Throughout Southeast Asia, from Jakarta to Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh City, authorities are racing to secure desperately needed coronavirus vaccines as hospitals overflow, new infections surge and daily death tolls reach new heights. The challenge for developing countries such as Indonesia , Thailand and Vietnam has been compounded as global vaccine production struggles to meet demand and wealthy nations hoard the lion’s share of shots. The crisis has drawn attention to a contentious remedy employed during previous infectious disease outbreaks. Fractional dosing involves administering smaller amounts of vaccines to stretch dwindling supplies. Advocates say the approach, which divides experts, warrants serious consideration as a way to rapidly expand inoculation and save lives as the coronavirus tears through unvaccinated populations. In an article published in Nature Medicine earlier this month, researchers at the University of Hong Kong and University of Chicago said reduced doses ... » Learn More about Covid-19 vaccines: Is fractional dosing a solution for supply-short Southeast Asia?
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PHNOM PENH, July 18 (Phnom Penh Post/ANN): Banteay Meanchey provincial governor Oum Reatrey has instructed authorities to increase their efforts in preventing illegal border crossings and collecting samples of migrant workers who return from Thailand, in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19. Reatrey gave the instructions as he went to inspect three border checkpoints – Boeung Trakuon, Thma Puok and Malai – in Malai district and the O’Beichoan checkpoint in O’Chrov district on July 15. He ordered the provincial joint force including police, military officers and health workers to strictly enforce preventive measures by checking on returning migrants, drivers who transport goods across the border and deploying working groups to detect the coronavirus via Covid-19 antigen rapid tests. The death toll from Covid-19 in Cambodia has surged to 1,106 after 30 new fatalities were reported on Sunday, the Ministry of Health (MoH) said in a statement. The Southeast Asian nation also ... » Learn More about Cambodia’s Banteay Meanchey tightens border crossings, Covid-19 testing among migrants
Still reeling from the devastation that COVID-19 wreaked in India, the world's eyes are now on Indonesia, as the archipelago emerged as the new coronavirus epicenter in Asia in July 2021. The country averaged 43,790 new daily COVID-19 cases in the past week, while more than 79,000 have died due to the disease. There are 5,000 to 8,000 Filipinos in Indonesia, according to the Philippine embassy's estimate. Rappler checked in with a community leader, two families, and a teacher whose whole family was back home. Their response to worries of their countrymen at home? “We’re okay. We’re taking care of each other.” Not without fears and anxieties, the Filipino community banded together in this time of crisis to keep each other supported and healthy. They found strength in communication with their loved ones far away, and their faith in God. The community and the embassy have helped at least 19 Filipinos in Indonesia who contracted the virus. Numbers ... » Learn More about Through virus surge and separation, Filipinos in Indonesia closer than ever
SINGAPORE: The nine months of a pregnancy are often a period of great joy, anticipation and a fair share of trepidation. On top of all the worries and anxieties about becoming new parents, welcoming another life into the family, we also worry about the health of the mother and foetus. The pandemic has only heightened these worries, especially given that pregnant women are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 than non-pregnant women, and COVID-19 has been associated with an increased risk of pre-term birth, according to the World Health Organization. Getting vaccinated, therefore, is a priority for many. But while vaccination remains the best defence against COVID-19, the immediate benefit of vaccination depends on the local COVID-19 situation. READ: Commentary: Concerns over long-term side effects could hold back Singapore’s COVID-19 vaccination programme In regions experiencing high rates of infection, vaccination may seem a favourable choice as your risk of contracting ... » Learn More about Commentary: Without a vaccine, how can pregnant mothers protect themselves against COVID-19?
TOKYO - Governors of three prefectures near Olympics host Tokyo are likely to ask the government to declare states of emergency for their regions, media said on Wednesday (July 28), after Covid-19 infections spiked to a record high in the Japanese capital. Tokyo recorded 2,848 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, the highest since the pandemic began, and media reported authorities had asked hospitals to prepare more beds for patients amid a surge driven by the Delta variant. The sharp increase may dampen enthusiasm for the Summer Games despite a rush of medals for Japanese athletes as many worry the influx of athletes and officials could add to the surge. Tokyo Olympics organisers on Wednesday reported 16 new Games-related Covid-19 cases, for a total of 169 since July 1. Olympic athletes, staff and media must follow strict rules to prevent the virus's spread, including frequent testing. The Tokyo surge may spell trouble for Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, whose ... » Learn More about Prefectures near Olympic host Tokyo to seek Covid-19 emergency steps after cases surge
ISTANBUL: Turkey's new coronavirus cases jumped to 22,291 on Wednesday (Jul 28), the highest since early May, according to health ministry data that also showed the daily death toll reached a six-week high of 76 people. Daily infections last peaked at 63,000 in April. They were brought down by a stringent lockdown that ended in mid-May, falling as low as 4,418 on Jul 4 before surging again. The latest increase follows last week's Eid al Adha holiday when many Turks flocked to crowded beach resorts. But rates appear highest in eastern regions where vaccinations are lower than the national average. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said 87 per cent of current cases were among people who were not fully vaccinated. The rate rose to 95 per cent for hospitalisations, Koca said in a televised statement, appealing to people to get their vaccinations. He said currently there was no need to reimpose restrictions to combat the spread of the virus but did not rule out doing so in the ... » Learn More about Turkey’s daily COVID-19 cases surge above 20,000
PETALING JAYA: The manufacturing sector in the Klang Valley has been urged to participate in the Operation Surge Capacity as part of the the government’s National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP) to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, says Datuk Lim Ban Hong. The Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister said the government will continue to ensure a stable supply of vaccines and to accelerate the NIP in order to achieve the target herd immunity in Malaysia. "Vaccinations in the Klang Valley must be accelerated with Operation Surge Capacity to strengthen and achieve herd immunity. "Only after the immunisation coverage rate is expanded and has reached a certain percentage, will the pandemic situation in the Klang Valley ease and lead to an improvement in the country’s situation," he said after a site visit to the Public-Private Partnership Covid-19 Industry Immunisation Programme (Pikas) vaccination centre (PPV) at Wisma Huazong in Serdang on Friday (July 30). ... » Learn More about Miti: Manufacturing sector in Klang Valley urged to join Operation Surge Capacity
Japan said on Friday it will expand states of emergency to three prefectures near Olympic host Tokyo and the western prefecture of Osaka, as COVID-19 cases spike in the capital and around the country, overshadowing the Summer Games. Tokyo, already under its fourth state of emergency since the pandemic began, announced 3,300 new daily cases, after a record 3,865 on Thursday. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told a news conference the virus is spreading at an unprecedented speed largely because of Delta variant, adding he is worried the country's hospital beds could become stretched. "With a heavy heart, I want to ask everyone: until we see the impact of more vaccinations, I want you all to stay vigilant and implement infection prevention measures to the full," he said, calling on people to watch the Olympics on TV at home. Already, 64% of Tokyo's hospital beds available for serious COVID-19 cases are filled as of mid-week. The new emergency measures will be in effect ... » Learn More about Japan expands state of emergency as COVID-19 surge shadows Olympics
After weeks of tracking Delta COVID-19 cases, the Philippines confirmed local transmission of the super contagious variant in the country on Thursday, July 22, prompting local governments to impose a fresh round of marginally stricter restrictions and brace for a possible surge in cases. The Philippines’ neighbors in Southeast Asia have shown the potential devastation Delta can bring to communities and health systems, especially as large portions of the population remain unvaccinated. The Philippines has not reached that point yet, but experts stressed now is the time to act. A better strategy to manage a surge is to ensure health facilities are always prepared, regardless of whatever community quarantine level is implemented. “ Hindi po ‘yung mag-e-escalate po tayo at saka pa lang naghahabol. Dapat parating ready (We can’t wait for numbers to escalate and then only catch up. We need to be always ready),” said Dr. Anna Ong-Lim, a pediatric infectious disease ... » Learn More about Delta COVID-19 cases in PH: What we know and what we don’t
YANGON (Reuters): Myanmar's main prison vaccinated more than 600 inmates against Covid-19 on the first day of a drive to inoculate inmates, state media reported on Thursday (July 29), as military authorities struggle to control a wave of infections across the country. Infections have surged since June, with 4,980 cases and 365 deaths reported on Wednesday, according to health ministry data cited in media. Medics and funeral services put the toll much higher. With the death toll rising, military authorities, facing widespread opposition since a February coup, plan to build 10 new crematoriums in Yangon, which will be able to cremate more than 3,000 bodies per day, state media reported this week. Inmates in Yangon's Insein jail staged a protest last week over what activists said was a major Covid-19 outbreak in the colonial-era facility, where many pro-democracy protesters are being held. Citing prison officials, the Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper, said 610 inmates were ... » Learn More about Myanmar jail vaccinates hundreds amid surge in Covid-19 cases