Saudi Arabia concludes participation in UK defense show    First in Europe: Italy to require all employees to have Covid health pass    Saudi Airlines showcases its aircraft to celebrate National Day    Al-Badi to participate in Endurance World Championship in Italy    UAE makes paradigm shifts in equal pay for both sexes    SFDA seizes more than 52,000 perfume manufacturing materials    Africa faces 470 million COVID-19 vaccine shortfall this year    Venezuela's justice system aiding repression: Human rights probe    King, Crown Prince congratulate Chile president on Independence Day    Construction of the world's largest LEGO brick build of a F1 car begins    Global agreements to enhance auditing profession in Saudi Arabia    Women owning the peace    Crown Prince receives phone call from Spain's PM    Coalition forces intercepts, destroys 4 Houthi armed drones, 1 ballistic missile targeting Jazan    GAMI and its partners meet with international investors in London    Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale will open to public in Riyadh's JAX district from Dec. 11    New study finds specific white blood cell can help treat cancer    Al-Hilal moves into the quarterfinals of AFC Championships 2021    Event Economy: Formula 1 race!    Britain savors a new sporting star in tennis champion Raducanu    Bollywood actor Sidharth Shukla dies at 40    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Directs KSrelief to Urgently Provide Malaysia with Medical, Preventive Equipment and Supplies to Address COVID-19 Pandemic    Weather Forecast for Sunday    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Congratulates President of Maldives on Independence Day    RSNF Commander Patronizes Ceremonial Launching of His Majesty's Ship "Jazan"    OIC Condemns Houthi Attempts to Target Civilians in Saudi Arabia    Philippines evacuates thousands as monsoon rains flood cities, provinces    Heavy rain in India triggers floods, landslides; at least 125 dead    U.S. Records 64,321 New Infections of Coronavirus    Without Fans, Tokyo Olympics Kicked Off    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers at Arafat Holy Site    Dr. Mohammed Sulaiman Al-Jasser, Saudi Arabia's Pick to Chair IsDB Group for the next five years, unanimously approved by BoG Committee of Procedures    Saudi Press: Fitch affirms Saudi Credit Rating at "A" with a revised outlook to stable from negative    Handled Cargo at Saudi Ports Increases during June 2021    SDAIA, DARP & STC Launch Pilgrim's Smart Bracelet (NUSK)    Tabuk sculptor spends 8 years in carving entire Holy Qur'an on 30 marble slabs    2 Goals by Diaz Gives Colombia 3rd Place at Copa America    Yusuf Khan is dead, long live Dilip Kumar    Legendary actor Dilip Kumar, 98, passes away, and with him an era    Saudi Cinema Night at Arab World Institute in Paris Kicks Off    KSU Leads Joint International Scientific Project for Early Detection of Breast Cancer    Saudi Arabia to Participate in Cannes Film Festival 2021    Arab Cup U-17 Championship Draw Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Palestine, Kuwait, in the 1st Group    AWI Hosts Saudi Cinema Nights in Paris    Brazil Beats Chile at Copa America Despite 2nd-Half Red Card    Council of Senior Scholars: Muslim Brothers' Group Don't Represent Method of Islam, rather only Follows its Partisan Objectives, Violating our Graceful Religion    Eid Al-Adha Prayer Performed at the Grand Holy Mosque    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers in Arafat Holy Site    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.



In Asia, a COVID-19 resurgence leads to new restrictions
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 19 - 05 - 2021

Taxi drivers are starved for customers, weddings are suddenly canceled, schools are closed, and restaurant service is restricted across much of Asia as the coronavirus makes a resurgence in countries where it had seemed to be well under control.
Sparsely populated Mongolia has seen its death toll soar from 15 to 233, while Taiwan, considered a major success in battling the virus, has recorded more than 1,000 cases since last week and placed over 600,000 people in two-week medical isolation.
Hong Kong and Singapore have postponed a quarantine-free travel bubble for a second time after an outbreak in Singapore of uncertain origin. China, which has all but stamped out local infections, has seen new cases apparently linked to contact with people arriving from abroad.
The resurgence hasn't come close to the carnage wrought in India and parts of Europe, but it is a keen reminder that the virus remains resilient, despite strict mask mandates, case tracing, mass testing and wider deployment of the newest weapon against it — vaccinations.
That's setting back efforts to get social and economic life back to normal, particularly in schools and sectors like the hospitality industry that are built on public contact.
In Taiwan, the surge is being driven by the more easily transmissible variant first identified in Britain, according to Chen Chien-jen, an epidemiologist and the island's former vice president, who led the highly praised pandemic response last year.
Complicating matters are some senior citizens who frequent slightly racy "tea salons" in Taipei's Wanhua neighborhood. They accounted for about 375 of the new cases as of Tuesday, Chen said. The teashops are known for providing adult entertainment with singing and dancing.
"These seniors, when they go to these places, want to keep it veiled," Chen said. "When we are conducting the investigation, they may not be honest."
In Wanhua, normally a bustling area with food stalls, shops and entertainment venues, the Huaxi night market and historic Longshan Buddhist temple are closed.
Kao Yu-chieh, who runs a breakfast shop in the area, said business is down at least 50% since last week.
Cab driver Wang Hsian Jhong said he hasn't had a customer in three days. "Everyone is affected. This is a Taiwan-wide problem. We have to get through it," he said, puffing on a cigarette on a street in Wanhua.
Schools, gyms and pools are closed in Taipei, and gatherings of more than five people indoors and more than 10 people outdoors are banned. The island shut all schools starting Wednesday.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has sought to reassure a public that is reverting to panic-buying and shunning public places. "We will continue to strengthen our medical capacity," Tsai said, adding that vaccines are arriving from abroad.
Malaysia & Singapore
Malaysia unexpectedly imposed a one-month lockdown through June 7, spooked by a sharp rise in cases, more-infectious variants and weak public compliance with health measures.
It was the second nationwide lockdown in just over a year and came after the country's cases shot up fourfold since January to more than 474,00. Interstate travel and social activities are banned, schools are shut, and restaurants can provide only takeout service.
The government has warned that hospitals have almost maxed out their capacity to take new coronavirus cases.
Singapore has imposed stringent social distancing measures until June 13, restricting public gatherings to two people and banning dine-in service at restaurants.
That came after the number of coronavirus infections of untraceable origin rose to 42 in the past week, from seven the week before. Singapore had previously been held up as a role model after keeping the virus at bay for months.
Schools moved online after students in several institutions tested positive. Wedding receptions are no longer allowed, and funerals are capped at 20 people.
For wedding planner Michelle Lau, at least seven clients either canceled or postponed weddings meant to take place over the next month. Other couples have opted for a simple ceremony without a reception, she said.
Janey Chang, who runs two Latin dance studios in Singapore, says that the tougher restrictions have drastically reduced class size.
"We are taking on fewer students, but the costs such as rent remain the same," Chang said. "Whether we can continue to operate is highly dependent on the number of coronavirus cases."
China & Hong Kong
Hong Kong has responded to fresh outbreaks by increasing the quarantine requirement from 14 to 21 days for unvaccinated travelers arriving from "high-risk" countries, including Singapore, Malaysia and Japan, and, farther afield, Argentina, Italy, the Netherlands and Kenya.
China has set up checkpoints at tollbooths, airports and railway stations in Liaoning province, where four additional cases were reported Tuesday. Travelers must have proof of a recent negative virus test, and mass testing was ordered in part of Yingkou, a port city with shipping connections to more than 40 countries.
Thailand
Thailand reported 35 deaths, the highest since the outbreak started, on Tuesday. That brought its number of fatalities to 649, of which 555 have been reported in the latest wave. About three-quarters of Thailand's 116,000 cases have been recorded since the beginning of April.
Thailand had about 7,100 cases, including 63 deaths, in all of last year, in what was regarded as a success story.
The resurgence has posed difficult choices for governments, particularly in poorer nations where lockdown restrictions can increase financial suffering for those already living on the edge of starvation.
The Philippines
In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte has eased a lockdown in the bustling capital and adjacent provinces to fight economic recession and hunger but has still barred public gatherings this month, when many Roman Catholic festivals are held.
COVID-19 infections started to spike in March to some of the worst levels in Asia, surging beyond 10,000 a day and prompting Duterte to impose the lockdown in and around Manila in April. The Philippines has reported more than 1.1 million infections with over 18,800 deaths, though the surge has begun to ease.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the partial resumption of economic activities, increased noncompliance with restrictions and inadequate tracing of people exposed to the virus combined to spark the steep rise in infections.
Experts said the delivery of vaccines, however delayed and small in amount, also fostered false confidence the pandemic might be ending. — Euronews


Clic here to read the story from its source.