Nations across South-East Asia choose to reopen slowly amid the COVID-19 outbreak. As South-East Asian countries struggle with the worst outbreak, they realise they can not afford the economy’s crippling restrictions.
On August 29, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in his speech that it is not possible to reduce COVID-19 cases to zero even if the country locks down for a long time. He said that the country will reopen “cautiously and progressively”. With very low vaccination rates in Southeast Asia, it leaves the countries vulnerable to the Delta variant. The factory’s shutdown has ripped across the world to create supply chain hiccups as big companies say the situation is “out of control”. In many countries, the death rate has surpassed the global average that has pushed them to the bottom spot of Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience Ranking.
The surge in cases worries the officials regarding the shutdown. 2021 growth forecast of Malaysia cuts in half to 3%-4% after daily cases hit records. Thailand is aiming to rebound on a critical tourism revival that is vanishing swiftly.
Indonesian ministers are planning to cement rules like a year-long mask mandate rather than implementing on-and-off mobility curbs. Various other measures are being followed to open up the Southeast Asian nations.