all its national and permanent residents.[xxxv]On March 7, the first local transmission of COVID-19 was confirmed.[xxxvi]Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared a public health emergency on March 8, after the Department of Health [DOH] raised its coronavirus [COVID-19] alert system to code red sub-level 1 [second highest level].[xxxvii]On March 12, he announced the suspension of all travel by land, sea, and air, to and from Metro Manila over concerns from the COVID-19 outbreak. The restrictions came into effect on March 15, and would remain until at least April 14. Additionally, all public gatherings have been banned and the suspension of classes have been extended until April 12.[xxxviii]The Department of Health on March 28, reported 272 new cases of coronavirus disease, the biggest increase in one day since the outbreak began, raising the country total to 1,075.[xxxix]
On January 3, the Singapore Health Ministry implemented temperature screenings at Changi International Airport (SIN) for travellers arriving from Wuhan.[xl]Singapore confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on January 23, 2020, according to the Ministry of Health the patient was a 66-year -old man from Wuhan.[xli]On February 4, the Ministry of Health announced six new cases of COVID-19, out of which four of the individuals infected had not travelled to Wuhan, marking the country's first cases of human-to-human transmission.[xlii]The first cases of human-to-human transmission resulted in the Singaporean government issuing a Code Orange [the second-highest level] on February 7.[xliii] With 121 cases the Ministry of Health announced more entry restrictions for travellers from an additional 12 countries on March 15 in addition to mainland China, Iran, Italy, France, Germany, South Korea, and Spain. This included all individuals entering Singapore whohadtravelled to the ASEAN countries, Japan, Switzerland, and the UK.[xliv]Singapore’s government announced on March 22, that all short-term visitors wouldbe denied entry to the country. Further, the Ministry of Manpower announced that only work pass holders, and their dependents, who provide essential services, such as healthcare and transport, would be allowed to enter the country while all Singapore citizens, permanent residents, and long-term pass holders returning to the country will be issued a 14-day Stay at Home Notice.[xlv]
The first case of COVID-19 outside China was reported in Thailand on January 13, 2020, it was an imported case according to the Ministry of Public Health [MOPH].Even before the reporting of its first case, Thailand’s Department of Disease Control from January 3, 2020, implemented its surveillance protocol by fever screening of travellers from all direct flights from Wuhan, China. On 23 January 2020, the travel alert for the coronavirus outbreak was raised to Level 3 with the MOPH recommending that travellers avoid all non-essential travel to the outbreak areas.[xlvi] The number of COVID-19 cases remained manageable, recording a total of 42 cases at the end of February with the first death being reported on March 1.[xlvii]On March 5, Thailand announced new quarantine measures for travellers arriving from South Korea, mainland China, Macao, Hong Kong, Italy, and Iran.[xlviii]On March 11, the Thai government announced that it will be suspending visas on arrival for nationals of 19 countries, including India.[xlix]With 827 confirmed COVID-19 cases as on March 24, 2020, Prime Minister Chan-o-cha on March 24, announced that an emergency decree will be implemented beginning March 26.This would provide extra authority to declare further restrictive measures to contain the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Prior to this, Thailand had closed all border crossings with Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Malaysia, with exemptions laid out exclusively for trucks carrying goods.[l] After the imposition of a state of emergency with the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases reaching 1100 on March 27, the Thai government announced further restrictions that included the closure of facilities in Bangkok including libraries, museums, playgrounds, sporting grounds, meeting halls, childcare centres, beauty clinics, and other businesses until April 30.[li]Phuket went into lockdown on March 30 and according to its Governor PakkapongTaweepat the order wouldlast for at least one month.[lii]
On January 23, Vietnam's health ministry confirmed the country's first two cases of a COVID-19.[liii]The Vietnamese government announced on January 29, that it would suspend its issuance of tourist visas to Chinese citizens, as well Chinese citizens who are permanent residents of Hong Kong and Macau.[liv] With 15 cases of COVID-19 in which ten of the cases being reported in the northern province of Vinh Phuc the government on February 11, suspended festivals and sporting events throughout the country as a precaution.[lv]Further, on February 13, officials announced that the city of Son Loi [Vinh Phuc province] was placed under quarantine for 20 days, which had the highest number of cases in Vietnam.[lvi] With more than 60 cases being reported on March 17, Vietnamese authorities announced that the country would suspend the issuance of visas to all foreigners thatwould remain in place for 15-30 days.[lvii] The suspension was also extended on March 22, to all foreigners who were previously granted travel visas. On March 27, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc introduced additional domestic restrictions effective from March 27 toApril 15. All cultural, sports, and entertainment activities havebeen prohibited, andreligious activities of over 20 people havebeen temporarily suspended. Most businesses havealso halted services, except for those selling essential goods and services. Authorities announced that domestic flights will be significantly reduced over the coming days.[lviii] At the time of writing on March 30, with close to 200 cases Vietnam's Prime Minister has asked major cities to prepare for possible lockdowns to stop the spread of the coronavirus.[lix]
ASEAN’s Response: Limiting the Meltdown in Southeast Asia
SoutheastAsia continues tobe confronted withemerging diseaseswhich have had a significant impact on its public health and social and economic development. One of ASEAN’s top priority has been protecting the region from acute public health threats.The ASEAN Community is comprised of three pillars; namely the ASEAN Political-Security Community [APSC], ASEAN Economic Community [AEC], and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community [ASCC]. The ASEAN Health cooperation established in 1980 is under the ASCC and is composed of two main governing bodies- the ASEAN Health Ministers Meeting [AHMM] and the Senior Officials’ Meeting on Health Development [SOMHD].[lx]The severe acute respiratory syndrome [SARS] epidemic in 2003 highlighted the significance of further strengthening regional health cooperation amongst the Southeast Asian countries through direct bilateral collaboration and under the aegis of ASEAN. ASEAN leaders have identified healthcare as a priority sector for region-wide cooperation and integration.Cambodia is the current Chair of the ASEAN Health Ministers’ and ASEAN Senior Officials for Health Development and would be heading the ASEAN led mechanism to address the crisis.ASEAN is also looking to build strong partnership with the ASEAN Plus Three Health Ministers Meeting [APTHMM] that include the ASEAN states and China, Japan, and South Korea.[lxi]
On January 30, 2020, ASEAN’s SOMHD discussed with counterparts from China, Japan, and South Korea to launch regional preparedness and response action to mitigate, if not eliminate, the threats of the COVID-19 and to protect the 649 million people in the ASEAN region.[lxii]Collectively responding to communicable and emerging health threats is part of the ASEAN Post-2015 Health Development Agenda, which was reaffirmed by all the members in the Joint Statement of the 8th APTHMM in August 30, 2019 in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The members have affirmed their commitment to “continue efforts in the implementation of the International Health Regulation (IHR) and Asia Pacific Strategy for Emerging Diseases to enhance capacities to prevent, detect and respond to public health threats”. Leveraging on the IHR and other existing health mechanisms, the ASEAN Health Sector along with their counterparts from China, Japan and Korea, have continued their commitment to share timely information and technical exchanges, and updates on COVID-19 developments. Partnering with these three countries part of the APTHMM would be critical in ensuring cooperation in regional preparedness, response strategies, and counter measures.The ASEAN Emergency Operations Centre [EOC] Network for public health emergencies is one of the mechanisms utilised by the ASEAN Plus Three Health Cooperation in addressing COVID-19.[lxiii]The spread of the pandemic COVID-19 in the ASEAN states in the last few weeks have called for stronger collective action. At the video conference held amongst the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting for Health Development (SOMHD), there were commitments from all the members to scaled-up and intensified national prevention, preparedness, detection and response measures. The senior health officials also stressed the importance of international cooperation in tackling transboundary issues in COVID-19 threat. They further expressed willingness to engage with other Dialogue and Development Partners to exchange information and experiences, technical guidelines, including sharing critical resources for containment and/or mitigation.[lxiv]
As soon as the first report of the outbreak was reported from China in late December 2019, ASEAN began to charter out a collective response with the individual countries beginning to place new norms. At the start of the coronavirus,the spread seemed manageable with ASEAN countries not reporting major outbreaks. All ASEAN states began to put in place screening, contact tracing, quarantine protocols for suspected cases and imposing visa restrictions and halting flights from China.[lxv] However, despite the first case of the COVID-19 outside of China being reported in Thailand in early January 2020, and given that the region remains highly vulnerable, stringent measures were not implemented. The ASEAN states did not implement strict travel restrictions early on and allowed for the continuation of large religious gatherings, sport events, and were also slow in imposing lockdowns at the time when the spread of the virus was manageable. After being termed as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation in March 2020 and a shift in the trajectory from a slow and manageable rise towards a spikein the number of cases, Southeast Asia is now being confronted with a major challenge. While measures taken by some of the ASEAN states are remarkable, the actual impact of the outbreak is yet to be seen since majority of countriescontinue to struggle with an underdeveloped healthcare system. Therefore, the need is for a collective action since the aftermath of the ongoing pandemic would have economic, political, geopolitical and not forgetting the larger human impact across the region.
*Dr. Temjenmeren Ao, Research Fellow, Indian Council of World Affairs.
Disclaimer: The views expressed are that of the Researcher and not of the Council.
[i]Jamal Hashim, VirasakdiChongsuvivatwong, Kia Hong Phua, Nicola Pocock, Yap Mui Teng, Rethy K. Chhem, SiswantoAgusWilopo, and Alan Lopez, April 5, 2012, https://unu.edu/publications/articles/health-and-healthcare-systems-in-southeast-asia.html, accessed on March 25, 2020.
[iii]“Brunei: Government to deny entry to travellers from Hubei province due to 2019-nCov February 5”, Grada World, February 5, 2020, https://www.garda.com/crisis24/news-alerts/311406/brunei-government-to-deny-entry-to-travelers-from-hubei-province-due-to-2019-ncov-february-5, accessed on March 27, 2020.
[iv]“Brunei: Government extends entry restrictions to travelers from Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces February 11 /update 1”, Grada World, February 13, 2020, https://www.garda.com/crisis24/news-alerts/313791/brunei-government-extends-entry-restrictions-to-travelers-from-zhejiang-and-jiangsu-provinces-february-11-update-1, accessed on March 27, 2020.
[v]“Brunei: Royal Brunei Airlines suspends flights to and from mainland China effective February 15/update 2”, Grada World, February 17, 2020, https://www.garda.com/crisis24/news-alerts/314531/brunei-royal-brunei-airlines-suspends-flights-to-and-from-mainland-china-effective-february-15-update-2, accessed on March 27, 2020
[vi]“Brunei: Government prohibits exit from country due to coronavirus March 16/update 5”, Grada World, March 16, 2020, https://www.garda.com/crisis24/news-alerts/323056/brunei-government-prohibits-exit-from-country-due-to-coronavirus-march-16-update-5, accessed on March 27, 2020.
[vii]“Brunei: Government bas entry of foreign national March 23/update 6”, Grada World, March 25, 2020, https://www.garda.com/crisis24/news-alerts/326361/brunei-government-bars-entry-of-foreign-nationals-march-23-update-6, accessed on March 27, 2020.
[viii]“Update: 114 New Cases as of 26 March 2020”, Ministry of Health, Brunei Darussalam, March 26, 2020,http://www.moh.gov.bn/Lists/Latest%20news/NewDispForm.aspx?ID=388, accessed on March 27, 2020.
[ix]“Cambodia COVID-19 Case Update- 25/03/20- 96 cases”, Khmer Times, March 26, 2020, https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50705719/cambodia-covid-19-case-update-25/03/20-96-cases/, accessed on March 27, 2020.
[x]“Cambodia among 40 using HKU quick COVID-19 testing technology”, Khmer Times, March 13, 2020, https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50701257/cambodia-among-40-using-hku-quick-covid-19-testing-technology/, accessed on March 27, 2020.
[xi]“The Coronavirus in Asia and ASEAN- Live Updates by Country”, ASEAN Briefing, March 27, 2020, https://www.aseanbriefing.com/news/coronavirus-asia-asean-live-updates-by-country/, accessed on march 27, 2020.
[xii]“Indonesia: Country to temporarily halt flights to and from China February 5 amid coronavirus outbreak”, Grada World, February 2, 2020, https://www.garda.com/crisis24/news-alerts/310666/indonesia-country-to-temporarily-halt-flights-to-and-from-china-february-5-amid-coronavirus-outbreak, accessed on March 28, 2020.
[xiii]“Indonesia confirms first coronavirus cases”, The Economic Times, March 2, 2020, https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/world-news/indonesia-confirms-first-coronavirus-cases/articleshow/74436395.cms?from=mdr, accessed on March 28, 2020.
[xiv]“Indonesia announces first cases of COVID-19”, Benar News, March 2, 2020, https://www.benarnews.org/english/news/indonesian/indonesia-coronavirus-03022020143758.html, accessed on March 28, 2020.
[xv]“Indonesia confirms first possible COVID-19 community transmission as cases rise to 27”, The Jakarta Post, March 10, 2020, https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/03/10/indonesia-confirms-first-possible-covid-19-community-transmission-as-cases-rise-to-27.html, accessed on March 28, 2020.
[xvi]“Indonesia: Visa-free and visa-on-arrival arrangements suspended due to COVID-19 March 19/update”, Garda World, March 19, 2020, https://www.garda.com/crisis24/news-alerts/324456/indonesia-visa-free-and-visa-on-arrival-arrangements-suspended-due-to-covid-19-march-19-update-5, accessed on March 28, 2020.
[xvii]“Indonesia: Governor declares state of emergency in Jakarta due to COVID-19 March 20/update”, Garda World, March 20, 2020, https://www.garda.com/crisis24/news-alerts/325061/indonesia-governor-declares-state-of-emergency-in-jakarta-due-to-covid-19-march-20-update-6, accessed on March 28, 2020.
[xviii]“Indonesia to issue lockdown regulation as COVID-19 continue to soar”, The Jakarta Post, March 27, 2020, https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/03/27/indonesia-to-issue-lockdown-regulation-as-covid-19-cases-continue-to-soar.html?src=mostviewed&pg=/, accessed on March 28, 2020.
[xix]“Indonesia poised for lockdown of 30 m people”, The Straits Times, March 30, 2020, https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/indonesia-poised-for-lockdown-of-30m-people, accessed on March 30, 2020.
[xx]Nathan Thompson, “Claims of a Coronavirus-Free Laos are probably fiction”, Foreign Policy, March 20. 2020, https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/03/20/laos-coronavirus-free-claims-probably-fiction/, accessed on March 28, 2020.
[xxi]“Stimulus package adopted to minimize virus economic impact”, Vientiane Times, March 23, 2020, http://www.vientianetimes.org.la/freeContent/FreeConten_Stimulus_58.php, accessed on March 28, 2020.
[xxii]“The UN supports Lao PDR as the Government confirms two COVID-19 cases in the country”, United Nations, March 24, 2020, http://www.la.one.un.org/570-the-un-supports-lao-pdr-as-the-government-confirms-two-covid-19-cases-in-the-country, accessed on March 28, 2020.
[xxiii]“Laos detects third Covid-19 case”, The Star, March 25, 2020, https://www.thestar.com.my/news/regional/2020/03/25/laos-detects-third-covid-19-case, accessed on March 28, 2020.
[xxiv]“Malaysia: Government temporarily suspends all immigration services for Chinese nationals January 27/update 1”, Grada World, January 28, 2020, https://www.garda.com/crisis24/news-alerts/309011/malaysia-government-temporarily-suspends-all-immigration-services-for-chinese-nationals-january-27-update-1, accessed on March 29, 2020.
[xxv]“First Malaysian case of COVID-19 recovers”, Xinhua, February 17, 2020, http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/asiapacific/2020-02/17/c_138792776.htm, accessed on March 29, 2020.
[xxvi]“Malaysia: New travel restrictions introduced February 6/update 2”, Grada World, February 7, 2020, https://www.garda.com/crisis24/news-alerts/312061/malaysia-new-travel-restrictions-introduced-february-6-update-2 , accessed on march 29, 2020.
[xxvii]“Malaysia: Government closes borders to all foreigners over COVID-19 concerns March 18/update 5”, Grada World, March 16, 2020, https://www.garda.com/crisis24/news-alerts/323221/malaysia-government-closes-borders-to-all-foreigners-over-covid-19-concerns-march-18-update-5 , accessed on March 29, 2020.
[xxviii]“Coronavirus: Malaysia’s movement restrictions extended to April 14”, The Straits Times, March 25, 2020,https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/coronavirus-malaysias-movement-curbs-extended-to-april-14, accessed on March 29, 2020.
[xxix]“Myanmar temporarily stops issuing visa on arrival to tourists from China”, Eleven Myanmar, February 2, 2020, https://elevenmyanmar.com/news/myanmar-temporarily-stops-issuing-visa-on-arrival-to-tourists-from-china, accessed on March 29, 2020.
[xxx]“Myanmar: Authorities confirm first two cases of COVID-19 on March 23/update 1”, Grada World, March 24, 2020, https://www.garda.com/crisis24/news-alerts/325871/myanmar-authorities-confirm-first-two-cases-of-covid-19-on-march-23-update-1, accessed on March 29, 2020.
[xxxi]“Myanmar: Authorities confirm first two cases of COVID-19 on March 23/update 1”, Grada World, March 24, 2020, https://www.garda.com/crisis24/news-alerts/325871/myanmar-authorities-confirm-first-two-cases-of-covid-19-on-march-23-update-1, accessed on March 29, 2020.
[xxxii]“Myanmar: Government implements quarantine measures for all incoming traveler March 25/update 2”, Grada World, March 25, 2020, https://www.garda.com/crisis24/news-alerts/326391/myanmar-government-implements-quarantine-measures-for-all-incoming-travelers-march-25-update-2, accessed on March 29, 2020.
[xxxiii]“The Coronavirus in Asia and ASEAN- Live Updates by Country”, ASEAN Briefing, March 27, 2020, https://www.aseanbriefing.com/news/coronavirus-asia-asean-live-updates-by-country/, accessed on March 29, 2020.
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