Southeast Asia Covid-19 Tracker
Brunei has successfully contained the spread of Covid-19 and has begun opening travel corridors with other countries in Southeast Asia. Schools and places of worship have been open since July, while businesses and restaurants have reopened gradually. Brunei’s success can be attributed to its quick and drastic restrictions on travel, extensive testing, and strict quarantine rules. The small country may also have benefitted from only sharing borders with Malaysia, which until recently, contained the virus reasonably well. Brunei began its vaccination program in April, later than most countries, but appears to be on track to vaccinate 70 percent of its population by the end of 2021.
- All outbound travelers will be required to take the Covid-19 vaccine starting August 1.
- Brunei will begin the second phase of its national vaccine campaign on June 21 with a focus on vaccinating teachers, childcare workers, and adults suffering from or at a high risk for chronic diseases.
- The minister of health announced on May 4 that Brunei will receive enough vaccines to cover 70 percent of its population by the end of the year. Brunei will receive 200,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine, 300,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and over 100,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
- Brunei on May 6 began an “opt-in program” for the AstraZeneca vaccine, making it available for all adults under 60.
- On May 14, Royal Brunei Airlines began trialing the International Air Transport Association’s Travel Pass app. Passengers can use the app to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination and other health requirements.
- Brunei on May 18 extended a travel suspension on all flights from India until June 13, while adding Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Bangladesh to its list of travel-restricted countries.
- Brunei on May 19 halted its reciprocal green lane arrangement with Singapore after a spike in Covid-19 cases prompted the latter to tighten social distancing measures.
- On May 22, the minister of health announced that Brunei is on track to vaccinate 70 percent of the population by the end of 2021.
- Brunei on April 3 began its vaccination program for Covid-19, with Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah receiving the first dose. Brunei has approved the Sinopharm, Pfizer, and AstraZeneca vaccines for initial use.
- The Prime Minister's Office on April 6 announced that the suspension of cross-border activities between Brunei and Malaysia will be extended to April 22.
- The Ministry of Health on April 6 temporarily paused use of the AstraZeneca vaccine as a precaution and will study the vaccine’s effects on blood clotting.
- On April 20, Brunei announced that it would resume usage of the AstraZeneca vaccine, mostly for adults over the age of 60.
- Brunei on April 24 began inoculating senior citizens with the AstraZeneca vaccine.
- Brunei on April 27 suspended travel to and from India through May 27.
- Brunei on March 5 announced that the Covid-19 vaccine would be free for all residents regardless of citizenship status.
- Brunei on March 8 entered the fifth phase of its Covid-19 de-escalation plan. The new phase permits gatherings of up to 1,000 people, lifts the ban on organized sports, allows cinemas to return to full capacity, and allows schools to resume co-curricular activities.
- The government on March 12 updated its vaccination strategy, announcing Brunei will use vaccine candidates AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, Sinopharm, and Johnson & Johnson.
- On February 1, Brunei issued Covid-19 guidelines for Lunar New Year celebrations. Citizens may only celebrate with family members in private events at which hand sanitizer must be present and temperature checks conducted.
- Brunei has extended the temporary suspension on entry of foreign nationals from Malaysia via land and sea checkpoints until February 10.
- Brunei on February 10 announced that the Chinese government had donated an undisclosed number of doses of the Sinopharm vaccine. The Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine has yet to receive emergency use authorization in Brunei.
- The Minister of Health on January 7 announced plans to vaccinate a total of 70 percent of Brunei’s population.
- Travelers from Malaysia were banned from entering Brunei via land and sea checkpoints for two weeks starting January 13.
- On January 26, Brunei extended until February 10 a temporary ban on foreign nationals entering the country from Malaysia by land and sea.
- On January 30, the Ministry of Health announced that it will vaccinate 20 percent of its population with the AstraZeneca vaccine, through a combination of orders directly from AstraZeneca and COVAX.
- Brunei’s government announced on December 2 that the country’s annual December Festival will go ahead this year but will be scaled down to accommodate social distancing measures.
- On December 9, Malaysia’s Sabah state announced plans to reopen its border with Brunei.
- On December 15, the Sabah government announced that Sabahans in Brunei could return to Sabah if they receive a Covid-19 rapid test or screening beforehand, instead of needing to quarantine.
- On December 24, the Brunei government announced the formation of a technical committee to create and implement a Covid-19 vaccine dissemination strategy.
- The Monetary Authority of Brunei and the Bank Association of Brunei announced the extension of a waiver for online bank transfer fees and charges until March 31, 2021 because of the ongoing economic burden caused by Covid-19.
- On October 3, Brunei began charging land border travelers for entry and exit into the country.
- The government reminded the public on October 20 to adhere to health guidelines to curb the spread of Covid-19 when attending mosques and religious halls during Maulidur Rasul, celebrating the birth of the prophet Muhammad, on October 29.
- Brunei and Singapore established a “green lane” on September 1 for essential business and official travel between the two countries.
- Brunei on September 4 announced that foreigners would be allowed to enter the country for essential travel from September 15. It also reduced the isolation period for travelers from low-risk countries.
- Brunei announced it was increasing the limit for social and public gatherings from 200 to 350 people beginning September 7.
- Brunei resumed direct flights with Hangzhou, China, on August 4, its first direct flights with the Chinese mainland after the Covid-19 pandemic cut air connection between the two countries.
- As of August 17, the government is allowing mass gatherings of up to 200 people. Restrictions on public facilities, mosques, and schools have also been eased.
- In-person classes for secondary students resumed on July 4.
- Phase 3 of the governemnt’s reopening plan started on July 6 with the reopening of additional public spaces. Public gatherings remain restricted to 50 people.In-person classes for secondary students resumed on July 4.
- Brunei began allowing gatherings of up to 100 people on July 27. Mosques and restaurants can now operate at full capacity.
- Schools partially reopened on June 2, and childcare and special needs centers resumed operations on June 8.
- Phase 2 of the Covid-19 deescalation plan commenced on June 15. Many public spaces and businesss reopened, and restaurants were allowed to operate at 60 percent capacity.
- On May 14, Brunei launched a new contact-tracing app, BruHealth. Businesses and members of the public are required to download the app in an effort to track potential virus carriers. Roughly 88 percent of the country’s population had registered with the app as of June 29.
- Phase 1 of the government’s plan to ease Covid-19 measures started in certain areas on May 16, beginning with social distancing and the reopening of businesses like sports facilities and markets.
- Brunei on April 30 issued iMSafe tracking bracelets to all Covid-19 patients under home quarantine and those already recovered.
- On March 16, citizens, foreign residents, and green card holders in the country were barred from leaving without permission from the Prime Minister’s Office
- Brunei banned all foreign visitors on March 24.
- On April 1, the Ministry of Finance and Economy announced additional steps to aid small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and individuals affected by the pandemic, amounting to about $1.7 million in the form of deferment of principal or loan repayment and exemptions from fees and charges.
- On April 13, Brunei announced a special $400 monthly allowance for health care workers, including doctors, nurses, volunteers, hospital cleaners, and security guards.
- On March 19, the Brunei Darussalam Monetary Authority announced measures to alleviate the financial burden on sectors hit hard by the pandemic, including a six-month deferment of principal repayments of financing and loans for tourism, hospitality, food, air transport, and medical supplies industries.
- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) projected Brunei’s GDP to grow 2.5 percent in 2021, down from an earlier projection of 3 percent growth.
- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its April 2021 World Economic Outlook report measured Brunei’s 2020 GDP growth at 1.2 percent and projected the economy to grow by 1.6 percent in 2021.
- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) projects 2020 GDP growth to be 1.4 percent but predicts that the economy will rebound in 2021 with 3 percent growth.
- Brunei’s economy grew 2.8 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, according to data released by the Centre for Strategic and Policy Studies (CSPS) in October.
- The Monetary Authority of Brunei Darussalam reports that Brunei’s domestic economy grew by 2.6 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2020.
- The CSPS report also indicated that the unemployment rate declined to 7.9 percent in September, after peaking at a record high of 14.7 percent in April.
Cambodia has reported few cases and zero deaths despite weak health infrastructure and an initially slow response. Cambodia’s location may have played a role in its success, as the country is surrounded by Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand, all of which controlled the virus relatively well for most of 2020. In the latter half of the year, the government proceeded with plans to reopen the economy, having already reopened places of worship, schools, and many businesses and resumed some flights. However, after an outbreak of imported cases in late November and the country’s first case of community spread in December, Cambodia reimposed some travel and gathering restrictions. Imported cases rose slightly in January as migrant workers returned from Thailand due to an outbreak there, which the Cambodian government quickly tackled. However, a new wave of community transmissions struck in late February and has yet to be fully contained. Lockdowns in April precipitated a food crisis as residents of Phnom Penh were barred from leaving their residences and markets were shut down. Prime Minister Hun Sen has recently turned his attention to securing sufficient vaccine doses and has promised that they will be free to the public.
Public Health Response
- Kampot Provincial Administration on June 2 imposed a curfew and alcohol ban until June 9.
- Phnom Penh on June 2 requested all businesses provide information on employees who take sick leave in order to more effectively trace individuals infected with Covid-19.
- The Ministry of Health announced on June 4 the implementation of a project to improve medical infrastructure and medical waste management to curb the spread of Covid-19.
- On June 8, Cambodia received 500,000 Covid-19 vaccines from China for distribution in Phnom Penh and other high-risk provinces.
- On June 14, the Phnom Penh Municipal Authority allowed all state markets to reopen.
- The Khmer Times reported on June 16 that the government is prioritizing vaccination of prison inmates.
- Cambodia’s army on May 1 mobilized to vaccinate nearly half a million people in the parts of Phnom Penh that were worst hit by the recent Covid-19 outbreak.
- The government on May 6 lifted lockdowns in Phnom Penh and Takhmao city along with restrictions on inter-provincial travel, despite a continuing record surge in cases nationwide.
- The Phnom Penh Capital Administration on May 6 announced that all markets in the city, including irregular markets, will remain closed until May 14.
- Cambodia on May 7 announced it will spend $20.6 million on its nine-month vaccination program from April to December 2021.
- The Siem Reap Provincial Administration on May 8 extended its curfew to May 21.
- The Phnom Penh Capital Administration on May 9 suspended the sale of all alcohol in the city until May 22.
- Health Minister Mam Bun Heng on May 9 ordered all public hospitals to test patients for Covid-19 before admitting them.
- Cambodia on May 11 received 500,000 doses of Sinovac purchased from China. That same day, officials from the Ministry of Health announced that Cambodia had ordered an additional 5 million doses of Sinovac.
- Phnom Penh on May 13 extended its capital-wide curfew until May 19.
- Kandal Province and Siem Reap Province on May 13 extended their bans on the sale of alcohol until May 20 and May 26, respectively. The next day, Preah Sihanouk Province extended its alcohol ban until May 27.
- The Phnom Penh City Hall on May 15 extended the closure of markets an additional seven days to May 21.
- Cambodia on May 16 received 500,000 doses of its order of Sinovac. This is the fourth batch of the Chinese-made vaccine to arrive in Cambodia thus far.
- Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities on May 18 evacuated more than 100 prisoners to Kampot Provincial Prison due to an outbreak of Covid-19 among inmates.
- Phnom Penh extended its capital-wide curfew on May 21 for the seventh consecutive week despite earlier plans to open large markets on May 24.
- On May 21, the Ministry of Health’s Vaccination Committee chair Or Vandine announced that the government plans to vaccinate the eligible population of all 14 districts in Phnom Penh by June 2021.
- China supplied a fifth batch of 1 million Sinovac vaccines on May 23 for distribution in Phnom Penh and other priority areas in Cambodia.
- The Ministry of Health on May 24 requested a donation of 4 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the United States.
- The Ministry of Labor on May 24 announced that workers are allowed one day of paid leave for employes to receive their second vaccine shot.
- The National Bank of Cambodia on May 24 urged customers to use the e-wallet and phone application Bakong for financial transactions to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
- Siem Reap on May 26 extended its ban on alcohol until June 9. Preah Sihanouk on May 27 extended its ban on alcohol to June 10. The following day, Kandal extended its alcohol ban until June 2.
- Phnom Penh on May 27 designated two villages in Pur Senchey and Russei Keo districts as “orange zones.” Residents in the two zones will be restricted from leaving their homes except for essential work and to purchase necessities.
- Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 29 called for a halt in vaccinating specific economic sector areas in provinces in favor of instead inoculating senior citizens and those within stipulated age groups.
- Authorities in Phnom Penh imposed a curfew from April 1 to 14, restricting non-essential travel within the city as it continues to record new Covid-19 cases.
- The Ministry of Health on April 2 issued public guidelines for the upcoming Khmer New Year, which runs from April 14 to 16, ordering authorities to enforce social distancing and sanitation measures and restrict non-essential travel and gatherings.
- Kampong Chhnang provincial governor Chhour Chandoeun issued a new Covid-19 guideline on April 5, saying that anyone who enters the province will be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine and get tested for Covid-19.
- Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered health officials on April 6 to prepare to treat coronavirus patients at home, as the country’s biggest Covid-19 outbreak so far tests the capacity of its hospitals and fragile healthcare system.
- Cambodia’s Apsara Authority on April 7 closed the Angkor temple complex to visitors for two weeks to help curb the country’s Covid-19 outbreak.
- Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 10 ordered Justice Minister Koeut Rith to prosecute quarantine violators.
- Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 11 issued a sub-decree requiring all government officials and armed forces to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
- Phnom Penh on April 12 banned indoor dining and alcohol sales until April 24. The ban on alcohol sales was later extended to May 8.
- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on April 14 announced that staff of foreign NGOs are eligible to be vaccinated.
- Svay Rieng on April 14 announced that violators of Covid-19 measures could be fined up to $250.
- Cambodia on April 14 placed Phnom Penh and Takhmao city under “red zone” lockdown until April 28.
- Svay Rieng province on April 14 imposed mandatory mask-wearing and social distancing requirements.
- Cambodia on April 17 received 500,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine as part of the second phase of its order from the Chinese manufacturer.
- Phnom Penh on April 18 suspended its Covid-19 vaccination campaign for three days due to the inability of medical personnel to get to work.
- Cambodia on April 19 extended its travel ban and the closure of resorts until April 28.
- Phnom Penh governor Khoung Sreng on April 19 ordered district authorities to issue “shopping” cards to families that would allow one member per household to purchase food and other necessities during the lockdown.
- Cambodia on April 20 launched its campaign to deliver second doses of vaccines.
- The Ministry of Health on April 25 announced that private hospitals can apply to accept Covid-19 patients.
- The government on April 25 lifted the inter-provincial travel ban and reopened tourist attractions across the country.
- The Ministry of Health on April 27 announced Indian nationals would be barred from entering Cambodia until further notice due to the outbreak in India.
- The first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine arrived in Phnom Penh on March 2.
- The Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration on March 2 announced that it would use 29 hotels, apartments, casinos, and shopping malls as quarantine centers.
- On March 4, Prime Minister Hun Sen placed travel restrictions on Preah Sihanouk province to contain the spread of a coronavirus cluster detected on February 20. Residents have been barred from leaving the province.
- The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports on March 4 announced that it would continue its shutdown of schools in Phnom Penh, Kandal province, and Sihanoukville and Stung Hav district in Preah Sihanouk province until a community outbreak detected on February 20 is under control.
- On March 4, Prime Minister Hun Sen was inoculated with a Covid-19 vaccine from the COVAX initiative.
- On March 5, the Cambodian parliament passed a strict Covid-19 prevention bill that would punish coronavirus rule-breakers with up to 20 years in jail.
- Cambodia on March 5 announced plans to purchase the U.S.-made Johnson & Johnson and Novavax vaccines.
- The Ministry of Health on March 5 announced that it would prioritize vaccination for airport personnel. The government also announced it would make vaccines available for members of the diplomatic corps, UN agencies, international financial institutions, and international nongovernmental organizations.
- Prime Minister Hun Sen on March 9 called for the immediate suspension of gatherings nationwide, and called on ministries and state institutions to suspend on-site work for one week.
- The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports on March 10 expanded its ban on sports to six provinces and the cities of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.
- Authorities, beginning March 15, will fine individuals breaking mask-wearing and social distancing rules up to $250. Businesses breaching health measures could face fines up to $2,500.
- Prime Minister Hun Sen on March 16 asked provincial and capital governors to temporarily ban gatherings, especially weddings.
- The government on March 21 gave employers and workers the option of postponing leave for the Khmer New Year to lessen holiday travel.
- The Ministry of Health on March 22 mandated mask wearing and social distancing in Phnom Penh, Preah Sihanouk, Kandal, Prey Veng, and Siem Reap.
- Phnom Penh on March 23 allowed 132 shuttered venues to reopen as case numbers from a February 20 community transmission event decreased.
- The Ministry of Health on March 23 began vaccinating staff members of foreign embassies and consulates and representatives of international organizations. It also began its 15-day campaign to vaccinate 50,000 older adults with the AstraZeneca vaccine.
- The Ministry of Labor on March 26 extended the validity of work permits for foreigners working in Cambodia until the end of May due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Cambodia on March 26 received 1.5 million vaccine doses purchased from Sinovac, which it planned to begin distributing a week later. Health officials announced plans to purchase an additional 4 million doses of the Chinese-made vaccine.
- The Ministry of Tourism on March 26 issued eight regulations targeting tourism-related businesses aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19 during the upcoming Khmer New Year holiday.
- Cambodia will experience vaccine delivery delays from the COVAX Facility in March and April following India’s announcement of a temporary hold on exports of vaccines produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII), a major production hub for AstraZeneca vaccines. Cambodia was among 64 developing countries scheduled to receive vaccines from SII as part of the COVAX vaccine-sharing scheme. India imposed the restriction to prioritize domestic demand as the country battles a new wave of community transmission.
- Prime Minister Hun Sen on March 31 issued a decree imposing curfews in areas at high risk of Covid-19 transmission.
- The government began vaccinations on March 31 using the recently acquired Sinovac vaccine.
- Cambodia on March 31 expanded vaccination priority groups to include legislative staffers, garment workers, and public utility employees.
- Cambodia on March 31 received 700,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccines from China, 300,000 of which are reserved for the armed forces
- Hun Sen on February 1 said Cambodia plans to secure enough doses to vaccinate 10 million citizens, about 60 percent of the population.
- The World Health Organization on February 3 forecast that Cambodia will receive nearly 1.3 million doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine through the COVAX initiative in the first half of 2021.
- Cambodia’s Health Ministry on February 4 granted authorization for the emergency use of China’s Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine.
- Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 4 ordered Cambodian authorities to strengthen Covid-19 prevention measures along the country’s border with Vietnam.
- The Indian Embassy in Phnom Penh on February 6 announced that India would donate 100,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines to Cambodia.
- Cambodia on February 10 launched its Covid-19 vaccination drive, with Hun Sen’s sons among the first to receive the shot.
- Minister of Defense Tea Banh on February 10 announced that all military officers and soldiers in the country would be eligible to receive a Covid vaccine.
- Cambodia on February 12 approved for emergency use the Sinovac and AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines.
- Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 17 approved $375,000 in additional funds for quarantine centers in four provinces bordering Thailand to assist in managing an influx of returning migrant workers.
- Cambodia’s Ministry of Health on February 18 began training healthcare workers from across the country on vaccination procedures as part of a planned vaccine rollout to at-risk frontline workers, especially in border areas.
- The Ministry of Health on February 21 released a QR code-based contact tracing system called “Stop Covid,” which has seen rapid adoption by the public.
- Cambodia on February 23 shut down all schools, museums, cinemas, and theaters in Phnom Penh and Kandal province for two weeks as the country faces its largest wave of infections to date. Sihanoukville province followed soon after, shutting down all schools for two weeks.
- The government announced on February 24 that foreigners who do not comply with quarantine measures will face legal action and deportation. This comes after a major transmission event linked to foreign tourists.
- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation announced on February 24 that all foreign nationals residing and working in Cambodia can receive the Covid-19 vaccine at no charge when it becomes available.
- Authorities in Sihanoukville on February 24 placed four hotels under lockdown measures. Schools in Sihanoukville and Stung Hav district were closed that same day.
- The government on February 25 suspended all sports activities and closed all sports clubs in Phnom Penh, Kandam, and Preah Sihanouk provinces
- On January 4, schools and museums reopened.
- Cambodia and Vietnam tightened their border on January 4 and began requiring individuals crossing the border to quarantine for 14 days.
- The Health Ministry on January 19 announced that China is slated to deliver 300,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine to Cambodia in early February.
- Prime Minister Hun Sen on December 1 announced the distribution of 2 million face masks to the poor in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap province.
- Cambodia on December 2 announced it was conducting mass contact tracing related to a community transmission case detected on November 28.
- Cambodia’s Tourism Ministry on December 3 banned gatherings of more than 20 people at resorts.
- The Ministry of Health on December 5 announced that it will begin disclosing the identities of those testing positive for Covid-19 to aid in contact tracing.
- On December 7, Prime Minister Hun Sen said local authorities will close down any businesses found to have flouted the Ministry of Health’s guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19. He also called on all people to wear masks, use hand sanitizer, and maintain social distancing.
- Prime Minister Hun Sen on December 7 instructed the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Economy to prepare a budget to buy Covid-19 vaccines to be administered to up to 10 million Cambodians free of charge.
- Prime Minister Hun Sen said on December 15 that Cambodia will acquire 1 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine from the United Nations-backed COVAX Facility.
- On December 15, Prime Minister Hun Sen asked the Ministry of Education to cancel grade 12 exams, previously intended to be administered in January, because of the impact Covid-19 has had on school attendance.
- On December 15, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that Cambodia will begin building a warehouse to store Covid-19 vaccines.
- Prime Minister Hun Sen said on December 15 that Cambodia will bar its citizens from undergoing trials for any coronavirus vaccine produced by foreign companies and countries.
- On December 20, Cambodia tightened its border with Thailand
- On December 21, Labor Minister Ith Samheng announced that all recruitment agencies must suspend sending migrant workers to Thailand until further notice due to Thailand’s recent Covid-19 outbreak
- Cambodia on November 2 reopened schools nationwide with limits on class size and operating hours.
- On November 9, the Health Ministry closed karaoke parlors, beer gardens, museums, cinemas, and other entertainment venues.
- The Education Ministry re-closed schools for two weeks starting on November 10 in Phnom Penh and Kandal.
- On November 11, the Interior Ministry banned all state-organized events in Phnom Penh and Kandal for two weeks.
- The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports on November 29 directed all public schools to close. Private schools were ordered to temporarily shut down for two weeks.
- Prime Minister Hun Sen on November 30 issued an order prohibiting gatherings of more than 20 people in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap province until December 15.
- Health Minister Mam Bun Heng on November 30 announced that passengers arriving in the country would no longer be permitted to self-quarantine at home and would be required to conduct their quarantine at designated government centers.
- The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts on November 30 closed all cinemas, museums, and theaters for a period of two weeks.
- The Cambodian Ministry of Education on October 12 announced that public universities will be able to reopen so long as they follow the Standard Opening Procedures outlined by the government.
- The Ministry of Health on September 1 announced plans to build four quarantine facilities, which will be used as isolation centers for Cambodians returning from overseas.
- On September 1, the Cambodian government approved construction of a medical mask and glove factory to encourage the garment sector to produce face masks, medical equipment, and protective clothing for domestic consumption and export.
- Flights resumed between Cambodia and Beijing on September 3. Some airlines resumed flights between Phnom Penh and Singapore, Fuzhou, and Kunming a day later.
- On September 8, Cambodia lifted its ban on gatherings at mosques.
- Cambodia reopened mosques and churches on September 12.
- Angkor Air resumed regular flights starting on September 15.
- Flights between Vietnam and Cambodia are expected to resume the week of September 21.
- Minister of Education Hang Chuon Naron confirmed on September 22 that the ministry is ready to ask Prime Minister Hun Sen to begin the third and final phase of school reopenings.
- The Ministry of Education on August 4 released a set of standard operating procedures in advance of the first phase of school reopenings.
- Cambodia on August 5 announced that incoming foreign diplomats and NGO officials would be tested for Covid-19 upon arrival and would need to possess a health certificate from their host country certifying their Covid-19-free status within 72 hours of their departure.
- Cambodia on August 6 allowed cinemas and art facilities to reopen following their closure in March.
- The Ministry of Education on August 10 announced that high school exit exams will take place in December and that schools for Grade 12 students will reopen in September.
- The government on August 12 temporarily suspended all flights from the Philippines following a series of imported cases.
- Cambodia on August 14 announced that it was cancelling its three-day Water Festival scheduled for late October to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
- Prime Minister Hun Sen on August 15 announced that Cambodia was establishing Covid-19 test laboratories in Sihanoukville, Siem Reap, and Battambang.
- Cambodia and Japan on August 22 announced they would ease travel restrictions between the two countries as early as September.
- The Ministry of Education on August 26 announced that kindergartens and primary schools could reopen in September.
- All persons entering the country are being placed under quarantine for 14 days.
- Cambodia’s Ministry of Health on July 25 announced that it was banning all incoming flights from Indonesia and Malaysia effective August 1 after a spike in imported cases.
- The government lifted cross-border travel restrictions with Vietnam on June 22.
- Since June 11, visitors have been required to pay a $3,000 deposit to cover any coronavirus-related services and must have $50,000 in travel insurance. The deposits are returned only if all passengers on an inbound flight test negative for the virus.
- On May 20, Hun Sen lifted the ban on arrivals from Iran, Italy, Germany, Spain, France, and the United States until further notice.
- On April 10, the Cambodian National Assembly passed a law granting Prime Minister Hun Sen greater powers to combat the Covid-19 pandemic by monitoring communications and social media and restricting the distribution of information.
- Between January and late April, the government arrested at least 30 people on charges of spreading “fake news” related to the outbreak. Twelve of them were linked to the dissolved Cambodian National Rescue Party. This raised concerns about human rights violations and the martial power granted to Hun Sen without oversight.
- Cambodia on March 16 announced nationwide school closures.
- Borders with neighboring countries were closed off in late March, after Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam suspended cross-border activities with Cambodia.
- Cambodia on May 12 announced it will subsidize food, clean water, and electricity for low-income families living in red zones in Phnom Penh, Takhmao city, and Sihanoukville.
- Cambodia’s Labor Ministry on May 12 announced that it will issue payments to over 5,000 laid-off workers in the garment and tourism industries.
- Cambodia on May 13 announced it spent has over $300 million to support low-income households during the course of the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Cambodia on May 13 announced that it would begin a cash assistance program for marginalized and adversely affected groups in areas impacted by lockdowns.
- Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 10 asked banks and financial institutions to provide more support to customers who have Covid-19.
- The Ministry of Economy and Finance on April 20 announced it would provide cash and in-kind aid to families affected by the Covid-19 community outbreak that began on February 20.
- Cambodia on March 25 extended tax holidays for airlines and other tourism-related businesses from April to June 2021.
- Cambodia’s Ministry of Economy and Finance on March 29 announced the launch of a $200 million Business Recovery Guarantee Scheme by the Credit Guarantee Corporation of Cambodia aimed at supporting economic recovery during the pandemic.
- On December 15, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that the fourth round of the Cash Transfer Programme for Poor and Vulnerable Households during Covid-19 will take place from January to March 2021.
- As of December 24, the “Cash Transfer Programme for Poor and Vulnerable Households during Covid-19” had distributed $175 million in cash support to around 700,000 households across Cambodia since June.
- Prime Minister Hun Sen on November 30 announced that the government disbursed $290,000 to support families placed under Cambodia’s newly-instated 14-day quarantine.
- Cambodia on October 26 announced it had allocated $31 million in Covid-19 assistance for the third round of its IDPoor system, aimed at benefitting nearly 700,000 families through December.
- Cambodia on August 3 announced that it was extending out-of-work allowances for workers in the garment, footwear, and hospitality industries until October.
- Cambodia’s National Committee for Counter Trafficking on August 12 launched a $1 million initiative to support migrant workers who were forced to return to the country due to Covid-19 border closures
- The Cambodian government on July 8 allocated $1.2 billion for Covid-19 recovery, with $564 million earmarked for health and social assistance and $600 million for economic support through lending to SMEs. Some $100 million has been set aside for job training for suspended workers.
- As of July 21, the fund to support low-income families during Covid-19 through the IDPoor system has grown to $28 million.
- Cambodia on July 31 extended its tax holiday for locally registered airlines and tourism-related businesses through September.
- As of July 31, the government had approved $22 million in loans under its SME Co-Financing Scheme
- As of June 3, the government had designated $350 million in aid for vulnerable groups and modest wage subsidies.
- The government launched a cash relief program on June 24 for 600,000 families especially vulnerable to the pandemic.
- As of March 30, the Cambodian government was expected to approve around $70 million in additional resources for the health sector.
- On March 9, Hun Sen announced the government had allocated between $800 million and $2 billion to address the economic impacts of Covid-19. Only “legally registered and formally verified” SMEs would receive benefits. This excluded the 95 percent of Cambodian SMEs that are informal businesses.
- The IMF in its April 2021 World Economic Outlook report measured Cambodia’s 2020 GDP growth at -3.5 percent and projected the economy to rebound by 4.2 percent in 2021.
- The National Bank of Cambodia on December 31 forecasted that the country’s economic growth will return to 4 percent in 2021 if Covid-19 vaccines can be successfully deployed.
- The ADB projects 2020 GDP to contract by 4 percent but predicts that the economy will rebound in 2021 with 5.9 percent growth. The ADB projects inflation to average 2.1 percent in 2020 and 1.8 percent in 2021.
- The World Bank on September 28 projected that Cambodia’s GDP will contract by 2 percent in 2020 and grow by 4.3 percent in 2021.
- A consortium of garment and footwear associations on July 1 announced that 400 factories have suspended operations due to the Covid-19 pandemic, leaving approximately 150,000 workers unemployed in Cambodia’s largest export sector.
- According to the State of Small Businesses survey conducted by Facebook, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the World Bank, 39 percent of Cambodian SMEs have furloughed workers.
- Moody’s maintained Cambodia’s credit rating at B2 in May, with a stable economic outlook.
- The Tourism Ministry reported during the second week of September that Cambodia had lost about $5 billion in tourism revenue due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
- In September, a study conducted by the Future Forum and Angkor Research and Consulting revealed that the overall salaries of Cambodians had decreased 30 percent from January to April 2020.
Indonesia has spent most of the pandemic with the most coronavirus cases in Southeast Asia. While the Indonesian central government has continued to ease gathering and travel restrictions despite rapidly increasing case numbers and deaths, local leaders have begun to reimpose lockdowns, most notably in Jakarta. The country seems to be giving up on flattening the curve in favor of reopening the economy. But official government and international sources have confirmed that the economy is continuing to contract. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo recently announced that all Covid-19 vaccines will be free for Indonesians and has been proactive in securing doses. However, storage and distribution will be difficult as Indonesia faces serious challenges with bureaucracy, corruption, refrigeration, infrastructure, and geography, all of which have already contributed to a slow rollout. Indonesia is bucking the global trend of providing vaccines to senior citizens first, and instead opting to prioritize the younger, working-age population. After becoming the first country outside of China to approve the Sinovac vaccine for use, Indonesia began its vaccination program in mid-January.
Public Health Response
- From June 1 to June 14, all provinces in Indonesia will implement Micro Community Activity Restrictions (dubbed “micro PPKM”), which include guidance on travel, work from home policies, online teaching, the restaurant industry, and gatherings.
- Indonesia on June 3 barred citizens from participating in the hajj pilgrimage for a second year in a row due to concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic.
- In a June 5 meeting with Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi announced that Beijing plans to jointly produce Covid-19 vaccines with Jakarta and encourage more Chinese vaccine trials to be carried out in Indonesia.
- Indonesia on June 9 expanded vaccine eligibility to anyone over 18 years old.
- Indonesia on June 11 received 1 million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine.
- Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto on June 14 announced the extension of Indonesia’s “micro PPKM” restrictions until June 28.
- Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas on June 16 banned religious activities in Covid-19 “red zones.”
- Jakarta on May 2 set a target to begin the second phase of school reopening trials in June after an initial three-week trial in April was deemed successful. President Joko Widodo announced a goal to get all teachers vaccinated before schools reopen in July.
- Yogyakarta on May 4 closed tourist destinations in regions classified as Covid-19 red and orange zones through the Eid al-Fitr holidays.
- On May 5, Jakarta began administering the AstraZeneca vaccine to the general public.
- On May 16, Indonesia suspended distribution of a batch of 450,000 AstraZeneca vaccines following the death of a man in Jakarta who had received the shot. The batch was declared safe to use on May 27.
- Indonesia imposed a ban on domestic travel from May 6 to 17 ahead of the Eid-al-Fitr holidays. Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said on May 17 that the government is preparing for a spike in Covid-19 cases after the holidays and has taken appropriate measures to ensure there are enough ICU beds and health workers.
- Jakarta’s Transjakarta and MRT Jakarta transit systems on May 17 returned to their pre-Eid-al-Fitr operating hours.
- On May 18, Indonesia kicked off the Gotong Royong mutual cooperation private vaccination scheme using the Sinopharm vaccine at 19 private manufacturing companies in West Java.
- Indonesia’s Health Ministry on May 20 announced that it would kick off the third stage of its vaccination campaign in June. This third stage will target vulnerable populations, including individuals with disabilities.
- Bandung on May 23 closed six tourist destinations until June 1.
- Jakarta police on May 24 extended Eid-related roadblocks until May 31.
- State-owned pharmaceutical company Bio Farma on May 25 announced that the Novavax vaccine’s arrival in Indonesia will be delayed from July until August or September due to the ongoing Covid-19 surge in India.
- Jakarta on April 6 extended the “micro PPKM” restrictions.
- Jakarta on April 7 started a trial period of in-person learning across 85 primary, junior high, and high schools.
- Indonesia’s health minister said on April 8 that 100 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine face arrival delays largely due to India’s export restrictions. The Indonesian government is looking to ask China and the United States for additional vaccines.
- Indonesia on April 8 announced a ban on domestic sea, air, land, and rail travel from May 6 to May 17 during Eid al-Fitr celebrations.
- The Jakarta Provincial Government has asked each mosque and place of worship to set up an internal Covid-19 task force to oversee the implementation of health protocols during Ramadan, which will run from April 12 to May 12.
- On April 13, a senior Indonesian tourism official announced that the government of Riau Islands province has proposed a safe travel corridor with Singapore starting either May 1 or June 1.
- Indonesia on April 16 announced that it aims to reopen the islands of Bali, Bintan, and Batam to foreign tourists by the end of July.
- Indonesia on April 18 recived 6 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine
- Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture Muhadjir Effendy on April 20 announced that the government would allow local tourism sites to remain open during the Eid al-Fitr holidays.
- The Jakarta government on April 20 extended its “micro PPKM” lockdown measures until May 3.
- Indonesia on April 23 stopped issuing visas for foreigners who have been in India in the past 14 days.
- Indonesia on April 26 received its second shipment of 3.8 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine via COVAX, bringing the country’s total supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine to 4.9 million doses.
- Indonesia's drug regulator on April 30 approved the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine, which will be used in a private vaccination plan that allows companies to buy government-procured vaccines.
- On March 8, Indonesia received 1.1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine through the COVAX initiative. Indonesia will receive approximately 11.7 million doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine through COVAX, which will come in batches through May.
- Indonesia on March 15 announced that it will delay the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine pending a review by the WHO into concerns about blood clots.
- State-owned pharmaceutical company Bio Farma announced on March 15 that it expects to receive 15 million Sinopharm vaccine doses and 5.2 million Moderna doses starting in the second quarter of the year for the country’s private vaccination scheme.
- Indonesia’s March 19 announced it would extend until April 5 its narrowly-focused restrictions on public activities, “micro PPKM,” in 15 provinces.
- Indonesia’s Food and Drug Monitoring Agency on March 19 authorized the emergency use of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
- On March 20, Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno said preparations can begin for a “safe travel corridor” between Singapore and the resort areas of Batam Nongsa and Bintan Lagoi, with a proposed start date of April 21.
- On March 22, Indonesia began inoculating citizens in Bali and East Java with the AstraZeneca vaccine. The Indonesian Ulema Council, the country’s most influential Islamic organization, had previously declared the vaccine haram but temporarily permissible due to urgent circumstances. AstraZeneca on March 28 refuted the claim, asserting that its Covid-19 vaccine contains no pork-derived ingredients.
- Kalbe Farma, Indonesia’s largest pharmaceutical company, on March 25 announced the launch of InnoLAMP, a saliva-based Covid-19 test kit.
- Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said on March 26 that young people could receive a vaccine ahead of schedule if they bring two senior citizens to get vaccinated along with them.
- For the second year in a row, Indonesia on March 26 banned an annual exodus that sees millions travel across the country to mark the end of Ramadan.
- Health Minister Budi said on March 28 that the government would need to ration vaccines after India announced a temporary hold on exports of vaccines produced by SII, a major production hub for AstraZeneca vaccines. The 10 million doses Indonesia was scheduled to receive in March and April through the COVAX vaccine-sharing scheme via SII will now be delayed.
- AstraZeneca on March 28 refuted the Indonesia Ulema Council’s claim that its vaccine violates Islamic law, asserting that its Covid-19 vaccine contains no pork-derived ingredients.
- The Indonesian government announced on March 30 that it will allow the use of the Indonesian-produced, artificial intelligence-powered GeNose Covid-19 test for foreign visitors to the island of Bali. This will replace the previous requirement for a negative PCR test or rapid antigen test obtained within two days of arrival. Visitors will need to obtain a negative result before they can continue their journey in the country.
- The Indonesian government on March 30 announced it is aiming for schools to partially reopen by the time the new academic year commences in July.
- The ADB on March 31 approved a $450 million loan to Indonesia to help the country's state firm Bio Farma procure and distribute at least 65 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines as part of ADB’s Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility (APVAX) program.
- Indonesia on February 6 approved Sinovac Biotech’s Covid-19 vaccine for use by the elderly.
- Indonesia started vaccinating elderly medical workers against the coronavirus on February 8.
- Indonesia on February 8 extended the closure of its borders to foreigners until February 22.
- Indonesia on February 15 announced that those who reject vaccination may be subject to fines or administrative sanctions in the form of delays or termination of social aid and access to public services.
- As of February 17, nearly 4,000 Indonesian firms, many of them textile companies, have signed up to take part in a proposed scheme that would allow the private sector to purchase Covid-19 vaccines procured by the government and inoculate their staff.
- Indonesia began its second phase of Covid-19 vaccinations on February 17, targeting workers in close contact with the public and people aged 60 and above.
- Indonesia started Covid-19 vaccinations for teachers and education sector workers on February 24.
- On February 25, Bio Farma, a state-owned pharmaceutical company, procured at least 2 million doses of China’s Sinopharm vaccine for use in a private vaccination scheme aimed at getting employees back to work. So far, over 6,600 private Indonesian companies have signed up.
- Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing giant Grab on February 28 began a drive-through vaccination service for drivers in Bali in collaboration with the government. The service is set to expand across Indonesia in the coming months.
- Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi announced that Indonesia would close its borders to all incoming travelers for the first two weeks of 2021.
- Nationwide distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Chinese firm Sinovac Biotech started on January 3. Indonesian state vaccine producer Bio Farma received 1.2 million doses of Sinovac’s vaccine on Dec 6 and another 1.8 million doses on Dec 31.
- Travelers arriving from England and Scotland will be required to show negative coronavirus tests, officials said on January 8.
- The Indoneisan Ulema Council on January 8 declared the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine halal.
- Indonesia's food and drugs agency on January 11 approved the Covid-19 vaccine developed by China's Sinovac Biotech for emergency use. Indonesia is the first country outside of China to greenlight the Sinovac vaccine.
- On January 11, the Jakarta administration placed new limits on operating hours for public transportation and businesses across the capital.
- On January 13, President Jokowi received the first dose of the Sinovac vaccine, beginning Indonesia’s coronavirus vaccination drive.
- On January 21, President Jokowi extended restrictions on public activities in areas of Java and Bali until February 8.
- Indonesia on January 21 extended entry restrictions for incoming travelers until February 8.
- The Health Ministry on January 31 announced that Indonesia will receive up to 23.1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine through the COVAX alliance. About 35 percent of those doses are expected to arrive in the first quarter of 2021 and the rest in the second quarter.
- On February 2, the country received raw ingredients to produce 11 million doses of Sinovac’s vaccine. Indonesia has now received 3 million ready-to-use doses of Sinovac and ingredients to produce 26 million more
- Indonesia on December 2 announced it would cut short its year-end holidays to curb Covid-19 transmission.
- Jakarta on December 7 extended its “transitional” phase of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) until December 21.
- On December 7, Indonesia submitted a vaccine request form to the COVAX Facility vaccine allocation plan led by the WHO.
- Indonesia held regional elections held on December 9, during which regional election officials received Covid-19 rapid tests. Local poll administrators were sent to hospitals and isolation facilities to collect ballots from individuals infected with the virus.
- On December 14, the governor of West Java announced that the province will ban New Year’s Eve celebrations in public spaces.
- Indonesia announced on December 15 that it would vaccinate its young working-age population against the coronavirus before the elderly
- President Jokowi on December 16 announced that all Covid-19 vaccines will be free for Indonesians.
- On December 21, Jakarta extended the transitional period of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) until January 3.
- The government on December 22 restricted civil servants from traveling out of town and taking leave as part of its efforts to avoid a Covid-19 case surge following the Christmas and New Year celebrations.
- Central Java on December 24 closed 84 tourist sites in the province until early January.
- Indonesia on December 24 banned travelers from the United Kingdom and tightened the rules for those arriving from Europe and Australia to try to limit the spread of a new coronavirus variant.
- The Health Ministry on December 24 approved a locally made Covid-19 detector called GeNose. Officials claim the device can detect a Covid-19 infection within minutes of administering the test.
- In anticipation of a rising coronavirus case tally, the Jakarta Health Agency announced plans on December 26 to add more Covid-19 referral hospitals in the capital city.
- Newly appointed health minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said on December 29 that the government is finalizing deals with U.S. vaccine producer Pfizer and United Kingdom-based AstraZeneca to secure enough stockpile for its 2021 vaccination drive
- Jakarta announced on November 13 that it has sought emergency authorization to start a mass vaccination campaign by the end of 2020.
- Minister of Health Terawan Agus Putranto on November 17 announced that Indonesia had made a down payment of approximately $36 million for Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccine.
- On November 18, the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Center of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences released Si-Monic, an individual monitoring system for Covid-19 patients, those with suspected cases, and their close contacts.
- Gadjah Mada University and the Research and Technology Ministry on November 26 announced they would distribute 11,000 locally developed rapid test kits for free across the country.
- The Indonesian military on November 27 confirmed the cancellation of a “212 Reunion Rally” hosted by the Islamic Defenders Front, which was set to take place on December 2.
- Jakarta on October 2 announced it would impose controlled isolation for asymptomatic Covid-19 patients.
- Minister of Law and Human Rights Yasonna Laoly announced on October 2 that Indonesia was preparing an electronic visa system and special counters at airports in Jakarta and ferry terminals in Batam to facilitate a proposed travel corridor, or green lane, with Singapore.
- Indonesia’s parliament passed a controversial omnibus bill on job creation on October 5, sparking nationwide protests which experts warn could cause new hotspots to emerge.
- Indonesia’s Food and Drug Monitoring Agency on October 6 approved the emergency use of antiviral drugs to treat Covid-19 patients.
- Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan on October 11 once again relaxed PSBB in the capital, starting another transitional phase despite there being no significant decrease in new Covid-19 cases.
- On October 21, two major cinema chains reopened for the public in Jakarta.
- On October 26, a reciprocal green lane between Singapore and Indonesia opened at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport for diplomatic missions and essential business trips.
- The Law and Human Rights Ministry on October 27 launched an online visa application for foreign citizens who wish to enter Indonesia.
- Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto confirmed on October 28 that Indonesia had secured a commitment of 100 million vaccine doses from AstraZeneca, 3 million doses from Sinovac Biotech, 15 million from China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm), and 100,000 from CanSino Biotech.
- Governor Anies announced on September 2 that the city will require Covid-19 patients in the capital to quarantine at coronavirus referral center hospitals rather than requesting individuals to self-quarantine.
- On September 3, President Jokowi established a national team to assist with vaccine development. The government plans to set aside $2.5 billion for vaccine procurement next year.
- On September 8, the Ministry of Health began large-scale trials of Covid-19 plasma therapy.
- Jakarta on September 9 announced it would reimpose large-scale social restrictions effective September 14 amid rising case numbers in the capital. The restrictions are less stringent than the first lockdown in April and allow for some non-essential workplaces to operate if they meet specific conditions.
- The Indonesian government on September 10 announced it would deploy personnel from the military, national police, and public order agencies to enforce mask-wearing protocols.
- Governor Ridwan Kamil on September 14 announced that West Java would implement “micro-scale” social restrictions in Covid-19 red zones in Jakarta’s satellite cities of Bogor, Depok, and Bekasi.
- The Indonesian Mosque Council on September 16 called on mosques in Jakarta to halt Friday prayer services. This followed a September 10 statement from the Indonesian Ulema Council advising Muslims in Covid-19 hotspots to pray at home.
- Indonesia on September 16 signed an agreement with United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on the procurement of Covid-19 vaccine under the COVAX Facility.
- As of September 19, 30 hotels in Jakarta are prepared to quarantine asymptomatic coronavirus cases.
- Beginning on September 26, stricter regulations will be enforced to ensure Covid-19 health protocols are followed during campaigning events for the December regional elections.
- On September 21, the government increased the number of deployed police and military personnel to enforce Covid-19 protocols.
- In late September, Governor Anies set up three new isolation centers in Jakarta.
- The national Covid-19 task force on September 28 added Aceh and Bali to its list of prioritized provinces as they both see rising daily case tallies.
- The West Java administration on September 30 extended large-scale social restrictions in Bogor, Depok, and Bekasi until October 27.
- President Jokowi issued new presidential instructions on August 4 subjecting individuals and businesses that violate Covid-19 protocols to legal sanctions.
- China’s Sinovac Biotech on August 11 launched a trial involving as many as 1,620 patients in Indonesia for a Covid-19 vaccine candidate developed with Indonesia’s state-owned Bio Farma.
- Indonesia agreed to create a travel corridor arrangement with South Korea for essential business trips between the two countries starting on August 17.
- Indonesia on August 22 signed an agreement with China’s Sinovac Biotech for 50 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine concentrate.
- On August 24, Bali banned foreign tourists for the rest of 2020, scrapping an earlier plan to reopen the island to foreigners.
- Government ministries on July 8 announced guidelines for cultural events as museums, theaters, and galleries prepare to resume normal operations by month’s end.
- The WHO warned in a July 15 report that Jakarta is the only part of the country to meet its benchmark of 1 test per 1,000 people per week. Indonesia has one of the lowest testing rates in the world.
- Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan on July 30 extended PSBB by another two weeks, until August 13.
- Despite hitting a record daily increase in deaths on July 22, the government announced it would no longer be holding daily official briefings.
- Polls show that public trust in the government’s handling of the pandemic decreased from June to July. Most Indonesians disapprove of PSBB.
- Indonesia’s Covid-19 task force on July 29 called for workplaces to implement work from home policies, following a spike in coronavirus clusters in offices.
- On June 2, the government canceled the hajj pilgrimage, which over 200,000 Indonesians were preparing to make.
- Airlines resumed domestic flights for all passengers on June 10.
- Jokowi announced on May 26 that 350,000 army and police personnel had been deployed across four provinces and 25 cities, including Jakarta, to “discipline citizens and make the society abide” by PSBB.
- On May 4, Jokowi announced a five-point plan to anticipate the second wave of the outbreak: (1) an evaluation of PSBB; (2) testing, contact tracing, and isolation goals for provinces under PSBB; (3) stricter monitoring of migrant workers; (4) a stronger social safety net for low-income families; and (5) a hotline for feedback on the government’s handling of the pandemic.
- On March 31, the government declared a “public health emergency,” allowing regional administrations to impose social restrictions like closing schools and workplaces and limiting religious and public gatherings. Indonesia declared the Covid-19 outbreak a “non-natural national disaster,” but the implementation of quarantines and lockdowns have varied significantly by location.
- On March 31, the Indonesian government announced a temporary ban on all foreign visitors.
- Indonesia on April 18 announced that it had disbursed $448 million in cash aid to 9 million lower-income households during Ramadan.
- National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia and state-owned steelmaker PT Krakatau Steel on December 28 issued mandatory convertible bonds worth trillions of rupiah as a means to receive a state capital injection to weather the economic downturn.
- President Jokowi signed the controversial omnibus bill on job creation into law on November 2. His administration has argued that the law will help Indonesia recover from the economic devastation of Covid-19. The law has been met with nationwide protests since its introduction last month.
- On November 5, the government adjusted its stimulus budget to include the establishment of a $1 million sovereign wealth fund which will be used to fund vaccine procurement and the establishment of agricultural plantations.
- Indonesia accepted a $1 billion loan from Australia on November 12 to fund pandemic response efforts.
- On November 19, Bank Indonesia cut its benchmark interest rate for the fifth time this year to 3.75 percent.
- The Indonesian government on October 2 announced it had spent $20.5 billion of the funds allocated for Covid-19 stimulus, or about 44 percent of the total recovery budget.
- The Indonesian House of Representatives on October 5 passed its controversial omnibus bill on job creation, with cabinet officials arguing the bill is necessary for post-pandemic economic recovery.
- On October 16, the Tourism Ministry announced plans to set aside $8 million to provide free cleanliness, health, safety, and environment certification for businesses across Indonesia to increase tourism.
- On October 21, the Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises Ministry gave small grants of about $160 each to more than 50,000 businesses in Garut regency, West Java.
- The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry announced plans to start disbursing $224 million in grants on October 26 to help the tourism industry recover from the pandemic.
- Indonesia in early September launched micro-loans for female entrepreneurs from low-income families in order to to assist with Covid-19 recovery, with approximately $67.5 million disbursed by October 3.
- The National Disaster Mitigation Agency on September 8 announced it will assist the Health Ministry in setting a price ceiling for Covid-19 swab tests following numerous complaints over the high price for tests in many private testing facilities.
- Coordinating Economic Affairs Minister Airlangga Hartarto on September 14 said that the government has only spent $15.9 billion of funds earmarked for Covid-19 economic stimulus, or 34 percent of the allocated budget
- On August 6, the National Economic and Covid-19 Recovery Committee announced the government will send workers earning less than $340 per month payments of $40 each month from September through December.
- On August 17, the public works and housing ministry announced it will speed up employment schemes to spur economic recovery. It will disburse about $776 million through a regular cash-for-work program and $44 million for a public employment scheme.
- President Jokowi on August 25 launched an economic assistance program for micro businesses, disbursing about $160 million to 1 million small business
- A new National Covid-19 Mitigation and Economic Recovery Committee was established on July 21 to resuscitate the economy.
- Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati on May 18 announced $43 billion in economic stimulus. The funds will be used to support state-owned enterprises, subsidize loan repayments for approximately 60 million borrowers, and strengthen social safety net programs, among other things.
- On March 13, the Indonesian government issued its second emergency stimulus package worth $8.1 billion. This included exempting some workers in manufacturing from income taxes and giving manufacturing companies a discount on corporate tax payments.
- On March 31, President Jokowi introduced Indonesia’s third stimulus packageworth nearly $25 billion for health care spending, social protection, and tax incentives.
- government announced a stimulus package worth $725 million on February 25, 2020, which provides fiscal incentives to support the country’s tourism, aviation, and property industries. The package also allocated $324 million for low-income households.
- The ADB on May 5 found that Indonesia’s GDP contracted by 2.1 percent in 2020 and projected that GDP would grow by 4.5 percent in 2021, down from an earlier projection of 5.3 percent growth this year.
- The IMF in its April 2021 World Economic Outlook report measured Indonesia’s 2020 GDP growth at -2.1 percent and projected the economy to rebound by 4.3 percent in 2021.
- Indonesia’s Central Agency on Statistics on Statistics said on February 1 that the economy contracted 2 percent in 2020.
- The IMF in October revised its projection for Indonesia’s 2020 economic performance to a deeper recession of -1.5 percent growth. The IMF expects the Indonesian economy to rebound to 6 percent growth in 2021.
- The ADB on September 15 projected that Indonesia’s GDP would contract by 1 percent in 2020 and grow by 5.3 percent in 2021.
- Indonesia on September 22 revised its 2020 GDP outlook to between -1.7 and -0.6 percent.
- The World Bank on September 28 predicted Indonesia’s GDP would contract by 1.6 percent in 2020 and rebound to 4.4 percent in 2021, lower than its pre-Covid growth level.
- The Ministry of National Development Planning projects that the 2020 unemployment rate will reach 9.2 percent, up from 5.2 percent in 2019.
- S&P on April 17 revised Indonesia’s credit rating outlook from “stable” to “negative.”
- Indonesia recorded $13 billion in exports in August, down 4.6 percent from July and down 8.3 percent annually.
- According to Indonesia’s Finance Ministry, government revenue fell by 13.5 percent year-on-year to $68.1 billion.
- Since March, 78.5 percent of the total registered workers in the tourism industry have been furloughed or laid off.
Laos, the most rural country in Southeast Asia, was also the last to report its first Covid-19 infection. Laos managed to avoid a major outbreak for more than a year, thanks in part to its sparse population and location among neighbors who had successfully contained the vius. But the rate of new cases in Laos began accelerating in April 2021. The new surge could severely test the country’s underdeveloped healthcare system. In an effort to boost its economy, Laos has already reopened travel with several countries in Southeast Asia and encouraged domestic tourism. Laos recorded its first Covid-19 death on May 9, 2021, over a year into the pandemic.
Public Health Response
- On June 2, Laos received 100,620 doses of the Pfizer vaccine from the COVAX facility.
- The Chinese government confirmed on June 2 that it would provide 500,000 additional doses of the Sinopharm vaccine to Laos.
- The Prime Minister’s Office on June 4 issued a notice extending Laos’s lockdown period to June 19 while gradually easing some restrictions on public gatherings.
- On June 4, the government banned privately owned entities from purchasing Covid-19 vaccines with the intent to sell them.
- The Lao government announced on June 5 that it would begin administering the Pfizer vaccine to those over the age of 60 with underlying health conditions by mid-June.
- Laos on June 14 received a shipment of 500,000 Sinopharm vaccines provided under a grant from China.
- Laos on June 16 began the second phase of its vaccination campaign
- Laos on May 4 extended its lockdown period until May 20 amid a second wave of Covid-19.
- Vientiane on May 4 converted Lanexang Indoor Stadium into a makeshift hospital to accommodate a rise in Covid-19 patients.
- Australia announced on May 12 that it would donate 1 million unspecified vaccine doses to Laos, as well as provide training and access to Australia’s health regulatory institutions.
- The Lao government on May 18 announced that it is accelerating the country’s vaccination program to ensure 50 percent of the population is inoculated by the end of 2021. Prime Minister Phankham Viphavan has asked relevant ministries and agencies to seek more vaccine sources for the rollout.
- Laos on May 20 extended its lockdown across the country for an additional 15 days.
- The Ministry of Health issued a notice on May 20 stating that supplies of first-dose vaccinations had run out.
- The government expanded the number of red zones in the Vientiane capital region to 34 villages.
- Authorities warned on May 23 that anyone caught breaking Covid-19 regulations will face penalties including fines.
- Laos on April 1 announced it was expanding its Covid-19 vaccination program to cover civil servants, members of the diplomatic corps, and certain “at-risk” businesses.
- Laos on April 1 launched an online registration program for Covid-19 vaccinations.
- Laos on April 12 ordered the closure of bars and nightclubs until April 30 after the detection of a locally transmitted Covid-19 case.
- Vientiane on April 12 issued restrictions on water splashing and public gatherings for Lao New Year.
- The National Task Force Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control on April 14 urged Vientiane residents to stay home and reiterated that large gatherings are prohibited, but clarified that the city will not go into full lockdown.
- On April 21, Laos expanded its vaccination program to include all citizens.
- On April 22, Vientiane entered lockdown after identifying a Covid-19 cluster connected to Thailand.
- Health authories on April 24 announced an online registration program for Covid-19 vaccinations aimed at priority groups.
- On April 25, Luang Prabang and nine other provinces entered lockdown until May 5 as Laos experiences a second wave of Covid-19 infections. China announced that it would donate a second batch of Sinopharm vaccines to help with the outbreak
- Laos’s National Taskforce Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control announced March 3 that it would require all foreign citizens entering the country to purchase Covid-19 insurance through the Ministry of Health as well as wear a health tracking device.
- Laos on March 20 received its first shipment of 132,000 AstraZeneca vaccine doses through the COVAX facility.
- On March 25, authorities in Laos gave the green light to Lao New Year celebrations, although strict Covid-19 prevention and control measures will apply.
- Laos on February 8 received 300,000 doses of the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine.
- On February 10, the Lao government instructed local authorities to carefully monitor people entering the country and quarantine returning workers to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
- Laos expects to receive 564,000 doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine through the COVAX initiative
- Laos is set to vaccinate a third group of frontline medical staff in the second week of January after more than 100 people vaccinated earlier showed no side effects.
- Deputy Minister of Health Phouthone Muongpak on January 5 announced that tests for Covid-19 and treatment for individuals who contracted the virus will be free for the general public, but that charges will be imposed on businesspeople and foreign nationals working in Laos.
- Laos on January 12 placed the Ton Pheung district under lockdown for the second time
- Laos on January 25 tightened controls against illegal entry after discovering two imported cases of coronavirus from Thailand.
- Lao authorities on January 25 placed the northwestern Bokeo province’s Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone, a casino entertainment district that caters mainly to Chinese tourists, under a two-week lockdown after a Chinese worker tested positive for the coronavirus.
- Deputy Director General of the Department of Communicable Diseases Control under the Lao Ministry of Health Sisavath Soutthaniraxay announced on January 27 that people entering Laos will be required to stay in quarantine centers for 14 days
- Laos released an update of its Covid-19 prevention measures on December 2, noting that international charter flights from countries that are experiencing an outbreak would be suspended.
- Laos on December 4 placed Ton Pheung district under lockdown following the detection of two imported cases.
- Laos on December 7 placed the Boten special economic zone under lockdown following reports that individuals infected with Covid-19 travelled through the area.
- Lao authorities on December 14 strengthened lockdown measures in Bokeo province, prohibiting festivals, marriage ceremonies, and other events.
- Laos announced on December 17 that it is set to receive a British vaccine in 2021.
- The second batch of frontline medical officials, including medical workers, were vaccinated on December 22.
- On December 23, Laos extended its Covid-19 control order until the end of the year, which included a continued ban on chartered flights from foreign countries and zones with local transmission; suspension of tourist visas for foreign nationals; closure of all border checkpoints except for certain Lao citizens; extra monitoring of those entering Laos; and a requirement that those who enter Laos wear a medical device for tracking purposes.
- Authorities on December 28 ordered inspections of imported seafood amid fears that food imported from Thailand could be contaminated with the coronavirus following a fresh outbreak in that country
- The first batch of frontline officials, including medical workers, were vaccinated in late November.
- Laos on October 2 announced that it has extended its Covid-19 prevention measures until the end of the month. However, the country will also allow tourist charter flights from countries where there is no community transmission of the virus.
- As of October 18, those entering Laos are required to obtain a certificate indicating they have tested negative for Covid-19 within 72 hours of arrival.
- On October 26, Laos announced the temporary reopening of some local border crossings to facilitate cross-border trade.
- On October 26, Laos announced it would launch a fast-track immigration service for Chinese nationals effective the following week.
- The Lao government on September 1 announced that it would continue to suspend the issuance of tourist visas for incoming visitors from or transiting via countries with ongoing Covid-19 outbreaks.
- Laos kicked off its new in-person school year on September 2. Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith mandated that students sit at least three feet from each other and that schools install handwashing basins, provide soap and face masks, and take temperature checks.
- The Lao Thiao Lao marketing campaign was launched on September 11 to boost domestic tourism.
- The Lao Ministry of Health on September 16 began requiring all individuals entering Laos to be checked and sent to a quarantine center for 14 days.
- Flights between Vietnam and Laos resumed the week of September 21.
- The Lao government on August 1 announced it would continue to implement Covid-19 prevention measures through August, including the closure of entertainment venues and border crossings and the suspension of the issuance of tourist and visitor visas. Shuttle flights have also been suspended.
- Japan and Laos on August 23 agreed to ease travel restrictions between the two countries as early as September.
- The government plans to lift remaining restrictions on international travel on July 31. Incoming passengers are required to undergo a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine monitored by local officials.
- While some entertainment venues remain closed through July 31, officials have allowed most businesses to resume operations under social distancing precautions. Non-essential mass gatherings are limited to 50 people.
- On July 7, the Laos National Taskforce Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control announced that more than 4,000 individuals were being monitored under isolation.
- A Korean national arriving in the country to work on a hydropower project tested positive on July 23, the first case within Laos’s borders in over 100 days.
- Laos continued its easing of Covid-19 restrictions on June 1 with the reopening of night markets and some restaurants.
- On June 11, Laos declared victory over Covid-19 with just 19 total cases since March.
- On May 4, the government permitted restaurants and malls to reopen. Offices were allowed to reopen if they adopted rotating shifts.
- On May 18, authorities announced more businesses could operate, including some schools and sport activities.
- The government lifted restrictions on inter-provincial travel on May 18.
- On March 30, Laos issued a national stay-at-home order except for essential outings.
- Laos banned international travel beginning March 30, with exceptions for diplomats and other key personnel.
- On October 16, the Lao government approved a resolution to stimulate economic growth by ramping up manufacturing.
- The government approved relief measures on April 10 exempting micro- and small businesses from paying income tax for three months.
- On March 20, the Lao cabinet approved a preliminary 13-part stimulus package during its monthly meeting. Only about $11 million was allocated to Covid-19 prevention and control.
- The ADB predicts that the Lao economy will grow 4 percent in 2021, down from an earlier projection of 4.5 percent. This follows a 0.5 percent contraction in 2020
- The IMF in its April 2021 World Economic Outlook report measured Laos’s 2020 GDP growth at -0.4 percent and projected the economy to rebound by 4.6 percent in 2021.
- The ADB projects 2020 GDP to contract 2.5 percent but predicts that the economy will rebound in 2021 with 4.5 percent growth.
- The World Bank on September 28 predicted that Laos will register its slowest growth rate in three decades: between -0.6 percent and -2.4 percent. Growth is expected to rebound in 2021 to 4.9 percent.
- The Lao government on October 28 announced it expected its economy to grow by 3.3 percent in 2020.
- The Vientiane Times reported at the end of May that unemployment had surged from 2 percent to 25 percent due to the virus
- In May, Fitch Ratings downgraded Laos’s Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating to B- and revised its overall outlook from “Stable” to “Negative.” In August, Moody’s downgraded Laos’s issuer rating from B3 to Caa2 and changed its outlook to negative.
- Finance Minister Somdy Douangdy speculated in early August that public debt may increase to over 65 percent of GDP in 2020 following a sharp fall in national revenue collection alongside an increase in government loans due to the pandemic.
- The Lao government on August 29 announced that expects revenue from exports to decrease by $483.3 million, or 8.4 percent, compared to 2019.
- On September 3, the country’s foreign exchange reserves reportedly fell below $1 billion.
Malaysia’s initial response to the outbreak was nonchalant and complicated by an abrupt change in government when Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad resigned and Muhyiddin Yassin rose to power on a razor-thin majority coalition. Malaysia saw few cases in the early months but soon after Muhyiddin took office, the government was forced to impose nationwide restrictions on public movement in mid-March. Those were gradually relaxed as the virus was brought under control. But unrestricted campaigning in September’s Sabah state election kicked off a chain reaction of community transmission that has lasted through early 2021 and has yet to be contained. Prime Minister Muhyiddin overcame a critical leadership test in December when lawmakers approved his 2021 budget after having previously failed to secure royal permission for a state of emergency that would have allowed him to pass the budget without parliamentary approval. Malaysia’s king in January announced a sweeping state of emergency that suspends Parliament and political activities until August, granting Muhyiddin a reprieve as his government grows increasingly unstable. Since May 2021, Malaysia has experienced an exponential surge in new Covid-19 infections, with record cases reported daily.
Public Health Responses
- Malaysia implemented a nationwide lockdown until June 14 following its worst surge in new cases since the pandemic began.
- Duopharma Biotech, a Malaysian biopharma company, signed a deal on June 1 with the Russian Direct Investment Fund and the government of Malaysia to supply 6.4 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine.
- On June 3, Science Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced that state governments and private hospitals could purchase vaccines, including those not used in the National Covid-19 Immunization Program.
- Health Minister Adham Baba on June 4 proclaimed that Malaysia had ordered enough vaccines to achieve herd immunity against Covid-19 by December 2021.
- Health Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah declared on June 5 that Malaysia would participate in Phase 3 clinical trials for a new Covid-19 vaccine manufactured by China’s Shenzhen Kangtai Biological Products.
- The Japanese government on June 5 announced plans to provide AstraZeneca vaccines to Vietnam and Malaysia as early as June 2021.
- On June 7, the Penang state government publicized that it will no longer try to purchase its own Covid-19 vaccines and will instead use the vaccine supply offered by the National Covid-19 Immunization Program.
- Malaysia on June 7 launched a mass immunization drive, sending out 40 trucks loaded with vaccines to increase accessibility to the public.
- Malaysia on June 7 announced that it aims to speed up vaccination rates to over 200,000 per day by the end of July amid a new wave of infections in the wake of Eid al-Fitr celebrations.
- On June 9, Health Minister Adham outlined a plan for children aged 12 through 17 to be included in the National Covid-19 Immunization Program starting in August 2021.
- Malaysia’s government on June 11 extended the country’s national lockdown until June 28.
- The Malaysian government on June 12 introduced its Public-Private Partnership Industrial Covid-19 Immunisation Programme to coordinate free vaccinations for workers in the manufacturing industry.
- Health Minister Adham on June 13 announced that Malaysia plans to develop its own domestic Covid-19 vaccines to accelerate the country’s national vaccination program.
- On June 15, Malaysia granted conditional approval for the use of single-dose vaccines made by CanSino Biologics and Johnson & Johnson.
- Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced a plan on June 15 for a phased recovery and exit strategy from the country’s Covid-19 crisis.
- Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein stated on June 16 that China agreed to contribute 500,000 doses of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccines to Malaysia.
- Malaysia's king on June 16 called on Muhyiddin to immediately reconvene the country's Parliament, which has been suspended since January 12, 2021, due to the Covid-19 emergency.
- Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein on May 2 announced a cross-border travel agreement between Malaysia and Singapore starting May 17 to allow emergency travel for funerals and visits to critically ill family members.
- Senior Minister for Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob on May 4 announced that six districts in Selangor will be under a movement control order (MCO) from May 6 to May 17. On May 5, Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru were also placed under MCO.
- Ismail Sabri on May 4 suspended tourist travel between states under a less restrictive recovery movement control order (RMCO).
- Malaysia on May 9 banned all interstate and interdistrict travel from May 10 to June 6.
- Prime Minister Muhyiddin on May 10 placed Malaysia under a nationwide movement control order (MCO) effective May 12.
- Malaysia on May 10 announced that reciprocal green lane travel with Singapore will be suspended effective May 13. Travelers entering Malaysia from Singapore under the Periodic Commuting Arrangement system must undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine.
- The Selangor state government on May 19 ordered 2.5 million Covid-19 vaccine doses directly from suppliers to be sold to employers looking to hasten vaccinations for their workers.
- Health Minister Adham Baba said on May 19 that low-risk and asymptomatic Covid-19 patients can elect to stay in designated hotels, with the permission of medical officers.
- The Penang state government announced on May 21 that it will be using its own funds to purchase additional Covid-19 vaccines after it had allegedly accepted a controversial donation offer from Yong Chee Kong, a relatively unknown Sabahan businessman.
- Malaysia received over 1 million doses of the AstraZeneca and Sinovac vaccines combined on May 21, which will speed up the country’s vaccination program. Another shipment of over 550,000 AstraZeneca vaccines from COVAX is expected at the end of May.
- On May 22, Malaysia announced additional MCO restrictions: 80 percent of public sector workers and 40 percent of private sector workers will be required to work from home and operating hours for businesses will be limited to between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
- On May 26, Sarawak expanded its entry ban on travelers from South Asia to include Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan.
- Science Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said on May 27 that Malaysia will procure an additional 12.8 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, bringing the total doses secured from the manufaturer to 44.8 million, enough to cover 70 percent of Malaysia's population.
- Khairy said on May 27 that the AstraZeneca vaccine will no longer be opt-in as it becomes fully integrated into the national immunization program.
- Muhyiddin on May 28 announced a nationwide “total lockdown” from June 1 to June 15 as coronavirus infections in the country surged to record levels. The Malaysia government clarified on May 30 that all malls will close, while 17 essential service sectors—including healthcare, telecommunications, restaurants and markets, utilities, and banking—will be allowed to operate during the lockdown.
- Prime Minister Muhyiddin said on April 1 that Malaysians who had received two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine would be allowed to travel freely between states and districts.
- On April 2, Malaysia and China agreed in principle to recognize each other’s digital vaccine certificates.
- The Johor state government announced on April 4 that it would launch a special vaccination app, named ImmuPlan Johor, for Malaysians who commute to Singapore.
- As of April 5, all primary and secondary school students in Malaysia have returned to in-person classes.
- The Malaysian government announced that it is accelerating its vaccine rollout due to low registration. The third phase of vaccination, meant for the general public, will be moved up to the end of April.
- Science Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced on April 7 that Malaysia will join COVAX to push for vaccine equity for developing countries.
- Health Minister Adham Baba said on April 7 that Malaysia is still on track to have its first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine delivered in June from factories in Thailand and South Korea.
- Khairy announced on April 7 that Malaysia will decide whether to proceed with AstraZeneca vaccinations after receiving the findings of the European Medicines Agency. China’s ambassador to Malaysia Ouyang Yujing announced on April 8 that the second batch of China-made Sinovac Covid-19 vaccines, consisting of 2.5 million doses, is scheduled to arrive in Malaysia this month.
- Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced on April 12 that MCOs would be extended across the country.
- Home Affairs Minister Hamzah Zainudin on April 12 said the government will consider requests by stranded foreigners holding expired social visit passes to remain in the country on a "case-to-case basis."
- Senior Minister Khairy said on April 12 that people aged 60 and above will be given the Sinovac vaccine starting on April 19 under Phase 2 of Malaysia's national Covid-immunization program.
- Khairy on April 13 posted to Twitter that the country will have enough Covid-19 vaccines to innoculate 80 percent of the population by October.
- Malaysia’s health ministry on April 15 proposed retaining a ban on interstate travel through May 13, as the number of cases in the country has jumped during the Eid festive season.
- On April 16, Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry announced that vaccinated Malaysian cargo drivers may use vaccination cards or the TraceTogether app as verification for their vaccination status when entering Singapore, in lieu of on-arrival testing.
- On April 19, Malaysia began the second phase of its Covid-19 vaccination program amid concerns over the pace of inoculations. Officials are considering making vaccination mandatory if participation does not pick up.
- On April 19, Malaysia proposed to Australia that both sides work together to mutually recognize each other’s vaccine certificates to facilitate cross-border travel.
- On April 20, Malaysian lawmakers submitted a petition to the king requesting an end to the coronavirus emergency so that Parliament, which is currently suspended until August 1, could resume.
- In a statement on April 21, Senior Minister Khairy denied accusations that the federal government was stonewalling attempts by state governments and private companies to procure vaccines.
- Senior Minister Ismail Sabri on April 21 announced that all districts in Kelantan will be under MCO until April 29.
- The minister of finance on April 22 announced that Malaysia’s vaccine procurement will be bankrolled entirely by a national trust fund that was built primarily on contributions from state energy firm Petronas.
- Health authorities on April 26 said the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe for use, three days after the country received its first batch of the shots bought through the COVAX facility. This first batch contained 268,800 doses. Due to concerns raised by the public, Senior Minister Khairy said the vaccine will be offered on a voluntary first come, first served basis.
- Malaysia temporarily suspended all flights to and from India on April 28.
- As of March 1, Malaysians are able to register for vaccination appointments through the MySejatera Covid-19 tracking mobile app.
- Malaysia on March 2 granted conditional approval for the use of the AstraZeneca and Sinovac vaccines.
- Malaysia will ease the movement control order (MCO) in the states of Selangor, Johor, and Penang, along with the Kuala Lumpur federal territory, starting March 5.
- On March 8, Malaysia fully reopened primary schools.
- Science Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said on March 8 that Malaysia will buy additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine, bringing the total number of doses secured overall to 32 million, enough to cover half the population.
- Khairy on March 8 said that he was considering dropping negotiations with Johnson & Johnson in favor of a deal with Chinese company CanSino Biologics, whose vaccine also requires only one dose
- Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that starting March 10, domestic tourism will be permitted between states under the government’s RMCO. Ismail also announced that live events will be permitted in areas under the less-restrictive conditional movement control order (CMCO) and MCO.
- Malaysia on March 10 returned 585 vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to the manufacturer after officials discovered they were not transported at the proper temperature. Pfizer will replace the damaged vials
- Beginning March 11, those who breach MCO regulations may be fined up to $2,500.
- The Ministry of Health has mandated that as of March 11, those who test positive for Covid-19, are under investigation or have close contact with Covid-19 patients, or are under surveillance must wear a movement tracking wristband for 10 days.
- Malaysia on March 12 passed a strict “fake news” ordinance, threatening those who spread false information online related to Covid-19 with up to three years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
- Health Minister Adham Baba on March 14 said the country still plans to use the AstraZeneca vaccine despite others pausing the vaccine’s rollout in response to worries about blood clots related to the vaccine.
- The government on March 14 announced that it will vaccinate approximately 100,000 citizens working in Singapore during the second phase of Malaysia's planned immunization program.
- Science Minster Khairy on March 16 clarifed that as an upper-middle-income nation, Malaysia does not qualify for free or discounted vaccines through the COVAX facility.
- On March 17, the Malaysian government clarified its fines for non-compliance with Covid-19 safety protocols, saying they would be tiered for normal, moderate, and severe offenses.
- On March 18, Malaysia began its vaccination drive with Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccine. Science Minister Khairy was the first recipient. About 20 percent of the population is expected to receive the Sinovac vaccine.
- On March 22, Malaysia announced that it had established a $2.4 million compensation fund to provide cash assistance for any Covid-19 vaccine recipients who suffer severe reactions.
- On March 23, the foreign ministers of Singapore and Malaysia reaffirmed their countries’ commitment to recognize each other’s coronavirus vaccination certificates in an effort to revive cross-border travel. The digital certificates will use blockchain technology and include a traceability feature that tells the exact batch of the vaccine vial used for inoculation.
- Science Minister Khairy on March 29 announced that private hospitals will be given permission to negotiate with suppliers to purchase Covid-19 vaccines.
- Khairy on March 29 also announced that the second phase of Malaysia's national vaccination exercise—which will prioritize the elderly, those with morbidity problems, and people with disabilities—will start on April 19.
- Khiary on March 31 announced that Malaysia will receive its first 600,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca in June.
- On February 1, a senior health official announced that Malaysia expects to receive its first batch of Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine on February 26.
- On February 2, Malaysia extended the (MCO) for all states and federal territories, except Sarawak, until February 18.
- The government on February 7 loosened its policy regarding reunion dinners, which are held on Lunar New Year’s Eve, saying that as many as 15 people could attend a gathering.
- On February 10, Malaysia began to allow diners to eat in restaurants, limited to two customers per table.
- Malaysia on February 10 exempted Cabinet ministers who travel abroad on official visits from having to undergo the mandatory 10-day quarantine upon returning to the country. This exemption has stirred controversy over the “double standard” for ministers and ordinary citizens.
- The Malaysian government announced on February 12 that foreigners and migrant workers living in Malaysia can get the Covid-19 vaccine for free.
- On February 16, the MCO for Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Johor, and Penang was extended to March 4.
- Malaysia on February 16 launched its Covid-19 vaccination handbook with guidelines on the nation’s vaccine procurement strategy and the implementation and observation of the vaccination program.
- The government announced on February 16 that it has secured access to enough coronavirus vaccines for its entire population. Malaysia’s acquisition comes from a mix of direct deals with AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Sinovac, CanSinoBio, and Gamaleya, and an expected 67 million doses from the COVAX vaccine facility.
- Prime Minister Muhyiddin announced that he will receive the Covid-19 vaccine alongside “frontliners” on February 26, kicking off Malaysia’s immunization program.
- Health Director-General Noor Hisham announced on February 16 that Phase 2 of Malaysia’s vaccination process will include the elderly and cancer patients.
- The minister of education on February 19 announced that students in Malaysia will return to school beginning March 1.
- As of February 19, businesses in the tourism and cultural sectors can resume operations in states under a conditional movement control order (CMCO). Theme parks and zoos can only operate at half capacity and must comply with CMCO operating procedures.
- On February 24, Malaysia began its nationwide Covid-19 immunization program, with Prime Minister Muhyiddin receiving his first dose of the vaccine
- As of January 1, international students are allowed entry into Malaysia, except for those from the United Kingdom.
- Vaccination against Covid-19 will be voluntary in Malaysia, said Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin on January 5.
- Prime Minister Muhyiddin on January 11 announced a nationwide MCO, with measures set to run from January 13 to January 26.
- Malaysia’s Ministry of Health and Pfizer on January 11 signed a manufacturing and supply agreement for the first phase delivery of the firm’s Covid-19 vaccines. The agreement involves the procurement of 25 million doses through the end of the year.
- Malaysia's king Al-Sultan Abdullah on January 12 declared a state of emergency across the country. The emergency will last until August 1, during which there will be no parliamentary sitting or elections.
- Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob on January 12 announced that the Reciprocal Green Lane and Periodic Commuting Arrangement with Singapore will continue despite the newly-announced MCO.
- Malaysia’s Pharmaniaga on January 12 signed an agreement with Sinovac to purchase and eventually manufacture the Chinese firm’s Covid-19 vaccine.
- Health Minister Adham Baba on January 13 announced that Covid-19 patients who have mild or no symptoms may undergo treatment and quarantine at home.
- Sarawak on January 16 reduced the number of flights entering the state.
- On January 21, Senior Minister Ismail extended the MCO in all Malaysian states and federal territories except Sarawak until February 4.
- Senior Mnister announced on January 21 that the government may use emergency powers to increase fines for Covid-19 breaches above the current maximum of $250 and increase jail terms.
- Malaysia’s health minister on January 23 announced that the country’s coronavirus vaccination program will start on February 26.
- The Health Ministry on January 26 signed an agreement with local pharmaceutical companies Pharmaniaga Berhad and Duopharma (M) Sdn Bhd to jointly supply 18.4 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines from China and Russia starting next month.
- Malaysia on January 27 began a phase 3 clinical trial of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate developed by the Institute of Medical Biology of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.
- On January 29, the government began permitting night markets to operate during the MCO.
- On December 7, the government removed the limit on the number of people allowed to share the same table in restaurants, allowed businesses serving food and beverages to extend their hours, and began permitting social gatherings like reunions and weddings.
- Malaysia began allowing movement across states and districts nationwide on December 7 without the need for a police permit, except in areas under an Enhanced Movement Control Order.
- The Conditional Movement Control Order ended on December 6 for most states, but was extended until December 20 for Kuala Lumpur, Sabah, most of Selangor, and some parts of Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Kelantan, and Perak.
- The Health Ministry on December 13 announced that the quarantine period for overseas travelers would be shortened from 14 days to 10.
- Malaysia on December 14 lifted its month-long lockdown on facilities associated with the manufacturer Top Glove, which had been the sites of recent outbreaks.
- Malaysia’s government on December 16 declared a state of emergency in two constituencies to prevent them from holding by-elections in January amid a sharp increase in Covid-19 cases.
- Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob on November 7 announced the reinstatement of conditional movement control orders in all but three states in peninsular Malaysia.
- Malaysia’s education ministry on November 8 announced that all schools would close for the remainder of the year beginning November 9.
- The Sarawak state assembly on November 9 unanimously passed a bill providing temporary relief from obligations under various state ordinances not covered by the Covid-19 Act.
- Senior Minister Ismail on November 10 announced that work from home policies for the public and industry sectors had been extended to all states.
- Sabah on November 11 relaxed the state’s conditional movement control order.
- Senior Minister Ismail on November 12 announced that foreign domestic workers stranded abroad would be allowed to return to Malaysia for work.
- The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry on November 12 announced that public and private childcare centers and nurseries would be allowed to operate under the conditional movement control orders.
- Malaysia tightened movement restrictions in Klang Township near Kuala Lumpur on November 16 after a Covid-19 outbreak in worker dormitories.
- On November 18, Malaysia’s king declared a state of emergency in a parliamentary constituency in Sabah to prevent the holding of a by-election because of fears that it would contribute to community spread of the virus.
- Malaysia announced the closure of some Top Glove factories on November 23 following a jump in infections. The world’s largest maker of latex gloves has racked up record profits this year on skyrocketing demand for its products and protective gear. The closure will affect over 5,000 workers.
- The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture said on November 23 that all vehicles traveling within the country’s domestic “green travel bubble” can operate at full occupancy.
- Malaysia expects to receive its first Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer in the first quarter of 2021 after signing a deal for 12.8 million doses from the U.S. manufacturer on November 27.
- Malaysia imposed a travel ban between Sabah, which has seen a spike in cases, and the rest of the country from October 7 to October 20.
- Over 100 schools in the Kota Kinabalu, Penampang, and Putatan areas of Sabah were closed on October 7.
- As of October 14, those returning from Sabah to other states before September 27 will not have to undergo mandatory Covid-19 tests but are encouraged to do so. Those returning after October 11 must undergo mandatory Covid-19 tests.
- Sarawak’s deputy chief minister Douglas Unggah on October 14 announced that the state was extending its strict entry procedures through November 15.
- Local authorities in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya on October 19 reopened parks, subject to health protocols like physical distancing.
- Senior Minister of Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob on October 21 announced that work from home orders issued the previous day in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Labuan, and the states of Selangor and Sabah would only apply to the industrial and public sectors. The Ministry of International Trade and Industry also announced that it would exempt workers in accounting, finance, administration, law, and planning.
- On October 26, Malaysia extended movement restrictions in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, and the surrounding state of Selangor for another two weeks amid a record spike in cases.
- On October 29, the city of Johor Bahru was declared a Covid-19 “red zone” but authorities did not impose new movement restrictions.
- On October 30, the Malaysian Association of Film Exhibitors announced that it was closing all cinema operations nationwide until further notice.
- Malaysia barred long-term pass holders who are citizens of India, Indonesia, and the Philippines from entering the country effective September 7.
- On September 10, Malaysia reversed its decision on September 7 to bar entry for citizens from 28 countries with more than 150,000 coronavirus cases after heavy criticism from the business community.
- Muhyiddin announced on September 16 that border controls would be tightened and that the government would step up enforcement against illegal immigration.
- Sarawak deputy chief minister Douglas Uggah on September 19 announced that all visitors entering the state from neighboring Sabah would be required to take a Covid-19 PCR test prior to departure.
- Malaysia on September 19 announced it was planning to join the COVAX vaccine plan.
- Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob on September 22 announced that voters who have tested positive for Covid-19 would be barred from voting in the Sabah state elections.
- Malaysia on September 28 announced it would implement movement restrictions in four districts in Sabah after a spike in Covid-19 cases
- Sarawak on September 30 announced it would tighten entry restrictions into the state from areas with large numbers of Covid-19 cases.
- The wearing of face masks is compulsory in crowded public areas and on public transport, not in areas where physical distancing is possible, said Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob on August 3.
- The uptick in cases reported at the end of July turned into a small surge, with Malaysia confirming double digits of new cases on August 5. The government is quarantining all those infected.
- Prime Minister Muhyiddin launched a new pandemic public awareness campaign on August 7.
- Malaysia and Singapore on August 17 reopened their border for the first time in five months to long-term pass holders, essential business, and official travelers.
- Muhyiddin said on August 28 that the Recovery Movement Control Order, originally set to expire at the end of the month, would be extended to December 31.
- Muhyiddin on July 13 reversed a plan to send detained Rohingya refugees back to sea after international outcry. He declared that Malaysia would “look for an appropriate solution for their situation” and called on Vietnam, as this year’s ASEAN chair, “to play a bigger role in addressing the Rohingya refugee crisis.”
- Schools reopened on July 22 for pupils from years one through four.
- On July 23, Senior Minister of Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob ordered mandatory mask-wearing in crowded areas and on public transportation, effective August 1.
- Ismail announced on July 21 that all individuals returning to Malaysia from overseas will conduct their mandatory quarantine at hotels or quarantine centers beginning July 24.
- Several new local transmissions of the coronavirus appeared at the end of July, ending a streak of nearly a month without such cases.
- Malaysia and Singapore have agreed to resume cross-border travel for long-term pass holders, essential business, and official travelers by August 10.
- Muhyiddin announced that the conditional movement control order would end on June 9 and the country would remain under a more relaxed recovery movement control order until August 31.
- Malaysia on June 19 reopened its borders to select groups of foreigners, including medical tourists and international students.
- Ismail announced on June 24 that Malaysians would be permitted to host and attend social gatherings beginning July 1.
- Restaurants and eateries resumed full operations on June 30
- On May 4, Malaysia implemented a conditional movement control order, which relaxed regulations in the original movement control order. This allowed private tertiary institutions (but not entertainment businesses, hospitality venues, schools, or religious gatherings) to operate under strict conditions.
- All university-level lectures are to be held online with no face-to-face contact allowed until the end of 2020.
- On April 16, Malaysia denied entry to a boat carrying 200 Rohingya refugees, saying it feared they might spread the virus. Human Rights Watch called on Malaysia to better fulfill its human rights obligations while adopting public health measures.
- Prime Minister Muhyiddin enacted a movement control order on March 18. The government mobilized the Malaysian Armed Forces to enforce the order, including through the use of drones, resulting in the arrest of hundreds of violators.
- The Penang state government on May 13 introduced a $242 million electricity bill subsidy for the tourism industry to help it stay afloat during the country’s third MCO.
- Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg announced on May 28 a $340 million financial assistance package under the Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS) program to help vulnerable groups weather the upcoming two-week MCO. Previous BKSS packages have totaled $751 million.
- Muhyiddin unveiled a new $9.7 billion economic stimulus package on May 31 meant to mitigate the impacts of the upcoming MCO.
- As of March 3, Selangor state had spent approximately one-third of an $18.2 million economic assistance package it passed in January to help those adversely affected by the MCO.
- On March 17, Prime Minister Muhyiddin announced a new $4.8 billion economic stimulus package, the sixth since the beginning of the pandemic.
- On February 3, the Sarawak government introduced initiatives to provide an additional $35 million worth of assistance to small and medium sized enterprises.
- State-owned oil company Petronas on November 3 approved a $2.4 billion dividend to the government to help fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Malaysia on November 6 announced that citizens enrolled in the government’s mandatory pension fund who lost their jobs would be allowed to make withdrawals of up to $120 per month.
- Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz on November 6 announced that the government plans to add $4.8 billion to a special Covid-19 fund as part of the 2021 budget.
- Malaysia announced on November 30 that employees’ mandatory contributions to the Employee Provident Fund (Malaysia’s retirement fund) would remain reduced until the end of 2021 to help participants cope with the economic fallout from coronavirus.
- On October 13, Prime Minister Muhyiddin announced that the 2021 budget will include targeted support for economically vulnerable groups during the pandemic.
- Malaysia’s king on October 25 rejected Muhyiddin’s bid to declare a state of emergency in order to pass the 2021 budget without the need for parliamentary approval. The budget is due November 6.
- On October 29, the Sabah state government announced that it would distribute $72 to workers in the tourism industry.
- As of October 30, the Malaysian government had spent approximately $480 million on Covid-19 economic recovery assistance in Sabah. Nearly $100 million has been spent on delivery of food aid and medical supplies in recent weeks.
- Malaysia on September 23 unveiled an additional $2.4 billion in economic stimulus targeted at industries and citizens affected by the pandemic.
- Finance Minister Zafrul Abdul Aziz on September 29 stated that wage subsidies amounted to approximately $2.9 billion, benefiting more than 2.6 million employees and 300,000 employers during the pandemic.
- On August 13, Malaysia lifted an earlier limit on hiring foreign workers, citing demands from local employers.
- The Malaysian government on July 29 announced a three-month extension to the loan repayment moratorium for those who lost their jobs this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Malaysia on June 5 launched its fourth stimulus package, valued at $8.2 billion.
- The government announced a third stimulus package, worth $2.2 billion, on April 6. It included wage subsidies, grants and loans for SMEs, and tax deductions.
- Muhyiddin unveiled the country’s second stimulus package, estimated at $53 billion, on March 26. It included $23.1 billion for businesses and $2.3 billion in direct cash payments for 4 million low-income households. The combined value of the first two packages equaled 15.5 percent of Malaysia’s GDP and 84.2 percent of the federal government’s original 2020 budget.
- Interim prime minister Mahathir Mohamad launched Malaysia’s first stimulus package, worth $4.6 billion, on Feb 27 to cushion the blow of Covid-19 for the tourism sector and other industries. This included nationwide electricity discounts of 2 percent for industrial, commercial, and domestic users, as well as a monetary assistance scheme for employees.
- The ADB reported that 2020 GDP contracted 5.6 percent but predicts that the economy will grow 6 percent in 2021, down from an earlier projection of 6.5 percent growth this year.
- The IMF in its April 2021 World Economic Outlook report measured Malaysia’s 2020 GDP growth at -5.6 percent and projected the economy to rebound by 6.5 percent in 2021.
- The ADB projects 2020 GDP to contract 5 percent but predicts that the economy will rebound in 2021 with 6.5 percent growth.
- Bank Negara Malaysia forecasts Malaysia’s GDP will contract between 3.5 percent and 5.5 percent in 2020.
- The World Bank on September 28 projected that Malaysia’s GDP would contract by 4.9 percent in 2020 and grow by 6.3 percent in 2021.
- Unemployment dropped to 4.7 percent in July, following the reopening of economic sectors in stages since May. It remained at that level in September. According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia, unemployment stood at 4.7 percent in October. Malaysia’s unemployment rate rose by 0.1 percent to 4.8 percent in November.
- Fitch downgraded Malaysia’s credit rating from A- to BBB on December 4. Fitch had last affirmed the A- rating in April while revising the country’s outlook to negative.
Myanmar had maintained some of the region’s lowest case counts until August. But the rate of infections accelerated quickly over the past several months, first due to an outbreak in Rakhine state and then the holding of national elections on November 8. The country’s underdeveloped healthcare system has impeded Myanmar’s ability to cope as new case counts have stayed above 1,000 per day. The government’s distribution of cash assistance has also come under criticism over allegations that most aid went to well-connected business owners. The February 1 coup led by Senior General Min Aung Hlaing will complicate the country’s response to Covid-19, as many frontline healthcare workers have stopped working and joined thousands of citizens in civil disobedience campaigns to protest military rule. Food and fuel prices have soared following the coup, as the civil disobedience movement, internet shutdowns, and violent crackdowns hammer an economy already flagging due to the pandemic. The government has sought to punish those government and healthcare officials who have stood against the coup, recently charging the former head of the country’s vaccination program with high treason. Although the government has said that the Covid-19 vaccination program will continue, testing has collapsed, hospital systems have become overwhelmed, and the government has effectively stopped tracking or responding to the pandemic. The government announced in June that it had detected three “highly transmissible and more severe” coronavirus variants in Myanmar.
Public Health Response
- Myanmar’s Ministry of Health and Sports on June 3 imposed a stay-at-home order on Kalaymyo Township in Sagaing Region.
- The Ministry of Health and Sports on June 4 imposed stay-at-home orders on the Hakha, Tedim, Falam, and Thantlang Townships in Chin State.
- The Ministry of Health and Sports on June 8 placed schools in seven townships under lockdown due to a spike in Covid-19.
- The Myanmar Red Cross said on June 8 that it would step up emergency food and cash assistance to hundreds of thousands of people in Myanmar affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and the upheaval resulting from the military coup on February 1.
- The Kachin Independence Organization, a political-ethnic organization seeking self-determination from Myanmar, has quietly vaccinated 20,000 people with the Sinovac vaccine as of May 13 in areas it governs, with assistance from the Red Cross Society of China.
- China on April 30 donated 500,000 unspecified vaccine doses to Myanmar.
- Myanmar will experience vaccine delivery delays from the COVAX Facility in March and April following India’s temporary vaccine export restrictions meant to prioritize the fight against a new wave of community transmission domestically.
- On February 6, Myanmar approved Sputnik V, Russia’s coronavirus vaccine, for emergency use.
- Senior General Min Aung Hlaing on February 11 announced that private companies can import vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration
- The Yangon Region and Naypyidaw Union Territory Departments of Public Health on February 18 began vaccinating civil servants and ministry officials.
- The United Wa State Army on January 6 imposed a lockdown in its de-facto capital of Panghsang in Shan state to carry out citywide testing for Covid-19.
- On January 8, the President’s Office announced that Myanmar had ordered 30 million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine from India that are expected to arrive by February.
- Yangon on January 19 closed 8 of the city’s 15 temporary hospitals set up late last year to address surging cases. The city has seen new daily cases drop to below 200.
- On January 22, Myanmar is expected to receive 1.5 million doses of the Covishield vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India.
- Myanmar on January 27 began vaccinating healthcare personnel as part of its nationwide vaccination drive.
- Myamnar on January 29 postponed the first session of the new upper house of parliament by one day due to ongoing vaccination of lawmakers. The session was subsequently canceled due to the February 1 coup
- Myanmar’s Central Committee on Prevention, Control and Treatment of Covid-19 extended restrictions, including a ban on travel and gatherings, until December 31.
- Domestic flights resumed on December 16.
- The Rakhine state government on December 16 imposed restrictions requiring residents to seek approval from ward and village administrators prior to any travel.
- The Yangon city government on December 21 closed off public gardens and parks to prevent a spike in cases during the New Year holiday.
- Myanmar conducted its general election on November 8 as coronavirus cases soared amid a second wave of infections.
- On October 8, Yangon’s stay-at-home order was extended for two weeks. Construction sites will still be allowed to operate.
- On October 13, officials began conducting health checks of private cars and trucks on the Yangon-Mandalay highway and requiring Covid-19-free certificates.
- On October 14, Yangon garment factories were permitted to reopen after instituting Covid-19 safety measures.
- On October 27, the government announced that Myanmar’s private hospitals and clinics would begin treating Covid-19 patients.
- On October 27, Myanmar’s Foreign Affairs Ministry extended Covid-19 travel restrictions until November 30.
- On September 3, Myanmar imposed a mandatory quarantine and coronavirus test for individuals entering Yangon.
- The Union Election Commission on September 8 issued restrictions for campaigning ahead of the November elections. Political parties are barred from campaigning in areas with stay-at-home orders.
- Myanmar tightened lockdown measures in Yangon and Naypyidaw on September 10 to curb the rapid spread of Covid-19. New measures include expanding the stay-at-home order and closing schools. Businesses, however, remain open.
- Myanmar’s Committee for Prevention, Control and Treatment of Covid-19 banned domestic travel effective September 11.
- The government announced on September 15 that it is rushing to build a new field hospital in Yangon to cope with Covid-19.
- On September 17, Myanmar’s military announced plans to offer more quarantine beds to civilians and have since set up several transit centers.
- On September 21, Myanmar’s Ministry of Health and Sports instructed garment factories in Yangon to close for two weeks and ordered other businesses to work from home.
- On September 21, a stay-at-home order was instituted in Yangon.
- On September 24, it was reported that the government is housing more than 45,000 people in schools, monasteries, government offices, and tower blocks, mostly run by volunteers. Those being housed include confirmed and suspected Covid-19 patients, their close contacts, and returning migrant workers.
- On September 25, Myanmar extended a ban on international flights until October 31
- Myanmar relaxed social restrictions on August 16, allowing outdoor gatherings of fewer than 30 people.
- Myanmar in mid-August detected a small crop of new locally transmitted cases for the first time in over a month.
- The government of Rakhine state on August 21 imposed a curfew in the capital Sittwe after a spike in cases.
- Japan and Myanmar on August 24 agreed to ease travel restrictions between the two countries as early as September.
- The Myanmar Army on August 25 extended a unilateral nationwide ceasefire, excluding Rakhine state, until the end of September due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Myanmar on August 26 expanded the lockdown of Sittwe to all of Rakhine state.
- Myanmar on August 27 closed government and private high schools due to a surge in Covid-19 cases.
- Myanmar on August 29 extended its entry restrictions on all incoming visitors until September 30.
- Myanmar on July 14 extended its Covid-19 restrictions. A curfew remains in place. All citizens are still required to wear masks in public. Gatherings of more than five people remain prohibited.
- Borders with China, India, and Thailand remain closed while those with Bangladesh are restricted to trade flows. Second Vice President Henry Van Thio announced on July 10 that the country was unlikely to reopen to international commercial flights until October.
- Myanmar on July 21 reopened over half of its high schools, with the remainder expected to reopen in the next month.
- Myanmar on July 29 announced that it would allow outbound air travel for citizens with urgent business abroad.
- Myanmar on July 30 again extended various Covid-19 measures, including extending entry restrictions for foreigners through August 31.
- Long-distance travel within the country resumed in early June, although buses must limit the number of passengers.
- Also in early June, restaurants, cafes, tea shops, and markets reopened with social distancing guidelines and limited customer capacity.
- On June 29, the government extended restrictions on visas and international flights until the end of July.
- With stay-at-home orders lifted for the last remaining township in Yangon on June 30, partial lockdown measures were relaxed countrywide
- On May 15, Myanmar extended Covid-19 measures a second time, including the ban on public gatherings, school and cinema closures, and visa and international flight suspensions.
- The first Covid-19 case was reported on May 15 in the Kutupalong Rohingya refugee settlement in Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh. As of July 22, 62 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed among Rohingya refugees in Cox's Bazaar.
- The health and sports minister on May 18 submitted a new draft Prevention and Control of Communicable Diseases Law to Parliament. The country’s current law on communicable diseases was drafted in 1995 and has only been amended once, in 2011.
- Starting April 19, Yangon imposed a 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew and a supplementary stay-at-home order on seven Yangon townships until June 18, excluding essential workers. Shan, Karen, and Kachin states and Mandalay, Sagaing, Ayeyarwaddy, and Bago regions also adopted curfews.
- On April 21, after an attack on a World Health Organization team, the United Nations called for an urgent ceasefire.
- On April 28, the government and ethnic armed organizations established a coordinating committee to jointly fight Covid-19.
- On April 30, UN Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee said the military was conducting “war crimes” against minorities, emboldened by the significant political role it was granted to fight the pandemic.
- In mid-March, the government formed a Covid-19 committee led by State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi to oversee the crisis response. On March 31, however, Myanmar’s military set up a separate task force led by the military-appointed vice president U Myint Swe. The task force includes other military-appointed members of the cabinet as well as the joint chief of staff of the defense forces and five civilian cabinet members. This military-led task force does not report to Aung San Suu Kyi and has taken upon itself broad powers to investigate Covid-19 cases, conduct contact tracing, and clamp down on the press and social media.
- Myanmar announced on November 5 that it would provide a $31 cash handout to households facing hardship due to Covid-19.
- On November 18, the government announced that it had disbursed over $17 million to about 700 businesses in the latest round of its Covid-19 loan program.
- The Yangon regional government began distributing cash payments to workers not registered with the government’s social safety net on October 30.
- Myanmar on September 2 announced it would provide civil servants with two months’ salaries as interest-free loans to mitigate the economic impact of Covid-19.
- On September 7, the Ministry of Planning, Finance and Industry extended the deadlines for paying income and commercial taxes for small and medium-sized enterprises and the garment, textile, and tourism industries until December 31.
- As of September 22, the government pledged more than $758 million to fight Covid-19.
- The application period for the government’s second tranche of loans aimed primarily at agriculture, livestock, fisheries, and food industries closed on August 10. More than 700 businesses applied.
- Parliament on July 17 approved Covid-19 tax relief measures, including a 10 percent non-refundable tax credit on incremental wage increases and investments in capital equipment and a 125 percent tax deduction for incremental wage increases paid during the previous fiscal year.
- On June 24,the Ministry of Planning, Finance, and Industry announced a $1 billion stimulus programs using funds from the IMF and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
- On April 27, the government released a comprehensive economic relief plan outlining, among other things, new monetary policy, measures to boost private businesses and trade, and efforts to mitigate the economic impacts for workers and households.
- A fund of nearly $70 million was established at the Myanmar Economic Bank to provide soft loans to affected business, particularly the garment and tourism sectors and SMEs.
- The ADB projects that Myanmar’s GDP will contract 9.8 percent in 2021, down from an earlier projection of 6 percent growth made before the country’s February 1 coup. This follows a 3.3 percent contraction in 2020
- The IMF in its April 2021 World Economic Outlook report projected that Myanmar’s economy grew 3.2 percent in 2020, but will contract by 8.9 percent in 2021, largely due to the political and economic turmoil following the February 1 coup. The IMF had previously projected Myanmar’s economy to grow by 5.7 percent in 2021.
- The World Bank on March 26 projected Myanmar’s economy will contract by 10 percent in 2021 amid nationwide turmoil following the February 1 military coup. Prior to the coup, the bank expected the economy to grow by 5.9 percent.
- The IMF projected that Myanmar’s economy would grow 2.0 percent in 2020 and 5.7 percent in 2021
- The ADB confirmed Myanmar’s GDP growth projection for 2020 at 1.8 percent while predicting growth to bounce back to 6 percent in 2021.
- The World Bank lowered Myanmar’s GDP growth rate estimate to 0.5 percent in 2020. It estimates a growth rate of 5.9 percent in 2021.
- The World Bank projects Myanmar’s GDP growth rate will increase to 7 percent in 2021.
- The World Bank projects that the national poverty rate will increase to 27 percent in the 2020-21 fiscal year, up from 22.4 percent a year earlier
- According to the Ministry of Labor, an estimated 60,000 factory workers have been laid off since the beginning of the shutdown in the third quarter. Nationwide unemployment numbers remain unavailable.
- The ADB measured average inflation in the first eight months of 2020 at 7.5 percent, down from 7.9 percent a year earlier, reflecting lower commodity prices and subdued demand.
- The World Bank reports that headline inflation was 4.2 percent in May 2020.
The Philippines is second only to Indonesia for the most officially reported Covid-19 cases in Southeast Asia. Protests against job losses and food shortages have cropped up across the country even as the government cracks down on dissent. The government has begun to make preparations for a vaccine rollout, but the slow pace of acquiring doses has led vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. to set a timeline of three to five years to vaccinate 60 to 70 million of the country’s 108 million population. In March, new cases rose precipitously, surpassing the previous peak in August 2020. Officials attributed the new spike to the relaxing of some mobility restrictions that allowed people to return to work. The national government has largely left pandemic management to localaties, creating an inconsistent policy response and an uneven economic recovery. The Philippines in 2020 experienced a 9.6 percent contraction in GDP, Southeast Asia’s deepest economic slump.
Public Health Response
- President Duterte on June 1 extended a ban on inbound travel from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates until June 15.
- On June 1, Thailand’s first AstraZeneca vaccine shipment to the Philippines was reduced in size and delayed by several weeks.
- The Philippines’ Covid-19 task force on June 4 announced that Filipinos repatriating from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates would be exempted from the government’s ban on arrivals from those countries. They must still present a negative PCR test and undergo a 14-day quarantine.
- The Philippines on June 6 received 1 million Sinovac doses—part of the 25 million in total it has agreed to purchase from the Chinse manufacturer.
- The Philippines on June 6 approved the Sinopharm vaccine for emergency use.
- The Food and Drug Administration on June 8 approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in people aged 12 to 15 years old.
- The Philippines on June 8 announced that vaccinations led by the private sector will begin in July after the expected arrival of vaccine orders made by private companies.
- Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. on June 9 announced that 3.2 million Covid-19 vaccine doses would arrive the next day, including 2.2 million Pfizer doses provided through COVAX and another 1 million Sinovac doses.
- The Philippines on June 9 opened its vaccination campaign to workers in the informal sector and others working outside their homes, including public transport staff.
- Officials on June 11 announced that the government will exempt elderly people who have been fully vaccinated from stay-at-home orders to encourage more to get inoculated.
- Trade Minister Ramon Lopez announced on June 11 that gyms, skating rinks, racket courts, and museums in Metro Manila and adjacent provinces could reopen at 30 percent capacity.
- The Philippines on June 14 extended travel restrictions on inbound travelers coming from India and six other countries until June 30.
- Japan’s ambassador to Manila announced on June 15 that his country will be donating an unspecified number of AstraZeneca’s vaccines to the Philippines.
- The Philippines received 1 million additional doses of government-purchased Sinovac vaccines on June 10. The Ministry of Health began nationwide distribution of the vaccines on June 16 after all necessary forms were submitted.
- Metro Manila and the surrounding provinces of Rizal, Bulacan, Cavite, and Laguna will remain under general community quarantine (GCQ) until June 30.
- Philippine officials expect the first batch of approximately 500,000 unspecified Covid-19 vaccines ordered by the private sector to arrive on June 17.
- Approximately 1.5 million additional doses of the Sinovac vaccine will arrive in the Philippines on June 17.
- The Philippines on May 1 received its first batch of the Sputnik V vaccine from Russia. The 15,000 doses will be used to inoculate frontline medical workers in Manila. The Philippines is negotiating a purchase of 20 million doses of Sputnik V as part of its goal to inoculate up to 70 million adults this year.
- The Philippines on May 1 lifted its ban on the entry of foreign nationals, except for those coming from India or with a history of travel to India.
- The Philipppines on May 5 granted an emergency use authorization for the Moderna vaccine.
- President Rodrigo Duterte on May 5 ordered police to arrest anyone not wearing a mask properly, including below the nose.
- Duterte on May 5 ordered the Chinese ambassador to the Philippines to take back Beijing’s donation of 1,000 Sinopharm vaccines after the president was criticized for taking the yet-to-be-approved drug.
- The Philippines on May 7 received 1.5 million more doses of the Sinovac vaccine.
- The Department of Health on May 7 approved the resumption of AstraZeneca inoculations for anybody over 18 years of age.
- Over 2 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine arrived on May 8 via COVAX.
- The Department of Health announced on May 10 that the first batch of nearly 200,000 Pfizer vaccines arriving the next day via COVAX would be distributed in Metro Manila, Cebu, and Davao.
- The Department of Health on May 10 filed an application for emergency use of the Sinopharm vaccine.
- The Makati city government on Wednesday started administering Pfizer shots to qualified recipients.
- The Philippines on May 12 received 15,000 more doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine.
- The Philippine private sector launched an initiative on May 14 targeting 150,000 vaccinations in 30 days through a partnership between local governments and five private hospitals.
- On May 14, the Philippines signed a deal to procure 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine. The Philippines is also set to receive 2.2 million doses of Pfizer via COVAX by the end of May.
- President Duterte on May 14 eased Covid-19 restrictions in Metro Manila and the neighboring provinces of Bulacan, Rizal Laguna, and Cavite. Religious gatherings and restaurant dining will be allowed, but non-essential travel remains prohibited.
- The Philippines on May 14 expanded its travel ban to include Oman and the United Arab Emirates and extended travel restrictions on arrivals from South Asian countries until the end of May.
- The Philippine Red Cross announced on May 17 that it would be offering the Moderna vaccine at PHP 3,500 ($73) for two doses.
- President Duterte on May 18 approved a proposal to expand the country’s vaccination program to essential workers and those living in extreme poverty.
- The Philippines is set to receive 500,000 additional doses of China’s Sinovac vaccine on May 20.
- The Department of Health on May 19 instructed local governments not to announce in advance which brand of Covid-19 vaccines would be available at inoculation sites to prevent crowds from swarming those distributing Pfizer rather than Sinovac, as had occurred a day earlier.
- The Philippines on May 20 received 500,000 additional doses of China’s Sinovac vaccine.
- Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III on May 20 announced that Covid-19 vaccines ordered by the private sector will arrive in June.
- Iloilo City on May 23 reimposed a modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until May 31.
- Senator Bong Go on May 25 announced that approximately 10 million vaccine doses will arrive in the Philippines in June.
- Davao City on May 26 banned all face-to-face non-essential activities in local and national government offices until August 31.
- On May 27, the head of the Food and Drug Administration, Rolando Enrique Domingo, declared authorization for the use of the Pfizer vaccines for emergency use in children aged 12–15.
- The delivery of 2.2 million doses of Pfizer vaccines through the COVAX program was delayed on May 27 and rescheduled for June 2021.
- Australia on May 28 delivered over $1.4 million worth of medical supplies and equipment to the Armed Forces of the Philippines to boost its Covid-19 response.
- The Philippines on May 30 received more than 50,000 doses of the Russian-manufactured Sputnik V vaccine.
- On May 31, the Philippines slightly eased quarantine restrictions around Metro Manila while tightening restrictions in six other regions across the country experiencing a surge of infections.
- President Duterte directed the country’s vaccine manager on May 31 to implement a “pro-rata” or proportional distribution of vaccines outside Metro Manila due to low vaccination rates outside the capital region.
- On April 5, Johnson & Johnson applied for emergency authorization of its single-dose vaccine in the Philippines.
- On April 7, amid a worsening outbreak, Philippines health authorities greenlit the use of the Sinovac vaccine for senior citizens after initially limiting coverage to people aged 18–59 years.
- Metro Manila and four surrounding provinces ended their strict lockdown on April 12 and have been placed under a less restrictive community quarantine until April 30.
- On April 8, the Philippines suspended use of the AstraZeneca vaccine for people under 60 after reports of blood clots overseas. Health officials lifted the suspension on April 19.
- Philippine ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez on April 11 said he was confident Pfizer and Moderna would deliver vaccines to the Philippines “not too far away from now” once domestic supply stabilizes.
- On April 13, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said the Philippines has ordered 20 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine and expects to receive them within the next four months. The government is also expected to sign a supply agreement with Johnson & Johnson for 6 million doses.
- The Philippines is set to receive its allocation of Pfizer vaccines through the COVAX facility in the second quarter of 2021.
- The Department of Science and Technology on April 15 announced it was in “advanced talks” with six potential local vaccine manufacturers to sustain the country’s supply needs.
- Philippine ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez on April 20 announced that 200,000 doses purchased from Moderna will arrive in the Philippines by June 15.
- The Food and Drug Administration on April 21 allowed emergency use of Covid-19 vaccines made by Johnson & Johnson and Indian manufacturer Bharat Biotech.
- The government on April 21 announced it is preparing larger vaccination sites to ramp up inoculations.
- The Philippines on April 22 received 500,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine.
- Moderna on April 26 applied for emergency use authorization of its Covid-19 vaccine in the Philippines.
- The Philippines on April 27 announced that it would ban incoming travelers from India from April 29 to May 14.
- Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on April 27 announced that Sputnik V vaccines expected to arrive the next day would be deployed in Metro Manila. That shipment was subsequently delayed until May.
- President Duterte on April 28 announced that Metro Manila and its four nearby provinces will remain under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until May 14.
- The Philippines on March 1 began its immunization program against Covid-19, with health workers getting the first doses of China’s Sinovac vaccine.
- The government announced that Metro Manila and eight other areas will remain under general community quarantine (GCQ) but will ease restrictions on March 5 for some recreational facilities and tourist attractions.
- On March 6, Moderna announced that it will supply 13 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine to the Philippines, with delivery slated for mid-2021.
- On March 7, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. announced that 1 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine are set to arrive on March 21.
- On March 9, the government expanded targeted lockdowns in Manila and reintroduced nighttime curfews for hotspots in response to a surge in cases over the past week.
- Philippine health authorities on March 12 announced they would continue using the AstraZeneca vaccine despite suspensions in Europe and elsewhere.
- Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. on March 15 announced that nearly 1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine would arrive through the COVAX Facility in late March or early April.
- The Philippines on March 16 announced it would suspend incoming travel from overseas effective March 20.
- The Philippines on March 16 signed a supply agreement with Novavax for 30 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine.
- Manila on March 16 banned individuals below the age of 18 from leaving their residences for two weeks as part of the city’s new lockdown measures.
- The Philippine Senate on March 17 announced it would undergo a six-day lockdown after several employees tested positive for Covid-19.
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA) director general Eric Domingo announced on March 19 that the FDA is granting an emergency use authorization to the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine.
- Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, announced on March 19 that Russia will supply the first batch of its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine to the Philippines in the first half of April.
- The Philippines revised travel restrictions on March 19, allowing all Filipino citizens to re-enter the country.
- New Covid-19 rules in Manila and the surrounding provinces ordered that churches be closed, restaurants ban indoor eating, and leisure travel outside the Philippine capital be prohibited as of March 21.
- The Department of Health and the National Task Force against Covid-19 clairified on March 22 that the private sector is allowed to enter tripartite Covid-19 vaccine procurement agreements with vaccine manufactures and the Philippine government.
- Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. on March 22 clarified that AstraZeneca had required the private sector in the Philippines to donate half of the vaccines it had procured from the company to the national government.
- Moderna on March 22 announced that the Philippines has secured 7 million additional doses of its Covid-19 Vaccine.
- Chinese ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xiliang said on March 24 that 400,000 more doses of Sinovac are due to arrive in the country this week, on top of the 600,000 that arrived on February 28.
- The government announced that from March 29 to April 4, Metro Manila and the surrounding provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal will be under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), the strictest level of quarantine, as new cases surge.
- President Rodrigo Duterte on March 29 ordered vaccine czar Galvez to fast-track approval of private vaccine procurement.
- Vaccine czar Galvez said on March 30 that delivery of vaccines provided by the COVAX Facility will be delayed following India’s temporary vaccine export restriction, which includes AstraZeneca vaccines intended for the facility.
- The government on March 31 announced it is aiming to conduct 90,000 tests per day by augmenting PCR tests with 30,000 antigen tests in areas under ECQ.
- The Department of Health on March 31 announced it will reopen three mega quarantine facilities in Metro Manila to help decongest hospitals
- Beginning on February 1, all passengers arriving in the Philippines are required to undergo an institutional quarantine.
- Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez on February 3 announced that the Philippines had ordered enough vaccine doses for 92 million individuals, about 85 percent of the population.
- The Philippines announced on February 3 that it had signed a preliminary deal with Moderna to supply up to 20 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine.
- An initial batch of 117,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine from the COVAX Facility is expected to arrive in the country by mid-February, the government announced on February 9. The Philippines’ vaccination program will kick off in four public hospitals in Manila where frontline medical workers and hospital staff will receive the first doses.
- On February 11, Manila announced that 600,000 Sinovac vaccines will arrive on February 23. However, they will not be distributed until regulators grant Sinovac emergency use authorization.
- On February 12, Manila announced plans to reopen more businesses, including cinemas and public attractions.
- The Armed Forces of the Philippines announced on February 14 that at least 30 military camps had been approved for use as Covid-19 vaccination sites.
- The Philippine National Police said on February 15 that 70 percent of its personnel will be deployed to help transport vaccines and medical personnel around the country as needed.
- On February 16, the government announced the opening of the Manila Covid-19 Vaccine Action Center, which will answer questions regarding vaccines.
- President Rodrigo Duterte on February 18 authorized local governments to make advance payments for the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines above the government’s previous 15 percent-of-cost limit.
- The Philippines on February 21 approved Sinovac vaccines for emergency use, paving the way for the nation to get its first vaccine shipment of 600,000 doses.
- To fast-track vaccine procurement and delivery, President Duterte on February 26 signed a law indemnifying vaccine manufacturers if their Covid-19 shots cause adverse side effects. The law creates a $10.26 million fund to compensate those experiencing serious adverse effects from vaccines
- The Philippine government banned travelers from the United States from January 3 to January 15 after it detected cases of a new coronavirus strain believed to be more infectious.
- Thousands of Catholic pilgrims gathered in Manila on January 9 for the Festival of the Black Nazarene. Despite government attempts to maintain social distancing and reduce crowd sizes, pilgrims reportedly violated many of these restrictions.
- The Philippines has secured 30 million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine developed by U.S. drug maker Novavax and produced in India, officials said on January 10.
- Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez on January 11 told the Senate that the first 50,000 vaccine doses from the Chinese firm Sinovac are expected to arrive in February. The Philippine government has secured 25 million doses from Sinovac in total.
- The government on January 13 announced a two-day ban on the entry of all non-Filipino travelers from China.
- The Philippine government is expected to sign a deal with AstraZeneca on January 14 for up to 20 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine. The Philippines is also in the final stages of talks with Moderna for at least 10 million doses to be delivered by mid-year.
- On January 25, President Duterte announced that individuals aged 10 to 65 are no longer allowed to leave their homes in modified general community quarantine areas.
- The Philippines announced on January 27 that about 1 million Covid-19 vaccine shots from AstraZeneca, Sinovac, and Pfizer will arrive in early February.
- The Philippine Food and Drug Administration on January 28 approved AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use.
- The Philippines on January 29 announced that it would relax curbs on foreigners traveling from more than 30 countries that have detected cases of the UK variant of Covid-19.
- The Manila city government on January 29 canceled all activities in celebration of the Lunar New Year holiday due to the Covid-19 pandemic
- The government extended the general community quarantine for Metro Manila and six other areas for the entire month of December.
- Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte issued an executive order on December 2 granting the Food and Drug Administration the power to clear Covid-19 drugs and vaccines for emergency use.
- The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) on December 4 allowed workshops, consumer trade shows, and board meetings to be conducted at 30 percent capacity of venues in areas under GCQ.
- Philippine trade secretary Ramon Lopez said on December 9 that the government would now require all commercial and government establishments to use the locally made StaySafe App to help in contact tracing efforts and that compliant establishments would be allowed to operate after being given “safety seals.”
- The government on December 14 approved the resumption of provincial bus routes.
- Philippine vaccine czar and National Task Force chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. said on December 14 that pandemic officials have asked Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac to deliver its Covid-19 vaccine to the country by March 2021.
- The IATF on December 15 announced new rules requiring citizens to wear both face shields and face masks at all times outside of their residences.
- The Department of Education announced on December 15 that it will not force students to attend in-person classes, even in low-risk areas.
- The Philippines suspended all flights to and from the United Kingdom from December 24 until December 31 because of the new strain of the coronavirus. It also restricted all passengers who had visited or traveled through the United Kingdom in the two weeks prior from entering the country.
- On December 26, President Duterte canceled the Department of Education’s plans to resume in-person classes at the end of January.
- On December 28, President Duterte extended partial coronavirus restrictions in Manila until January 31.
- The Department of Transportation barred foreign travelers and Filipino citizens from traveling to the Philippines from 20 countries from December 30 until January 15
- On November 2, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board reopened 35 additional jeepney routes and six provincial bus routes to provide more transportation to the public.
- The Philippine House of Representatives on November 15 imposed a “No Covid Test, No Entry” policy for all visitors to the House complex in anticipation of the resumption of legislative sessions on November 16.
- The Bureau of Immigration on November 16 clarified its guidelines regarding the entry of foreign investors, who must now secure a specific type of visa before they can enter the Philippines.
- On November 19, Duterte announced plans to cut the approval time for coronavirus vaccines already greenlit by other nations to three weeks, down from the normal six months, and to make advance payments to acquire those vaccines.
- President Duterte on November 19 allowed the government to enter advance market commitments with vaccine makers.
- On November 20, Duterte lifted a suspension on nurses and other medical workers deploying overseas, allowing a maximum of 5,000 to travel abroad for employment.
- On November 23, Duterte approved pre-payment for the Pfizer vaccine, although details regarding numbers of doses and prices remain confidential.
- As of October 1, Philippine tourist sites, including Boracay and Baguio, have partially reopened to the public.
- The government on October 19 shortened curfew hours in Manila to midnight to 4 a.m.
- On October 21, non-essential overseas travel resumed, ending a restriction in effect since July.
- The Philippines on October 23 announced it would welcome back foreign nationals arriving on investment visas beginning November 1.
- President Duterte on October 27 announced that Metro Manila and areas of the Visayas and Mindanao would remain under GCQ until November 30.
- Several businesses in Metro Manila resumed operations on September 1 under general community quarantine (GCQ) rules, prompting additional police deployments in business districts.
- On September 5, Joint Task Force Covid Shield commander Guillermo Eleazar directed police officers to monitor social media for individuals violating health protocols during quarantine.
- The Philippine government on September 8 expanded its face shield requirements, making them mandatory in supermarkets, public markets, shopping malls, and government venues.
- The government on September 8 approved the use of antigen tests as a pre-boarding requirement for asymptomatic domestic travelers.
- Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on September 8 stated that the government was planning to prohibit home quarantine measures in favor of moving patients to isolation centers.
- The Philippines on September 11 eased social distancing rules for public transport, allowing for the gradual reduction of physical distancing rules.
- President Duterte on September 16 ordered six government agencies to pool their resources into the production of face masks and their distribution to the public free of charge.
- On September 13, Duterte extended the nationwide state of calamity over the entire country for a full year.
- On September 21, the government lifted an overseas travel ban on Filipino nurses and other medical workers.
- President Duterte on September 28 announced that Metro Manila would remain under GCQ through October. Meanwhile, the Lanao del Sur province, including its capital of Marawi, was placed under the more restrictive modified enhanced community quarantine.
- President Rodrigo Duterte granted the medical community’s appeal to reimpose the stricter modified enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila on August 4.
- Police have deployed roadblocks and checkpoints in and around the capital to check for travel passes and negative test results. Public transport has been suspended.
- In addition to face masks, face shields are required in Metro Manila and Calabarzon.
- Local government units and the Department of Health will go door to door in select barangays to identify symptomatic individuals.
- The government on August 15 announced the extension of GCQ in multiple provinces on Luzon, Panay, and Cebu islands until August 31.
- Despite rising infection rates, lockdown restrictions in Metro Manila and four nearby provinces were relaxed to GCQ on August 19. Public transportation resumed. The government has said that police checkpoints are “here to stay.”
- On August 31, Duterte named a former chief of the National Bureau of Investigation as the new head of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, sparking criticism over his lack of experience in public health.
- Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on July 7 announced that the Philippines was lifting its ban on non-essential outbound travel for Filipinos. Foreigners are banned from entry, with exceptions for foreign spouses and children of repatriating overseas Filipino workers.
- Religious venues in areas under GCQ reopened on July 10.
- Interior Minister Minister Eduardo Año on July 14 announced that police will conduct house-to-house searches for individuals with Covid-19 and transfer them to isolation facilities.
- The city of Navotas in Metro Manila reinstated lockdown measures on July 16 following a rise in cases.
- On July 21, Duterte ordered police to arrest anyone found not wearing a mask to teach “a lesson for all time.”
- The ban on nonessential outbound travel was reimposed on July 24.
- The Department of Education announced on July 29 that it will allow limited in-person schooling in “low-risk” areas when the school year begins on August 24.
- On July 16, Duterte eased restrictions in Cebu City to a modified enhanced community quarantine until July 31, at which point he further downgraded restrictions to GCQ until August 15.
- The government eased the lockdown in Manila on June 1 after 76 days. Most businesses were allowed to reopen and domestic flights resumed.
- President Duterte on June 15 reimposed an Enhanced Community Quarantine on Cebu City following a rise in Covid-19 cases, which was later extended through July 15.
- Stay-at-home orders were lifted on May 15 in central and southern Luzon and several provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao.
- On May 16, the ECQ was eased in Manila. Businesses have since been allowed to operate with 50 percent of their employees on site.
- On May 25, President Duterte announced he would not allow students to return to school until a coronavirus vaccine is available.
- On April 1, Duterte ordered the police and the military to shoot protesters violating quarantine measures. The first police shooting—of a civilian for refusing to follow quarantine restrictions—was reported on April 4. Since then, Human Rights Watch has reported other instances of law enforcement abuse during the implementation of these public health measures. The UN high commissioner for human rights called out the Philippines’ “highly militarized response” during the lockdown, which has led to the arrest of 120,000 people for violating curfew.
- On March 16, President Duterte imposed an ECQ in Metro Manila and broader Luzon.
- The Department of the Interior and Local Government announced that the national government on April 7 will begin distributing assistance to citizens affected by the ECQ.
- The Department of Social Welfare and Development said on April 12 that authorities had disbursed only 8 percent of the $472 million in financial assistance allocated for citizens in Metro Manila and surrounding provinces affected by the recent ECQ. The Department of the Interior and Local Government assured families that distribution would continue under the more relaxed MECQ.
- On April 12, President Duterte urged Congress to fast-track the pending Public Service Act, Foreign Investments Act, and Retail Trade Liberalization Act to further open the economy to foreign investors and aid the country’s economic recovery
- The House of Representatives’ labor and employment committee on December 14 approved a measure providing 14-day paid pandemic leave to workers who are confirmed, probable, or suspected to be Covid-19 positive.
- The Manila city government on November 9 provided approximately $2,000 in cash rewards to 73 barangays that have been free of Covid-19 for two months.
- President Duterte on November 16 issued two directives allocating additional benefits to heathcare workers who work directly with Covid-19 patients.
- On October 7, the government announced plans to distribute aid to the airline industry through loans and regulatory fee waivers.
- The Philippine Congress has suspended budget hearings until November 16, effectively blocking any new pandemic recovery legislation.
- The Philippine Department of Budget and Management on October 20 announced that just $91 million out of $2.8 billion allocated for the Bayanihan 2 recovery scheme had been released.
- The Bureau of Internal Revenue on September 1 extended a deadline for the registration of online merchants until September 30.
- At least three companies blacklisted by the Department of Budget and Management secured $15 million in deals to supply personal protective equipment as the government eased procurement rules in response to the health crisis.
- The Department of Labor and Employment on September 9 announced that only a small portion of unemployed Filipinos had received their coronavirus-related financial assistance.
- President Duterte on September 11 signed into law a $3.4 billion pandemic relief measure to expand healthcare and assist small businesses
- The House of Representatives on August 9 earmarked about $6 million in financial assistance for private school teachers and personnel affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
- The Senate on August 20 ratified a nearly $3 billion national recovery bill, called Bayanihan 2, which would provide targeted assistance to the country’s most affected workers and sectors.
- The City of Manila allocated $3.1 million for hazard pay for city government employees who worked through the ECQ.
- The Department of Social Welfare and Development on July 7 revealed that only 1.3 million of an eligible 17 million citizens had actually received emergency cash aid.
- The Department of Trade and Industry on July 21 approved over $5 million in loans for micro and small enterprises. Meanwhile, the state-run pension fund extended the deadline for Covid-19 Emergency Loan program applications.
- On June 4, the House of Representatives passed the Accelerated Recovery and Investments Stimulus for the Economy, or ARISE, act. If approved by the Senate, the bill would seek to help more than 15.7 million workers, create 4.5 million jobs, and provide assistance to more than 5.5 million small and medium enterprises.
- The Duterte administration on June 24 announced that it was seeking a record-breaking $85.9 billion budget for 2021 to support the economic recovery from the pandemic.
- On May 12, House of Representatives Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and eight other lawmakers filed the Covid-19 Unemployment Reduction Economic Stimulus Act of 2020 aimed at creating jobs in rural areas through infrastructure projects worth $29 billion. More than 20 million families will receive government aid.
- On April 7, the Duterte administration announced a $610 million "Bayanihan Grant to Cities and Municipalities" to assist local governments.
- On April 13, the government approved a $1 billion wage subsidy package intended to support about 3.4 million small business workers. Workers qualifying for the financial assistance will receive about $340 for two months.
- On March 17, the Philippine government announced the entire country would be placed under a “state of calamity” for six months, enabling national and local governments to quickly access relief funds.
- On March 24, President Duterte signed into law Republic Act No. 11469, granting him “special temporary power” for three months until June 24. The law allowed Duterte to direct the operations of private hospital and ships, reapportion the Executive Department’s budget, and access $5.36 billion from various government agencies to mitigate the potential economic fallout of the pandemic.
- On March 30, the government approved a $3.9 billion social protection program for low-income families and health workers.
- Governor of the central bank Benjamin Diokno said in May 2021 that the Philippine economy could grow by 6 percent in 2021 as a Covid-19 vaccination drive allows businesses to reopen.
- The Philippines’ Development Budget Coordination Committee revised its 2021 GDP growth projection to between 6 and 7 percent, down from an earlier estimate of 6.5 to 7.5 percent.
- Unemployment fell to 7.1 percent in March 2021.
- The ADB in April projected that the Philippine economy will grow 4.5 percent in 2021, down from an earlier projection of 6.5 percent. This follows a 9.6 percent contraction in 2020.
- The IMF in its April 2021 World Economic Outlook report measured the Philippines’ 2020 GDP growth at -9.5 percent and projected the economy to rebound by 6.9 percent in 2021.
- The Philippines’ unemployment rate rose to 8.8 percent in February, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.
- In January, the IMF downgraded its projection for the Philippines 2020 GDP performance to -9.6 percent. The fund projected growth to rebound to 6.6 percent in 2021 and 6.5 percent in 2022.
- The government projects GDP will expand by between 6.5 and 7.5 percent in 2021
- The Philippines is likely to recover from the pandemic-induced recession with 7 percent growth in 2021, according to Moody’s Investors Service.
- The World Bank on December 8 downgraded its 2020 Philippine economic growth forecast to -8.1 percent.
- The ADB on September 15 projected that the Philippines’ GDP would contract by 7.3 percent in 2020 but expand by 6.5 percent in 2021.
- Several foreign and local analysts, including from the Bank of the Philippine Islands, revised their GDP growth projections for 2020 from -8.1 to -10.8 percent.
- The Philippine economy plunged a record 16.5 percent in the second quarter, according the country's statistics agency.
- The Philippines' unemployment rate eased to 8.7 percent in October, according to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.
- A national poll released on August 16 found that 45.5 percent of adults surveyed in July were unemployed and that 21 percent had lost their livelihoods due to the pandemic. This contrasts sharply with the finding by the Philippine Statistics Authority that the unemployment rate had fallen to 10 percent in July.
- Fitch, in late April, maintained a BBB+ credit rating for the Philippines despite the Covid-19 crisis. On September 9, the ratings agency announced it expects the Philippine economy to contract by 8 percent this year.
- Economist and Marikina representative Stella Quimbo estimated that the economy stands to lose $245 million per day during MECQ.
Singapore initially managed to contain the virus through widespread testing, comprehensive contact tracing, and mandatory, well-enforced quarantines. But then the city-state suffered a sharp increase in cases linked to foreign workers’ dormitories. It has since flattened the curve with the help of an innovative contact tracing mobile app and token system called TraceTogether, although migrant workers continue to disproportionately suffer from infections. Gathering restrictions were loosened cautiously as Singapore prepared for Phase 3 of its reopening at the end of 2020. Meanwhile, the government has actively pursued “green lane” and travel corridor reopenings with its neighbors for essential and business travel, although a recent global spike in cases has delayed implementation.
Public Health Response
- Singapore opened registration for the Pfizer vaccine on June 1 to Singaporeans aged 12 and older.
- The Ministry of Health on June 2 announced that the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine would be approved under Singapore’s “special access route” system after the drug was approved for use by the WHO. The special access route allows vaccines not yet approved by the government of Singapore to be acquired by private businesses.
- On June 14, the Ministry of Health increased capacity limits for businesses to 50 percent, the first in a two-step process to ease the Covid-19 lockdown.
- The government announced on June 14 that it would tighten border restrictions for travelers from Fiji, requiring them to serve a 21-day quarantine period at a dedicated facility.
- The multi-ministry task force tackling Covid-19 stated on June 16 that it is reviewing the timing and scope of the second stage of reopening the economy amid a major infection outbreak in Bukit Merah
- On May 2, Singapore announced a ban on entry or transit for visitors with recent travel history to Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Travelers from Thailand will also have to serve their 14-day quarantine at a dedicated facility and are no longer allowed to quarantine at their place of residence.
- On May 4, Singapore announced tighter curbs on social gatherings and stricter border measures, including a 21-day quarantine on most inbound travelers and the closure of gyms and fitness centers.
- Singapore on May 10 began mass testing at airports and seaports for Covid-19.
- Pfizer’s vaccine partner BioNTech announced May 10 that it would set up a new Asia headquarters in Singapore to produce its Covid-19 vaccine and other medicines. The new facility will be operational by 2023.
- Singapore announced May 12 that it would cancel the Singapore Open, a world-renwoned badminton tournament, which was scheduled for June 1–6.
- A cross-border travel agreement between Singapore and Malaysia to facilitate trips for compassionate reasons such as funerals and visits to loved ones who are critically ill will begin on May 17.
- Singapore announced new restricions on May 14 that limit social gatherings to two people and halt dining in at retaurants.
- On May 18, Singapore authorized the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for those aged 12 to 15 years old. Starting on May 19, people between 40 and 44 years old will be invited to register for vaccinations.
- Effective May 19, Singapore will shut down in-person education, mandating all primary and secondary schools and junior colleges to shift to home-based learning until the end of the school term.
- As of May 19, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce will prioritize first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine by extending the interval between first and second doses to between six and eight weeks.
- Singapore on May 24 granted provisional authorization for a Covid-19 breath test that can generate results within one minute.
- Singapore’s Ministry of Health on May 26 announced that Singaporeans and permanent residents returning to Singapore must test negative for Covid-19 prior to travel.
- Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on May 31 announced that Singapore would ease restrictions after June 13. Prime Minister Lee also announced that “DIY” self-administered Covid-19 test kits would be made available for sale at pharmacies, that individuals over 60 were eligible for “walk-in” vaccines without an appointment, and that students above the age of 12 would be eligible for the vaccine beginning June 1.
- Singapore Airlines flights to Hong Kong were suspended after the airline breached one of the city’s “trigger points” for Covid-19 testing requirements, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore said on April 2.
- Singapore’s aviation regulator announced on April 5 that the country will accept visitors who use a mobile travel pass containing digital certificates for Covid-19 tests and vaccines beginning May 1.
- Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary announced in Parliament on April 5 that the government will allow people under the age of 45 to schedule their Covid-19 vaccination starting in June.
- On April 16, Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry announced that vaccinated Malaysian cargo drivers may use vaccination cards or the TraceTogether app as verification for their vaccination status when entering Singapore, in lieu of on-arrival testing.
- The Ministry of Health on April 20 announced new border measures to take effect on April 22. Travelers from India will serve longer stay-home notices. Travelers from Hong Kong can serve a shorter seven-day stay-home notice at a personal residence. The entry ban for travelers from the United Kingdom and South Africa has been lifted. Fully vaccinated Singaporean officials will be allowed to go on official trips as long as they adhere to a stringent testing and self-isolation regime.
- On April 22, the Ministry of Health announced that starting June 1, only the TraceTogether app or token will be accepted for SafeEntry check-in at all higher-risk venues, including malls, restaurants, gyms, workplaces, and places of worship.
- Singapore on April 24 banned long-term pass holders and short-term visitors who have traveled to India within the last 14 days from entering the city-state.
- The annual Shangri-La Dialogue is scheduled to resume as an in-person event this year. The dialogue will take place from June 4 to 5, and an event “bubble” will be centered on the Singapore hotel venue, according to a letter sent to delegates on April 24.
- Singapore announced on April 26 that the long-delayed travel bubble with Hong Kong will finally allow quarantine-free trips starting on May 26.
- On April 30, Singapore tightened safety measures amid a spike in coronavirus cases before the Labor Day weekend, announcing capacity reductions at malls, attractions, and large standalone stores
- Singapore will not require proof of vaccination to enter the country, the government announced on March 1. It will instead continue to rely on post-arrival testing.
- On March 9, Singapore announced that it would extend its national Covid-19 vaccination drive to more high-risk groups and essential workers, including teachers, postal workers, and migrant workers. Malaysian cargo drivers eligible for the vaccine will be selected based on their frequency of travel between the two countries.
- The Connect@Changi facility for business travelers welcomed its first visitors on March 9.
- Singapore on March 10 announced that it would begin vaccinating migrant workers who have not been infected with Covid-19.
- Singapore on March 17 will begin operations at seven more Covid-19 vaccination centers across the country, with four offering the Moderna vaccine. The Ministry of Health also announced that citizens and permanent residents may apply to get their vaccines early if they have an urgent need.
- On March 18, the foreign ministers of Singapore and New Zealand discussed the possibility of recognizing each other’s digital health and Covid-19 vaccination certificates.
- On March 23, the foreign ministers of Singapore and Malaysia reaffirmed their countries’ commitment to recognize each other’s coronavirus vaccination certificates in an effort to revive cross-border travel. The digital certificates will use blockchain technology and include a traceability feature that tells the exact batch of the vaccine vial used for inoculation.
- On March 24, the government announced that it would relax workplace measures to allow more people to return to offices and permit larger gatherings beginning April 5.
- Singapore on March 24 announced that people aged 45 to 59 years old could begin to register for vaccinations.
- Singapore’s Ministry of Health announced on March 24 that it would increase the number of guests allowed at weddings, performances, and sports competitions with pre-event testing, effective April 24.
- All 20 government-run health clinics in Singapore began offering Covid-19 vaccinations on February 1.
- Second Minister for Manpower Tan See Leng announced on February 1 that migrant workers in dormitories will be vaccinated by the end of this year, the same timeline as for the rest of Singapore. Migrant workers will be prioritized based on the risk of the dormitory in which they reside.
- The Health Sciences Authority on February 3 authorized use of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine. The first shipments will arrive in March.
- The government announced on February 3 that workers in the construction, marine, and petroleum/chemical processing sectors arriving from higher-risk countries will be required to stay at a designated facility for 21 days.
- On February 9, the Ministry of Health announced that it will tighten its border measures for people with travel history to Vietnam, while loosening measures for travelers from New South Wales, Australia.
- On February 16, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced a $3.6 billion budget to fund public health measures, including free vaccinations for residents.
- On February 17, Singapore received its first shipment of the Moderna vaccine.
- Starting February 18, international business travelers will be able to stay and conduct meetings at the Connect@Changi business facility without the need to quarantine on arrival.
- On January 13, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong announced that Singapore had vaccinated more than 6,200 people against Covid-19 and would continue to ramp up the pace. He also announced that four vaccination centers will be established by the end of January to facilitate rapid vaccination of the general public.
- Singapore began vaccinating seniors against Covid-19, with residents in Tanjong Pagar and Ang Mo Kio receiving their first dose of the vaccine on January 27.
- On December 1, Singapore and Hong Kong announced an indefinite delay in implementing their planned travel bubble.
- On December 9, three bars and pubs were allowed to reopen for two months under a small-scale pilot program for the nightlife industry.
- Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on December 14 annoucned that Singapore had approved the use of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine and the first shipment will arrive by year’s end.
- Singapore will enter Phase 3 of its reopening on December 28, according to Prime Minister Lee. Social gatherings of up to eight people will be permitted and capacity limits in public places will be increased.
- The government on December 15 announced that from the second half of January 2021, short-term business travelers arriving in Singapore through new segregated travel lane arrangements will no longer need to quarantined.
- Singapore and Vietnam agreed on December 15 to “expeditiously conclude ongoing discussions” on a “green lane” agreement for essential business and official travel.
- On December 23, Singapore announced that it would bar long-term pass holders and short-term visitors who had traveled to the United Kingdom within the past 14 days from entering or transiting the city-state.
- On December 24, Singapore required all visitors from South Korea to serve their 14-day quarantines at dedicated facilities due to a “sustained surge in cases” there.
- On December 30, Singapore began vaccinating healthcare workers.
- The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore on November 1 announced that 10 mosques will participate in a pilot project to increase the number of worshippers per session to 250 by the end of the year, with attendees required to use the TraceTogether app or token.
- The Ministry of Education on November 3 postponed its requirement for students to use the TraceTogether token for entry into schools until all tokens are given out.
- Singapore announced on November 6 that a limited number of nightlife establishments will be allowed to reopen with Covid-19 safety measures in place under a pilot program.
- The Ministry of Health announced on November 10 that foreign travelers planning to enter Singapore from high-risk countries will need to take a Covid-19 test within 72 hours before departure.
- Students aged seven and older must use the TraceTogether app or token beginning December 1.
- Singapore announced on November 10 that coronavirus tests will be available for all individuals from an approved provider on December 1.
- On November 22, Singapore and Hong Kong began operating a quarantine-free leisure travel corridor.
- Singapore’s Ministry of Health announced on November 20 that the country will tighten border measures with Malaysia given the resurgence of cases there.
- On November 21, Singapore postponed its quarantine-free leisure “travel bubble” one day before it was due to launch, after Hong Kong reported a jump in Covid-19 cases
- The Ministry of Manpower on October 8 announced it would set up additional regional screening centers and testing facilities in dormitories.
- Singapore and Indonesia on October 12 announced that negotiations over their reciprocal travel corridor had concluded and they would accept applications for the green lane beginning October 26.
- On October 16, Singaporean authorities announced that 450,000 contact tracing devices will be distributed to all those living or working in dormitories, construction, and marine shipyard worksites.
- On October 20, the Ministry of Health announced that Singaporean citizens, permanent residents, and long-term pass holders traveling out of Singapore who have Covid-19 symptoms within 14 days of their return will be allowed to tap into government subsidies and insurance coverage for their medical bills.
- On October 20, the Minister of Health announced that Singapore will pilot pre-event testing from mid-October to December in order to hold safer large-scale events in 2021.
- On October 20, Education Minister and co-chair of the multi-ministry task force on Covid-19 Lawrence Wong announced that the nightlife industry will likely not resume its activities even after Singapore enters Phase 3 of its reopening.
- On October 20, the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office announced that it will soon be compulsory to use the TraceTogether app or token to do SafeEntry check in at popular venues across Singapore by the end of 2020.
- A Ministry of Manpower press release stated on October 21 that a new program would be implemented at migrant worker dormitories to train and educate operators and residents on infection prevention and control.
- Singapore and Germany have agreed to start a reciprocal “green lane” allowing business and official travel as of October 23.
- Singapore on October 28 announced that foreign worker dormitory residents who tested negative for Covid-19 would be able to visit recreation centers starting October 31.
- The distribution of TraceTogether tokens at community centers was temporarily suspended until October 29 to prevent long queues at centers.
- Singapore on October 29 announced that all travelers from China and the state of Victoria in Australia would be able to enter Singapore without being quarantined, beginning November 6.
- Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung on October 30 announced that staff at Changi Airport who come into close contact with passengers will be required to wear full PPE and be tested for Covid-19 every two weeks.
- On September 1, Singapore and Brunei announced a reciprocal green lane, permitting travel between the two countries for essential business and official purposes only.
- A fast lane connecting Singapore and South Korea opened on September 4 for essential business and official travel.
- The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore on September 8 announced that all incoming and outgoing flights are required to set up emergency quarantine areas on board.
- Entry restrictions to four popular markets were lifted on September 12.
- Singapore announced that it would distribute its “TraceTogether” contact-tracing tokens nationwide beginning September 14.
- Singapore and Japan will launch a “reciprocal green lane” to facilitate essential business and official travel between the two countries on Sep 18.
- The Ministry of Health on September 23 announced that more people will be allowed to return to the workplace starting September 28, subject to certain criteria including capacity limits.
- Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong on September 23 announced that restrictions on worship services and weddings would be eased on October 3, with up to 100 attendees allowed at gatherings.
- Singapore on September 23 announced it would pilot a business travel pass for senior executives.
- The Ministry of Health on September 23 announced that the legal cutoff age for children who need to wear face masks would be adjusted to six-years-old, up from the current two-years-old.
- The Ministry of Health announced on September 29 that all Singaporeans would receive a one-time Covid-19 subsidy to offset the net increase in premiums for their healthcare plans.
- On September 29, the Ministry of Law amended a law that came into effect on March 27, permitting general meetings of most entities to be held electronically until the end of June 2021 and making additional real-time electronic voting provisions.
- On October 7, 19 mosques in Singapore will open 50 more spaces for individuals to use for daily congregational prayers.
- Amid a third wave of imported cases, all inbound travelers must wear quarantine monitoring devices starting on August 11.
- The majority of foreign workers will be allowed to return to work by the end of the month, putting many construction projects back on track.
- Singapore and Malaysia reopened their border on August 17 for the first time in five months for limited business travel.
- Singapore on August 21 announced that national exams will take place from September 14 through December 2, with Covid-19 safety measures in place
- The Ministry of Health on August 22 announced a new cluster of cases at Singapore’s largest dormitory.
- On August 22, authorities mandated that employers in labor-intensive industries must screen employees for Covid-19 before they return to work and every 14 days thereafter.
- Singapore held discussions with Indonesia and Thailand on August 25-26 to establish reciprocal travel arrangements for essential business.
- Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong on July 17 announced that Singapore was entering the final phase of testing all foreign workers residing in dormitories, with testing expected to be completed by mid-August.
- The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency announced on July 22 that the two organizations would collaborate to create common standards to facilitate air travel between Singapore and the European Union.
- Singapore announced on July 17 that travelers entering Singapore from Japan, Hong Kong, and the Australian state of Victoria would be required to serve their quarantine at dedicated facilities.
- Tourist attractions reopened at 25 percent operating capacity on July 1.
- Singapore has rolled out a pilot program, giving each of its 5.7 million residents a Bluetooth device to trace interactions with virus carriers. As of July 29, just under 40 percent of the population had downloaded the app. Authorities have said they would like that figure above 75 percent.
- On June 2, Singapore gradually reopened schools and 75 percent of its economy, allowing one-third of workers to return to offices and factories.
- On June 8, Singapore set up a “fast lane” for essential trips by government and corporate travelers between Singapore and Shanghai, Guangdong, Tianjin, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang.
- Phase 2 of Singapore’s reopening began on June 19, allowing for public and private gatherings of up to five people, a resumption of physical retail and recreational businesses, and the reopening of restaurants with a maximum occupancy of five people.
- Primary, secondary, and junior college students returned to school daily beginning June 29.
- As of June 26, religious services with a maximum of 50 attendees were permitted.
- On May 1, Prime Minister Lee announced the eventual “step-by-step” reopening of the economy. “Circuit breaker” measures would be progressively lifted in three phases.
- Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, and Canada on May 1 agreed to resume cross-border travel to maintain supply chains.
- On April 5, Singapore imposed a quarantine on dormitories housing 20,000 migrant workers, most of whom are manual laborers from South Asia living in cramped conditions. A task force lead by the Ministries of Health and Manpower deployed special teams to bring supplies, food, and medical assistance to quarantined foreign workers.
- On April 21, Lee announced that the stay-at-home order, which the government dubbed a “circuit breaker,” would be extended until June 1. Work permit holders were placed under a mandatory stay-at-home notice until May 18 because of the rise in the number of infections in the community.
- On March 22, the city-state barred all short-term visitors from entering Singapore. Malaysians with a Singapore work permit were allowed to continue working in the country. The only other non-nationals allowed entry were work permit holders in essential sectors such as health care.
- Singapore banned the entry of all travelers from China on January 31.
- The Ministry of Finance on May 29 announced that low- to middle-income workers impacted by Covid-19 were eligible for a one-time payout of up to $530 under a new temporary grant program.
- The Ministry of Social and Family Development on March 30 announced that current recipients of the Covid-19 Recovery Grant can apply for an additional three months of support.
- Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on February 16 announced a new Covid-19 Resilience Package worth $8.3 billion to support vaccinations, testing, contact tracing, medical care, financial support for businesses, and cash handouts and tax rebates for millions of lower income Singaporeans. The government will also tap $40.6 billion from its reserves to fund Covid-19 support measures taken in 2020 and 2021.
- Singapore on October 8 unveiled additional temporary relief measures for property developers.
- As of October 28, 470,000 lower-income Singaporean workers had received Workfare Special Payment payouts from the Ministry of Finance.
- As of October 30, 89,000 people had received funds from Singapore’s Covid-19 Support Grant, which provides up to $588 per month for three months to Singaporean and permanent residents whose employment status have been impacted by the pandemic.
- Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on November 2 launched a $2.9 million fund for Singaporean households impacted by Covid-19-related job losses, with each household to receive a one-time payment of approximately $370.
- President Halimah Yacob on November 3 formally approved Singapore’s third Supplementary Supply and Budget Adjustments Bill, providing an additional $5.8 billion in Covid-19 support.
- Singapore on September 4 passed amendments to its Covid-19 Act, expanding rent relief efforts.
- Singapore allocated an additional $5.8 billion to support the construction, retail, food services, and arts sectors. The aviation industry will receive $136.7 million in additional relief, while the tourism industry will be supported by $233.9 million in domestic travel vouchers. The government has also launched a billion-dollar scheme to help biomedical sciences and financial services companies hire local talent.
- Singapore allocated $365 million to help Singaporeans and businesses adapt to a digital working environment as a part of the “Fortitude” budget
- Around 400,000 low-income workers will be eligible for cash payouts starting July 28 as part of the Workfare Income Supplement scheme targeting the bottom 20 percent of the workforce.
- The Singapore Tourism Board launched a $33 million campaign to encourage domestic tourism and redirect overseas spending.
- Workforce Singapore and the Singapore Business Federation have launched multiple traineeship schemes for new graduates and mid-career job seekers.
- On May 6, Singapore set up an “Emerging Stronger Taskforce” to establish industry coalitions to spark job growth and new project ideas in areas such as robotics and supply chain digitization.
- On May 26, Singapore unveiled its fourth stimulus, dubbed the “Fortitude Budget,” totaling $23.2 billion to support workers and businesses affected by Covid-19 border closures and social distancing measures.
- On April 6, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced an unprecedented third round of support measures called the “Solidarity Budget.” This included one-off payments to citizens, wage subsidies, and self-employed relief funds. Singaporeans over the age of 21 began receiving $424 each on April 14.
- By April, the government had earmarked approximately $70.4 billion, about 20 percent of GDP, to respond to Covid-19. This was the largest, most aggressive stimulus package in Asia.
- On March 26, Singapore unveiled a second stimulus plan, the “Resilience Budget,” worth $33 billion. The package was designed to assist hard-hit sectors and self-employed individuals and provide cash payouts to citizens depending on income.
- Singapore first announced $4.4 billion of relief funding, dubbed the “Unity Budget,” on February 18 to co-fund business costs and provide tax relief for workers.
- The Monetary Authority of Singapore’s June survey reported that the country’s GDP is expected to grow by 6.5 percent in 2021.
- The IMF in its April 2021 World Economic Outlook report measured Singapore’s 2020 GDP growth at -5.4 percent and projected the economy to rebound by 5.2 percent in 2021.
- Singapore reported a 2.4 percent GDP contraction in the last quarter of 2020, less than the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s projection of 3.8 percent. The ministry expects a gradual recovery, with GDP reaching pre-Covid levels in the latter half of 2021.
- The IMF in October lowered its projection for Singapore’s 2020 economic performance to a 6 percent contraction, down from 0.7 percent growth in 2019. Singapore’s economy contracted by over 40 percent in the second quarter, resulting in the city-state entering a recession.
- The ADB projected a 6.2 percent GDP contraction for 2020 overall while predicting a rebound of 4.5 percent for 2021
- Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry reported that the country’s economy will likely expand between 4 and 6 percent in 2021.
- Singapore reported that the economy shrank by a record 13.2 percent year over year in the second quarter. GDP is expected to fall by 5 to 7 percent overall this year
- Singapore’s overall unemployment rate rose to 2.9 percent in June, a 20 percent increase from March. Layoffs more than doubled in the second quarter. The Ministry of Manpower on September 7 announced that two in five workers retrenched in the first quarter were able to find jobs by June. Singapore’s overall unemployment rate rose to 3.4 percent in August while resident unemployment rate rose to 4.5 percent, up from 4.1 percent in July. Singapore’s total unemployment rate rose to 3.6 percent in September, while unemployment among permanent residents rose to 4.7 percent.
Thailand confirmed its earliest case of Covid-19 on January 13, becoming the first country outside of China to do so. Numbers remained low until March, when the country began to see widespread community spread. Since then, Thailand has done relatively well in combating the coronavirus crisis with a quick lockdown, an effective contact tracing rollout, an already strong healthcare system, and wide embrace of mask-wearing. However, Thailand is projected to suffer the worst economic consequences in the region due to its overwhelming dependence on tourism and exports. This has contributed to pro-democracy protests in Bangkok, which have flouted an emergency order by Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha banning free assembly. The government has cracked down on demonstrations, citing the increased risk of spreading Covid-19. Case counts remained low throughout the months-long protest movement, as the government appeared to be more concerned with halting the calls for reform than with public health. Case numbers spiked in December following an outbreak of Covid-19 among migrant workers in Samut Sakhon, and the country has quickly reimposed lockdown measures. In March, the government focused its resources on a new cluster in the Bang Khae district in Bangkok, shutting down markets and prioritizing residents for vaccination. Thailand has been battling a third wave of infections in April tied to bars and nightlife venues in Bangkok, which has spread to 62 of the country’s 77 provinces. A poll in May 2021 showed a steep rise in vaccine hesitancy among the Thai public, with the proportion of people willing to take the vaccine falling to 63 percent from 83 percent in January. This drop-off in vaccine confidence appears to largely stem from the perception that the government’s handling of the vaccine rollout has been disorganized as well as from a perceived overreliance on AstsraZeneca and Sinovac rather than the more efficacious Pfizer and Moderna.
Public Health Response
- On June 1, Thailand’s first AstraZeneca vaccine shipment to the Philippines was reduced to 1.2 million doses and delayed until at least the third week of June.
- AstraZeneca’s manufacturing partner in Thailand on June 4 delivered 1.8 million doses of its locally produced vaccine, the first of 6 million doses set to be delivered by the end of the month.
- All foreigners in Thailand will be able to register for Covid-19 vaccinations starting June 7.
- Thailand’s Private Hospitals Association announced on June 7 that private hospitals will charge $122 for two doses of the Moderna vaccine as an alternative to the national vaccination drive.
- Thailand on June 8 announced that a public-private partnership plans to start distributing the Sinopharm vaccine to factory workers in five industrial estates on July 9. The initiative is being driven by the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand and the Federation of Thai Industries.
- The Thai government announced on June 9 that private and local administrative organizations will be allowed to procure Covid-19 vaccines, but only through government agencies such as the National Vaccine Institute and the Thai Red Cross Society.
- The Chulabhorn Royal Academy announced on June 9 that the price of the Sinopharm vaccine will be set at $28.50 per dose.
- The Thai health minister announced on June 10 that the government ordered 20 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine and intends to order 5 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine.
- The provincial government of Phuket announced on June 10 that it is requesting financial and technical assistance from the Thai government to implement its “Phuket Sandbox” tourism reopening program. Under the program, Phuket intends to vaccinate 70 percent of the local population before its July 1 reopening date and develop an app that tracks the 129,000 foreign tourists expected to arrive in the province over the next three months.
- On June 14, at least 20 Thai hospitals announced that they would postpone vaccination appointments due to delays in vaccine delivery.
- The new school year began on June 14 with social distancing measures in place. However, classes in Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, and Samut Prakan—the areas hit hardest by the pandemic—will remain online.
- The Bangkok government allowed five types of businesses and public establishments to reopen to the public on June 15, including museums, public parks, gardens, and health spas.
- The Thai government on June 15 approved a proposal to require foreign nationals carrying the non-immigrant O-A visa, sometimes referred to as a retirement visa, to prove they have insurance coverage of at least $100,000 against Covid-19.
- Thailand’s Thonburi Healthcare Group announced on June 16 that it will import 5 million doses of Moderna vaccines through the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation by the end of 2021.
- Pattaya City announced on June 16 that it will order 100,000 doses of the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine.
- In a televised speech on June 16, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha announced that Thailand’s borders will open to international tourists in 120 days, though key tourist destinations may open sooner. The prime minister also shared that the government is coordinating with Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, and Sinopharm to secure 105.5 million Covid-19 vaccine doses.
- Koh Samui and Phuket, two popular tourist islands, will seek regulatory approval to open to fully vaccinated tourists on July 1. The northern province of Chiang Mai hopes to follow, opening on August 1.
- Thailand announced that it will temporarily close its border to travelers from India, except Thai citizens, beginning May 1.
- On May 10, Thailand closed its borders to foreign arrivals from Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan.
- Secretary-General Paiboon Aeksaengsri of the Private Hospital Association on May 16 announced plans to receive 5 to 6 million doses of the Moderna vaccine in October for distribution.
- Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin announced the launch of an investigation into Covid-19 transmission in Thai jails after the country faced its highest-ever number of daily infections on May 17. More than 70 percent of the nearly 10,000 new cases that day originated in penitentiaries.
- On May 17, the Thai government downgraded Covid-19 risk designations and lifted restrictions in the provinces of Bangkok, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakarn, and Nonthaburi.
- Thailand’s health minister on May 19 announced that the the country aims to administer at least one shot of a coronavirus vaccine to 70 percent of its population by September.
- Prime Minister Prayuth posted to his Facebook page on May 20 that employees under Section 33 of the Social Security Act—mainly those who work in offices—and people living in nine provinces considered important economic areas of the country will be given priority for Covid-19 vaccines. Previous policy had prioritized the elderly and sick.
- The Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) on May 20 received a delivery of 1.5 million more doses of Covid-19 vaccines from China's Sinovac. The GPO has now received eight lots of the Sinovac vaccine since February, for a total of 6 million doses.
- Thailand on May 20 announced new movement restrictions for workers at construction sites and worker dormitories.
- Thailand on May 21 extended its nationwide state of emergency through the end of July.
- The government said on May 23 that it expects the Private Hospital Association—a group of over 200 hospitals—to order 5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine for its own inoculation program alongside the government’s mass rollout of AstraZeneca and Sinovac. The group will procure the vaccines through the GPO.
- Thai authorities said on May 23 that border controls will tighten after the discovery of three local cases of the variant first detected in South Africa stemming from illegal border crossings.
- The Phuket Tourist Association announced on May 24 that all people directly involved in the tourism sector in Phuket will be vaccinated against Covid-19 before the holiday island reopens to international visitors, still planned for July 1.
- A senior health official announced on May 24 that Thailand will extend the gap between the first and second doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine to 16 weeks. The government hopes this will speed up the overall delivery of vaccines by allowing the immediate use of some shots that would otherwise be held in reserve for second doses.
- The government said on March 26 that it plans to suspend registration for Covid-19 vaccinations through its Mor Prom online platform to prevent a bottleneck.
- On May 27, Phuket ramped up Covid-19 testing as it runs a final check to assess its readiness to reopen to tourists on July 1.
- Princess Chulabhorn Mahidol on May 27 approved Sinopharm Covid-19 imports through the Chulabhorn Royal Academy, an institution she sponsors.
- Pattaya mayor Sontaya Kunplome chaired a meeting on May 28 to discuss “Pattaya, move on,” a plan to fully reopen the area to foreign tourists in the fourth quarter of 2021 without quarantine requirements.
- On May 28, the Food and Drug Administration approved the Sinopharm vaccine for emergency use in Thailand.
- The Thai national government on May 31 reversed a decision by Bangkok authorities to ease Covid-19 restrictions in Bangkok.
- Starting April 1, Thailand will shorten the mandatory quarantine period for foreign travelers to 10 days from two weeks. Visitors from 11 African countries deemed most likely to be carrying new Covid-19 variants will still be required to complete the 14-day quarantine. The Ministry of Public Health will update the list every two weeks.
- Permanent Secretary for Public Health Kiattiphum Wongrajit said 800,000 Sinovac doses will be allocated nationwide starting April 1. About 350,000 doses will be given to at-risk provinces, 240,000 doses to tourism-reliant provinces, and 50,000 doses to border provinces.
- On April 2, The Ministry of Public Health announced that by May 1 it will launch "Mor Prom," a phone app that lets people book their Covid-19 vaccines.
- The Health Ministry on April 5 ordered bars to close at 9 pm ahead of the Thai New Year holiday after new clusters of infections were detected in nightlife venues around metro Bangkok.
- Travelers from Bangkok and other risk areas heading to their home provinces for Thai New Year will not have to go into quarantine, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said on April 6.
- Health and security officials on April 8 closed all bars and clubs in Bangkok and 40 other provinces for two weeks following a rise in new Covid-19 cases linked to Thong Lor, an upscale entertainment district of Bangkok.
- The government on April 9 authorized private hospitals to directly purchase up to 10 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines.
- The Government Pharmaceutical Organization on April 10 received 1 million doses of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine. This adds to 1 million doses received earlier. The government has ordered another 500,000 doses due to arrive at the end of April.
- Phichit, Lampang, and Ubon Ratchathani on April 13 joined 39 other provinces in imposing a variety of entry restrictions. Measures vary as each province has been given discretion. These restrictions come amid the country’s Songkran new year holiday.
- As of April 13, Thailand’s armed forces and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration have helped prepare nearly 5,000 beds in field hospitals around the country.
- Thailand on April 16 closed schools, banned large gatherings, and restricted other high-risk activities for two weeks.
- Siam Bioscience, the local biotechnology firm contracted to manufacture the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in Thailand, said on April 18 that it is confident that it will be able to deliver 6 to 10 million vaccines on time once they have passed required quality inspections in the United States and Europe.
- Thailand announced on April 19 that all primary and secondary schools are scheduled to reopen on May 17.
- The government on April 20 extended by one week the closure of the central farmer’s market in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya district, where another outbreak has been identified.
- Prime Minister Prayuth announced on April 20 that Thailand is in talks with Pfizer to acquire between 5 and 10 million vaccine doses.
- The government announced on April 21 that it will adopt “vaccine passports,” which will be required for international travel.
- Prayuth announced on April 21 that Thailand will seek to buy 35 million more doses of Covid-19 vaccine from two or three other producers, in addition to the acquisition of 65 million doses already underway.
- Thailand introduced new Covid-19 restrictions and rules on April 26 amid its third wave of Covid-19 infections, including a $640 fine for not wearing a mask in public spaces and the closing of cinemas, parks, gyms, and swimming pools.
- On April 28, the Department of Medical Sciences announced that samples of the locally produced AstraZeneca vaccine passed standards for chemical composition and safety. Producer Siam Bioscience is expected to deliver the first batch of vaccines to the government in May
- Samut Sakhon’s Central Shrimp Market reopened on March 1 after being the epicenter of a Covid-19 outbreak in December.
- Thailand on March 2 announced that members of the public will able to register for the Covid-19 vaccine in early May.
- Thailand on March 3 announced that Thai New Year festivities will be allowed to take place in April but must comply with disease control measures.
- Thailand’s health minister on March 8 announced that the country would shorten the mandatory quarantine period for vaccinated travelers from 14 days to 7 days starting next month.
- Culture Minister Ittiphol Kunplome announced on March 10 that the ministry is seeking additional vaccine doses for tourism-reliant provinces.
- Thailand on March 10 notified private companies that they cannot import vaccines during the first phase of rollout, marking an apparent turnaround in policy.
- The Department of Disease Control on March 11 will release Thailand’s first batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine for use.
- Bangkok shut down six markets in Bangkok’s Bang Khae district on March 13 in response to a cluster of new cases earlier in the month.
- Prime Minister Prayuth and other cabinet members on March 16 received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine after a brief delay due to concerns over its safety.
- The governor of Bangkok on March 16 said 6,000 doses of vaccines will be administered to vulnerable populations in Bang Khae, the site of a new Covid-19 cluster.
- The Federation of Thai Industries said on March 18 that it will procure 100,000 doses of China's Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine to be used and paid for by businesses in the first phase of a private sector vaccination scheme.
- Thailand's Covid-19 task force said on March 19 that it will ban for a second year the street water fights that usually take place during celebrations for Songkran, the upcoming Thai New Year, due to the pandemic.
- On March 24, Thailand approved a proposal to allow foreign visitors to enter Phuket without quarantine starting July 1. The government aims to vaccinate 70 percent of the island’s population by then.
- Thailand’s FDA on March 25 approved Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose Covid-19 vaccine, the third vaccine to be cleared for local use. The first shipment is expected around October and will be sold to private hospitals.
- Thailand’s Public Health Ministry on March 30 announced it would prioritize the vaccinaton of frontline border security officers working to stem the flow of people fleeing neighbouring Myanmar
- Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang on February 4 canceled the city’s Lunar New Year celebrations.
- Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul on February 4 announced that AstraZeneca would ship 150,000 doses of its Covid-19 vaccine to Thailand from facilities in Asia rather than Italy after the European Union imposed export controls on vaccines.
- Health authorities in Samut Sakhon on February 5 announced that strict “seal and bubble” measures would be implemented to curb the spread of Covid-19 among factory workers in the province.
- Thailand’s Public Health Ministry on February 6 announced it was ramping up Covid-19 screening and surveillance efforts in Bangkok after a spike in infections.
- Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha on February 9 said that Thailand will have 2 million Covid-19 vaccine doses by the end of April.
- Thailand on February 10 announced that it would begin human trials of its locally developed Covid-19 vaccine in March.
- Pathum Thani provincial authorities on February 12 closed two major fresh food markets after 60 people tested positive for Covid-19.
- Officials in Samut Sakhon province reopened markets on February 15. The province’s Central Shrimp Market, the source of Thailand’s largest Covid-19 cluster in December, was not among the markets reopened.
- Thai Airways on February 16 announced that it would fly Thailand’s first doses of the Sinovac vaccine into the country on February 24. The government expects to begin administering vaccines by the end of the month.
- Officials in Pathum Thani province on February 16 extended the closure of markets in Thanyaburi district until February 25.
- A government spokesperson on February 18 assured the public that everyone in Thailand, including foreigners and migrant workers, will have access to Covid-19 vaccines.
- Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccine on February 22.
- Thailand received its first Covid-19 vaccines on February 24—200,000 doses from Sinovac. The country has ordered 1.8 million more doses from the Chinese manufacturer.
- On February 28, Thailand kicked off its vaccination program with a group of healthcare workers receiving the vaccine during a live national broadcast
- Bangkok on January 2 announced the closure of 25 types of businesses, including entertainment venues, playgrounds, and all buildings at schools or educational institutions.
- Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha on January 4 applied a new set of coronavirus-related restrictions on 28 “red zone” provinces. The restrictions call for the closure of schools and educational institutions, a ban on high-risk activities including meetings and seminars, and empower provincial governers to impose further restrictions as needed.
- Thailand’s cabinet on January 5 approved plans to procure 35 million additional doses of Covid-19 vaccines.
- Education Minister Nataphol Teepsuwan on January 5 ordered more than 10,000 public and private schools across 28 provinces to close until January 31
- As of January 8, people in the Covid-19-hit provinces of Chanthaburi, Chon Buri, Trat, Rayong, and Samut Sakhon are required to use MorChana, Thailand’s contact tracing app.
- Thai health authorities announced on January 14 that they will accelerate Covid-19 testing for Myanmar migrant workers in Samut Sakhon, the epicenter of the country’s latest outbreak.
- Foreigners with Thai residency whose re-entry visas require that they return to Thailand within one year will be allowed to stay abroad until further notice, the Immigration Bureau said on January 20.
- The Food and Drug Administration on January 21 approved the emergency use of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine. Thailand is set to receive 50,000 doses in February.
- The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration approved the reopening of 13 kinds of businesses, including arcades and shops, effective January 22. Bars, along with 13 other types of business, will remain closed.
- On January 25, the government announced plans to begin Thailand’s national vaccine rollout on February 14, starting with healthcare and frontline workers.
- The government on January 29 announced that Thailand plans to begin a mass inoculation campaign in June using locally produced AstraZeneca vaccines. It expects to manufacture up to 18 million doses per month.
- Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul on December 2 ordered officials to prosecute individuals found infected by Covid-19 after illegally entering the country from Myanmar.
- The Thai government on December 7 announced that New Year’s countdown activities can be held so long as they take place under health safety standards.
- Prime Minister Prayuth on December 7 ordered officials to erect barricades along Thailand’s borders with Myanmar to curb illegal crossings amid fears of imported cases.
- Thailand on December 9 announced it would open its borders to tourists from all countries regardless of their Covid-19 situation, so long as travellers comply with mandatory quarantine requirements.
- The Public Health Ministry on December 14 imposed limitations on end-of-year festivities. Organizers of events must get prior permission from their provincial governor, limit the number of people attending, and ensure all regulations are followed, including wearing of face masks.
- The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration on December 18 eased curbs on travel from 56 countries, though visitors still need to undergo a two-week hotel quarantine.
- Thailand on December 18 announced that it would partner with AstraZeneca to produce 200 million doses of the British firm’s Covid-19 vaccine.
- Thailand on December 19 placed Samut Sakhon province under lockdown after an outbreak at a local shrimp market.
- Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit on December 19 issued price control measures on surgical masks due to a surge in demand amid recent outbreaks.
- Thailand’s Office of the Private Education Commission on December 22 closed more than 100 schools in Bangkok and Samut Sakhon.
- The Department of Health Service Support on December 23 instructed private hospitals nationwide to provide free Covid-19 tests for at-risk individuals.
- Thailand’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration on December 24 announced that the government would not conduct a national lockdown but would instead impose “Covid-19 control zoning” amid rising case numbers.
- The Thai cabinet on December 29 approved the registration of undocumented migrant workers from Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar to remain in the country for two years to contain the spread of Covid-19.
- Thailand on December 30 imposed restrictions on large gatherings and events to contain the spread of Covid-19 during New Year’s celebrations.
- The Thai cabinet on November 17 approved approximately $197 million in funding to purchase 26 million doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine.
- The Thai government on November 18 extended its nationwide state of emergency through January 15 to prevent Covid-19 infections during the New Year’s travel period.
- The Centre for Covid-19 Administration Situation gave the green light for long-stay foreign visitors to enter Thailand beginning October 1 on special tourist visas. The tourists must quarantine for 14 days. Visitors can stay in the country for up to 90 days, with visa renewals extending that to as many as nine months.
- Thailand’s National Vaccine Committee on October 6 requested nearly $100 million in order to procure enough doses of a Covid-19 vaccine for half of the population, beginning with frontline healthcare workers.
- Thailand agreed on October 12 to manufacture British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca’s experimental Covid-19 vaccine AZD1222 and act as Southeast Asia’s supplier of the drug.
- The government temporarily imposed a “severe” state of emergency on October 15, restricting gatherings to no more than four people, ostensibly to curb spread of the coronavirus. But the declaration was widely criticized as a ploy to quash anti-government protests. Protestors largely ignored the order and the Prayuth rescinded it on October 22.
- Thailand and China entered talks on October 16 to establish a quarantine-free travel corridor by January.
- Thailand received a group of tourists from China on October 20, its first such arrivals since commercial flights were halted in April.
- The Public Health Ministry announced on October 26 that it will make a list of low-risk countries whose nationals might face fewer restrictions to enter Thailand.
- Thailand on October 28 extended its state of emergency due to Covid-19 until the end of November.
- Thailand will ease the approval process for overseas patients beginning in September to facilitate medical tourism.
- Thailand restarted contact tracing on September 4 after reporting its first non-imported case in over 100 days.
- On September 3, Thai Airways International announced that it would operate 18 special flights to European and Asian cities to repatriate Thai citizens throughout September.
- Thailand tightened security on its borders with Myanmar and Cambodia on September 11.
- The government on September 15 approved long-term tourist visas for those who agree to a 14-day quarantine and stay for at least 90 days.
- The state of emergency decree was extended for a sixth time on September 28, to last until the end of October.
- On September 28, Thailand announced a plan to slowly reopen to tourism. 150 tourists will arrive in Phuket via charter flight from Guangzhou, China. After that, two more groups of foreign travelers—from China and Europe—will arrive on October 26 and November 1, respectively.
- The cabinet announced on September 29 that it would allow foreigners unable to return to their home countries due to Covid-19 to stay in Thailand until October 31.
- Under Phase 6 of loosening lockdown restrictions, foreign residential and work permit holders and their families, and migrant workers, can return beginning August 4.
- All schools resumed in-person classes on August 13. More than 3,000 foreign teachers have been cleared for entry.
- Thailand on August 21 extended its state of emergency for the fifth time, continuing until the end of September.
- Thailand on August 26 announced it was delaying human trials of its Covid-19 vaccine until the end of the year due to limited production capacity. Trials were expected to begin by October.
- The interior secretary on August 28 ordered 10 provinces bordering Myanmar to tighten security and health protocols after a new wave of infections were in reported in Rakhine state. Businesses were told to refrain from bringing Myanmar workers into the country.
- The state of emergency first declared by Prime Minister Prayuth on March 26 has been extended through the end of August, though lockdown measures for most businesses were relaxed on June 29. The state-of-emergency decree grants the government sweeping powers to restrict domestic travel, ban social gatherings, and censor the media.
- Thailand lifted its ban on incoming flights on July 1 and reopened 37 checkpoints along its borders with Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, and Malaysia to facilitate cargo transport.
- On July 13, Thailand increased security at its land borders amid concerns over a second wave of Covid-19 infections.
- Thailand on July 23 announced that migrant workers from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam with proper paperwork would be allowed to return to the country, while migrant workers entering through irregular channels would be deported in line with the July 13 hardening of land borders.
- The Royal Thai Army on July 29 announced it was suspending all plans to send personnel to overseas military exercises after nine soldiers returning from the Lightning Forge 2020 drill in Hawaii tested positive for Covid-19.
- Provincial and international travel along with all public transport was allowed to resume as part of a third phase of gradual reopening through June. The government announced the country would completely reopen on July 1.
- Thailand removed South Korea and China, including Hong Kong and Macau, from its list of Covid-19 Disease Infected Zones on May 15, easing restrictions on travel to and from those countries.
- Thailand began to ease restrictions on business operations on May 3, allowing certain businesses to reopen, including retail stores, food services, and markets. It reopened more businesses, including department stores and shopping malls, on May 17.
- Thailand in May created a Covid-19 contact-tracing app, Thai Chana (Thailand Wins).
- On April 7, the government unveiled plans for a new stimulus package worth $58 billion—10 percent of GDP. Of this, $18 billion was earmarked for financial aid to workers, $12 billion for infrastructure and job investments, $15 billion for soft loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and $12 billion for a Corporate Bond Liquidity Stabilization Fund.
- On April 28, the cabinet approved monthly payments of $154 for three months to the 8.4 million households registered as farmers.
- Thailand closed all its borders on March 22 and banned foreign visitors.
- On June 1, the cabinet approved a set of economic stimulus measures for $4.5 billion to be implemented in July 2021.
- On June 3, Thailand reported that the government is planning to roll out a 50 percent copayment subsidy for employees of small and medium-sized businesses in an effort to deter mass layoffs.
- On May 6, the government announced a new relief package worth $7.24 billion that includes e-vouchers to encourage people to buy food, products, and services through the government’s e-wallet; an extension of the Rao Chana relief payments scheme for low-income individuals; and a new phase of the Khon La Khrueng co-payment scheme for medium- to high-income individuals.
- The cabinet approved a draft of an executive decree on May 18 authorizing the government to borrow more than $22 billion to revitalize the economy. It was later revised down to $16 billion and went into effect on May 25.
- The cabinet on April 20 approved another $97 million in Covid-19 relief handouts under the Rao Chana (We Win) program, extending the subsidy to another 2.4 million people. The program now reaches 33.5 Thai citizens
- The cabinet on March 23 approved financial measures worth $11.3 billion, including loans and debt forgiveness, to help businesses recover from the impact of the coronavirus.
- In a bid to boost domestic tourism, the cabinet on March 23 approved the extension and expansion of the “We Travel Together” scheme, which covers 40 percent of the cost of hotel rooms
- Prime Minister Prayuth on February 4 approved $1.3 billion in financial assistance to 9 million employees who were previously ineligible for the government’s Covid-19 relief packages.
- The Thai Cabinet on February 15 approved cash payments of $133 to all salaried workers under the Social Security system.
- Thailand’s Social Security Office on January 1 announced that it would reduce employers’ and employees' contributions to its worker welfare fund.
- The government on January 8 allocated $1.5 million from its central budget to the Public Health Ministry to battle the new wave of coronavirus infections.
- Thailand’s government on January 12 approved more measures to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, including issuing soft loans and reducing utility bills
- On December 2, the government approved a $1.4 billion package to boost domestic consumption and local travel.
- The Thai cabinet on December 22 approved a series of relief payments to subscribers of the Social Security Fund who have been made jobless by the Covid-19 pandemic.
- The Thai cabinet on December 29 approved a $377 million budget to address the re-emergence of Covid-19 in the country. Budget items focus on preventative measures, treatment, and support.
- The government announced on October 7 that it will give 3.7 million taxpayers a tax deduction of up to $960 on purchases of goods and services from October to December.
- Thailand on September 9 announced plans to invest nearly $1 billion to support its farm sector and create rural jobs.
- To help low-income workers and boost the economy, the government on September 16 approved a $100 handout to 10 million people, which must be spent in the last quarter of this year.
- The Thai cabinet on September 22 approved a one-year extension of a scheme to help underprivileged people with their electricity and water bills during the pandemic.
- The government approved a $28.5 million stimulus package to support farming and tourism sectors on August 4.
- The government announced that social security contributions will be cut for a second time from September through November.
- The government has approved a $32 million budget to support domestic vaccine production.
- The Thai cabinet on August 25 approved stimulus measures to support domestic tourism, including subsidies for travel and accommodations.
- The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration extended the deadline for land and building tax payments until October 31.
- Prime Minister Prayuth on August 29 accepted a petition for over $767 million in soft loans to bail out seven domestic budget airlines.
- The Thai cabinet on July 8 approved a $3.2 billion budget for projects targeted at boosting consumption and tourism.
- Ninety-two public-private partnership projects worth $3.3 trillion are currently being planned to stimulate the economy.
- On April 7, the government unveiled plans for a new stimulus package worth $58 billion—10 percent of GDP. Of this, $18 billion was earmarked for financial aid to workers, $12 billion for infrastructure and job investments, $15 billion for soft loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and $12 billion for a Corporate Bond Liquidity Stabilization Fund.
- On April 28, the cabinet approved monthly payments of $154 for three months to the 8.4 million households registered as farmers.
- The government approved a stimulus package on March 10 that was expected to inject $12.7 billion into the economy.
- On May 17, the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council decreased its year growth forecast by 1 percent, the current estimate ranging from 1.5–2.5 percent.
- The Bank of Thailand in May 2021 slashed .
- The Thai Finance Ministry reduced its growth forecast for the second time this year from 2.8 percent to 2.3 percent amid a third wave of infections.
- The ADB reported that Thailand’s GDP contracted by 6.3 percent in 2020 but projects a rebound to 3 percent growth in 2021, down from a prior projection of 4.5 percent growth this year.
- The IMF in its April 2021 World Economic Outlook report measured Thailand’s 2020 GDP growth at -6.1 percent and projected the economy to rebound by 2.6 percent in 2021.
- The Bank of Thailand on March 25 slashed its economic growth forecast for 2021 to 3 percent from 3.2 percent forecasted in December. The World Bank also reduced its economic growth forecast for Thailand to 3.4 percent, down from the 4 percent projected earlier.
- Thailand’s on February 15 announced that the Thai economy suffered its worst full-year performance in more than two decades, with a contraction of 6.1 percent.
- The IMF in October revised their economic growth outlook for Thailand to -7.1 percent for 2020, an improvement over its June prediction. The IMF also predicts a rebound to 4 percent growth in 2021.
- Thailand’s central bank said in October that it expects the economy to contract by 7.8 percent this year.
- The ADB on September 15 projected that Thailand’s GDP would contract by 8 percent in 2020 and would expand by 4.5 percent in 2021.
- The World Bank forecasted that the Thai economy will shrink at least 8.3 percent this year, with a projected rebound of 4.9 percent in 2021.
- Thailand’s Ministry of Finance on November 23 announced that it expected the economy to grow by 4 percent in 2021.
- Up to 14.4 million jobs may be lost due to the combined pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic and drought. The National Economic and Social Development Council expects this to include 2.5 million jobs in tourism, 1.5 million in the industrial sector, and 4.4 million in other services.
- In June, Kasikorn Research Center noted that unemployment in Greater Bangkok rose to 9.6 percent, much higher than normal. In May, the president of the Thai Chamber of Commerce predicted that up to one-quarter of Thais would be unemployed due to the global shutdown.
- S&P on April 14 downgraded Thailand’s credit rating outlook from “positive” to “stable” due to uncertainties introduced by Covid-19.
Timor-Leste, despite initial fears that its weak health infrastructure would not be able to handle an outbreak of Covid-19, has effectively contained the virus since March 2020. After announcing a state of emergency, the government heavily restricted travel to and from Timor-Leste and strictly enforced health guidelines for all travelers and residents. In February, the government in Dili approved a national vaccination plan. A small outbreak of community transmission in March 2021 caused the government to place the capital on lockdown, while severe floods in early April have posed new challenges to the country’s pandemic response. Timor-Leste recorded its first fatality from Covid-19 on April 6, 2021.
Public Health Response
- The government of New Zealand on June 1 announced the signing of an agreement to transfer 24,000 AstraZeneca vaccines to Timor-Leste through the COVAX program.
- Timor-Leste approved an agreement with Australia on June 1 for the donation of approximately $14 million in aid to support community resilience and economic recovery during the Covid-19 pandemic.
- The government of Timor-Leste on May 5 received 20,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the government of Australia.
- On May 5, the government made Covid-19 testing by state authorities compulsory for all citizens, with individuals who refuse subject to forced quarantine.
- Timor-Leste on May 12 extended isolation zone restrictions in the municipalities of Dili, Baucau, and Covalima for an additional 14 days.
- The government on May 26 announced that it may apply disciplinary action to public officials doing face-to-face work who refuse to be vaccinated.
- The government on May 27 lifted a ban on public gatherings in Dili’s religious institutions.
- Timor-Leste on April 5 received a shipment of Covid-19 vaccines through COVAX.
- Timor-Leste on April 7 began its nationwide Covid-19 vaccination campaign.
- The Ministry of Health on April 8 began distributing the AstraZeneca vaccine to the Baucau, Lautem, Bobonaro, Ainaro, Covalima, and Liquiça municipalities.
- The government on April 8 announced it would continue to impose a “sanitary fence” in Baucau and Viqueque, restricting travel to and from these municipalities for an additional seven days.
- The Ministry of Health on April 19 opened up vaccine eligibility to frontline workers, including health workers, police, journalists, airport staff, and others.
- The Council of Ministers on April 21 recommended extending the state of emergency for another 30 days.
- The National Parliament of Timor-Leste on April 28 authorized President Francisco Guterres to extend the state of emergency to June 1.
- Timor-Leste on April 29 approved a decree declaring that residents who arrive in Timor-Leste with a Covid-19 vaccine certificate will not need to undergo mandatory quarantine.
- Timor-Leste on April 29 established isolation zones in the three municipalities of Lautem, Liquiça, and Manufahi, effective April 30 to May 16.
- The government on March 2 extended its state of emergency declaration until April 2.
- The government on March 8 placed the capital city of Dili on lockdown for one week. Residents are not allowed to leave their homes unless absolutely necessary.
- The government on March 15 extended the lockdown in Dili until April 2. Movement to and from the capital city will continue to be restricted.
- The Integrated Crisis Management Center on March 23 met with the Indonesian Embassy and agreed to strengthen border control to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
- Timor Leste on March 31 extended its state of emergency for another 30 days.
- The Council of Ministers approved a national vaccination plan on February 15, ensuring free access to the AstraZeneca vaccine via the COVAX Facility to 20 percent of its population. The government is still working to acquire enough vaccines for the remaining 80 percent. The plan will prioritize frontline healthcare workers and citizens over 60 years of age.
- The government on January 5 announced restrictions on social events, allowing no more than 10 people to gather in one place.
- Timor-Leste on October 3 extended its state of emergency for another 30 days.
- Timor-Leste on October 27 extended its state of emergency until December 3.
- On October 28, the government announced a mandatory mask wearing policy from November 4 to December 3.
- Timor-Leste on September 4 extended its state of emergency through October 4.
- On August 6, Timor-Leste implemented its fourth state of emergency, effective until September 4.
- On August 25, the Timor-Leste government declared victory over Covid-19.
- The country’s second state of emergency expired on June 26. While internal restrictions were relaxed, many restaurants, government buildings, and markets still mandated restrictions including mask-wearing and social distancing.
- On May 27, President Francisco Guterres renewed Timor-Leste's state of emergency for another month but adopted more flexible measures.
- On May 29, some religious, cultural, school, and sporting events were permitted as border control was strengthened.
- On May 29, foreigners born in Timor-Leste, resident citizens, and legal guardians of Timorese minors were permitted to enter the country. In addition, foreigners deemed essential to business or transportation were allowed to enter.
- Dili’s international airport restricted international and domestic commercial operations as of April 4, with an unspecified end date.
- On April 8, Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak withdrew a resignation he had issued in February, deciding to stay on until the virus was defeated and a new government could form.
- Beginning April 13, travelers, regardless of their citizenship, were forbidden from entering or exiting the country.
- On April 24, President Guterres renewed Timor-Leste's state of emergency.
- On April 29, the Council of Ministers reinstated public transportation, including taxis.
- After Timor-Leste reported its first case of Covid-19 on March 21, President Guterres announced a state of emergency on March 28, including travel restrictions, managed migration, and imposition of social health interventions.
- The government as of January 5 had spent 58.7 percent of its Covid-19 Fund budget, according to the Ministry of Finance.
- The government on October 20 presented its economic recovery plan to the national parliament, consisting of 71 short- and medium-term measures to boost the economy.
- On April 8, the government approved a $250 million fund for Covid-19 relief.
- The World Bank in June 2021 projected Timor-Leste’s GDP to grow by 1.8 percent in 2021.
- The ADB in April 2021 reported that Timor-Leste’s GDP contracted by 7.9 percent in 2020 while projecting it to rebound to 3.4 percent growth in 2021.
- The IMF in its April 2021 World Economic Outlook report measured Timor-Leste’s 2020 GDP growth at -6.8 percent and projected the economy to rebound by 2.8 percent in 2021.
- The World Bank predicts GDP growth to decline by 6.8 percent in 2020.
- The Central Bank of Timor-Leste projected that Timor-Leste’s GDP contracted 6 percent in 2020 and will grow 3.2 percent in 2021.
Vietnam has been the region’s biggest success story. Despite limited resources and a bustling border with China, Vietnam initially managed to contain the pandemic by halting travel with China early, deploying epidemic control teams to implement a massive test-and-trace regime, and committing to data transparency. Life had returned to normal for most Vietnamese until a second wave spread from the city of Danang at the end of July. But Hanoi’s response was swift, getting the virus back under control by early September, and the government has not been shy to reimpose restrictions where needed since then. Case numbers began to rise sharply again in late January, this time powered by the new UK variant of Covid-19. The government has quickly reimposed lockdowns. Vietnam’s economy has been surprisingly resilient; it is the only Southeast Asian nation still projected to have positive economic growth in 2020. But that growth will be limited to 1.6 percent. It will be the first time Vietnam’s GDP growth has dipped below 5 percent in at least 20 years. On April 29, Vietnam reported its first locally transmitted Covid-19 case in 35 days. On May 29, Vietnamese health officials claimed to have discovered a new, more transmissible coronavirus variant that is a hybrid of strains first found in India and the United Kingdom, which has fueled recent outbreaks.
Public Health Response
- Vietnam’s Heath Ministry announced on June 1 that the country is seeking to build a Covid-19 vaccine production plant to supply the COVAX initiative.
- Vietnam’s health minister said on June 2 that the country will purchase 20 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine this year to expedite vaccinations.
- Vietnam resumed incoming international flights to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City on June 2. Flights to Hanoi were initially suspended from June 1 to June 7, and flights to Ho Chi Minh city were initially suspended from June 1 to June 14.
- On June 4, Vietnam approved the Sinopharm vaccine for use.
- On June 5, Vietnam launched the Vietnam Fund for Vaccination and Prevention of Coronavirus Disease 2019, a $1.1 billion public fund to secure 120 million vaccine doses by the end of the year. The government has also begun asking for public donations to support the fund. As of June 8, the fund had secured $180 million from more than 230,000 organizations and individuals, including Samsung and Toyota.
- On June 12, Vietnam approved the Pfizer vaccine for use.
- Vietnam’s Health Ministry said on June 13 that a local company is expected to manufacture an mRNA-based Covid-19 vaccine after negotiating a technology transfer deal with an unidentified U.S. producer.
- Ho Chi Minh City announced on June 14 that it will extend social distancing measures for another 15 days until June 30.
- Vietnam’s domestically developed Covid-19 vaccine, Nanocovax, will begin Phase 3 clinical trials on June 17. Vietnam hopes to produce doses for the market by the end of 2021
- The Health Ministry on May 4 instructed provinces to keep people in quarantine centers for longer than the 14-day period after the Covid-19 variant first detected in India was found in the country.
- Danang announced it would suspend festivals and other non-essential events beginning May 4 amid rising coronavirus concerns.
- Vietnam on May 5 extended its quarantine policy from 14 to 21 days for both foreign arrivals and those who have been exposed to Covid-19.
- Ho Chi Minh City on May 10 announced plans to purchase 300,000 additional Covid-19 test kits.
- Hanoi on May 11 issued a directive limiting public gatherings to 10 people.
- Ho Chi Minh City on May 13 installed 12 Covid-19 checkpoints at the city’s entrances.
- Da Nang on May 14 restricted public gatherings to five people.
- Vietnam on May 16 received 1.7 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine as part of its allotment from the COVAX initiative.
- Ho Chi Minh City on May 17 tightened Covid-19 preventive measures at drugstores, bus and railway stations, and industrial parks.
- The Ministry of Health on May 19 announced it expected to purchase 31 million doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine.
- Vietnam declared plans on May 20 to set up a $1.1 billion fund to acquire 150 million Covid-19 vaccine doses.
- On May 22, a research center within the Ministry of Health discussed the potential to manufacture as well as directly purchase the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine.
- Vietnam widened lockdown measures in Hanoi and the northern part of the country on May 25 by implementing greater restrictions on public gatherings.
- On May 26, the National Ethics Committee in Biomedical Research reviewed plans to begin the final phase of trials for its domestically developed Covid-19 vaccine, Nanocovax, in June.
- The Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam on May 26 donated over $1.6 million to finance the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines in 10 cities and provinces.
- Ho Chi Minh City introduced social distancing measures starting on May 31 for 15 days after an outbreak originating from a Christian mission was discovered. Restaurants and shops were shut down and religious activities have been temporarily suspended.
- Vietnam on April 1 appealed to diplomats from the United States, European Union, and Japan to help it secure the 150 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines needed to cover its adult population.
- The Ministry of Health on April 6 asked all localities to list vaccination priority groups by April 15 so the country’s AstraZeneca vaccines can be used before they expire.
- Vietnam on April 8 unveiled its plan to distribute over 800,000 AstraZeneca vaccine doses received via COVAX.
- Vietnam on April 9 announced the completion of Phase 2 trials of its domestically produced Nanocovax vaccine. Vietnam aims to complete Phase 3 by mid-May and begin administering it nationally in August.
- The Health Ministry on April 16 moved its deadline for administering the second round of Covid-19 vaccines up 10 days to May 5 due to concerns about vaccine expiration. A batch of 800,000 AstraZeneca vaccines distributed to Vietnam through COVAX is set to expire on May 31.
- Vietnam Military Medical University on April 26 announced that Nanocovax, a Covid-19 vaccine developed by Vietnam, has generated an immune response on all volunteers following its second phase of human trials.
- Vietnam on April 27 tightened border controls in provinces neighboring Cambodia and Laos as those two countries see a rise in cases.
- The Standing Committee of the National Assembly on April 28 agreed to release $520 billion saved from last year’s budget to buy vaccines
- Ho Chi Minh City authorities approved the reopening of restaurants and other services beginning March 1.
- Schools in Ho Chi Minh City and six other provinces and cities reopened on March 1.
- Restaurants and cafes in Hanoi reopened on March 2 after a two week closure that helped bring the most recent outbreak under control.
- Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on March 2 ordered the Ministry of Health to begin Covid-19 vaccinations within the week.
- Mekong Delta provinces on March 2 announced they would tighten Covid-19 preventive measures along land borders and coastal entry points after two individuals tested positive near border crossings.
- The Ministry of Transport on March 3 reopened Van Don Airport in Quang Ninh province. The airport had been closed since late January after an employee tested poostive for Covid-19.
- Hai Duong on March 3 began to ease lockdown measures, with a majority of the localities in the province placed under less restrictive social distancing requirements.
- Phase 1 trials of the Russian Covivac vaccine began on March 3.
- Vietnam on March 8 launched its Covid-19 vaccination program with healthcare workers receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine.
- Hanoi on March 8 reopened religious sites. Hai Phong City reopened schools.
- Ho Chi Minh City health officials on March 9 successfully negotiated with Moderna to buy 5 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine.
- Hai Duong province on March 16 lifted more lockdown measures as the number of local infections decreased significantly. Primary, secondary, and high schools in some districts will resume classes on March 18 and transport operations, businesses, and sports facilities will be allowed to reopen under strict conditions.
- On March 16, Russia gifted Vietnam with 1,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine. The doses were brought by Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev on his two-day visit to Vietnam.
- Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on March 17 ordered relevant agencies to map out plans for a “Covid-19 vaccine passport” to help the tourism and aviation sectors recover.
- The Health Ministry announced on March 17 that Vietnam’s first domestically developed Covid-19 vaccine, Nanocovax, is expected to be available by the fourth quarter of 2021. Clinical trials for another Vietnamese vaccine, Covivac, began on March 16.
- Ho Chi Minh City authorities on March 19 allowed 500 karaoke parlors and 180 bars and dance clubs to resume operations after over a month of closure.
- A UNICEF representative to Vietnam on March 24 confirmed that delivery of the first shipment of COVAX vaccines to Vietnam will be delayed to mid-April due to “supply shortages.” Whether the delay is linked to India’s temporary vaccine export restriction is unconfirmed.
- On March 26, Deputy Prime Minister Dam and Deputy Science Minister Tac received shots of Nanocovax as part of the homegrown vaccine's second phase of human trials.
- In early February, Vietnamese airlines and airports began stepping up Covid-19 prevention measures, including implementing greater social distancing and more frequent sanitation on planes.
- Hanoi closed all bars, karaoke parlors, nightclubs, and gaming and internet service outlets from February 1. Local residents were told to avoid non-essential gatherings. Schools for more than 2 million students in elementary through high school were closed.
- On February 4, the Airports Corporation of Vietnam announced that all employees of the country’s 21 active airports will be tested for Covid-19.
- On February 4, Hanoi authorities announced that they plan to provide free Covid-19 vaccinations to all residents.
- On February 5, Vietnam announced that it would receive around 4.9 million doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine via the COVAX program.
- On February 9, the Vietnam Military Medical University announced that Nanocovax, a Vietnamese Covid-19 vaccine, is effective against coronavirus variants after the first phase of human trials.
- Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on February 15 ordered all necessary measures be taken to make Covid-19 vaccines available in Vietnam by the end of February.
- Social distancing measures were enacted on February 16 in Hai Duong province.
- Hanoi on February 16 ordered the closure of streetside stalls, monuments, temples, and pagodas.
- The Ho Chi Minh City Center for Disease Control on February 17 was equipped with an automated system to speed up testing by as much as 40 percent.
- The Ministry of Health announced on February 17 that Vietnam will receive 5 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, mostly from the COVAX Facility, by the end of February.
- On February 18, aviation authorities ordered carriers to refuse service to passengers who flout Covid-19 prevention measures such as compulsory medical declarations.
- On February 22, Vietnam’s government announced that healthcare workers, diplomats, and military personnel would be among the first to be vaccinated. The country aims to receive 60 million vaccine doses this year, half of which will come from COVAX.
- Vietnam on February 24 received its first shipment of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. Ultra-cold storage for the vaccines has been prepared in the three largest cities of Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and Danang.
- Hai Duong province on February 24 announced it would begin conducting large-scale testing due to it being the country’s largest Covid-19 hot spot.
- The Vietnamese government on February 25 gave approval for Hanoi and Hai Phong to use private funding to purchase Covid-19 vaccines.
- Vietnam’s Ministry of Health on February 26 approved the Moderna and Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccines.
- Vietnam began phase 2 trials of its locally developed Nanocovax vaccine on February 26
- Vietnam’s deputy health minister announced on January 4 that the country will receive at least 30 million doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in phases throughout 2021. Vietnam announced that it is looking at other sources as well, including Pfizer.
- Vietnam on January 5 suspended inbound flights from countries with new Covid-19 variants, including the United Kingdom and South Africa.
- Vietnam on January 9 announced it would limit inbound flights until the end of the Lunar New Year holiday in mid-February to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission.
- Vietnam on January 15 announced that all individuals attending the upcoming National Party Congress will be tested twice for Covid-19. Journalists who cover the event will also be tested for the virus.
- The National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control on January 15 waived quarantine-related fees for individuals legally entering Vietnam by road in an attempt to curb illegal border crossings.
- Vietnam’s Ministry of Health on January 19 announced that the Covivac vaccine being developed by the country’s Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals received approval for human trials set to begin in mid-February.
- Vietnam on January 20 mandated that all foreign experts and flight crews entering the country will need to undergo a 14-day centralized quarantine in advance of the Lunar New Year holiday.
- Vietnam on January 22 announced that it will tighten border controls to prevent Covid-19 cases linked to illegal entry into the country.
- Many localities at the end of January began canceling Lunar New Year celebrations and imposing lockdowns after the five northern localities of Hai Duong, Quang Ninh, Hanoi, Hai Phong, and Bac Ninh reported high levels of community spread.
- On January 30, Vietnam authorized the AstraZeneca vaccine for emergency use.
- On December 1, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc announced a temporary halt to all inbound international commercial flights except for repatriation flights.
- On December 1, two schools in Ho Chi Minh City required 2,000 students to stay home after their teachers came into contact with a colleague infected with Covid-19.
- On December 7, Vietnam and South Korea agreed to allow businesspeople to enter each other’s country for short-term visits without the mandatory 14-day centralized quarantine, effective next year.
- Vietnamese authorities told domestic vaccine producer Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology on December 11 to proceed with clinical trials of its Nanocovax vaccine, aiming to launch widespread vaccinations in the second half of 2021.
- Vietnam and Singapore agreed on December 15 to “expeditiously conclude ongoing discussions” on a “green lane” agreement for essential business and official travel.
- Vietnam announced on December 17 that the first three volunteers to receive a dose of Nanocovax were in stable condition three days after injection.
- On October 1, Vietnam’s immigration department announced another automatic stay extension until the end of the month for foreigners stranded in Vietnam due to the pandemic.
- Vietnam on October 8 announced it was temporarily suspending regular inbound flights pending the issuance of official national quarantine procedures.
- Ho Chi Minh City on October 9 announced that it would continue to require all citizens to wear face masks when leaving their homes. City officials that same day also outlined quarantine requirements for arriving foreigners.
- Vietnam and Japan agreed to quarantine-free procedures for short-term entries beginning on November 1.
- Foreign experts, investors, managers, and diplomats entering the country for fewer than 14 days will no longer be required to quarantine as of September 2.
- As of September 11, Vietnam required seven-day centralized quarantine for foreigners, in anticipation of resumed commercial flights.
- Vietnam on September 15 announced it would restart passenger flights to and from Guangzhou, Seoul, Tokyo, Taipei, Phnom Penh, and Vientiane this month in an effort to encourage foreign investment inflows.
- On August 3, a government spokesperson said that Vietnam has no plans for a widespread Covid-19 lockdown and will only put areas considered epicenters under strict quarantine.
- Danang on August 11 announced that it was extending its social distancing measures indefinitely.
- With the second-largest outbreak after Danang, Quang Nam Province on August 13 suspended non-essential services until further notice.
- Vietnam registered to buy a Russian Covid-19 vaccine, state television announced on August 14. In the meantime, Vietnam will continue developing its own vaccine.
- Beginning August 19, all restaurants in Hanoi must adopt social distancing measures and require masks.
- Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on August 19 called for greater inspection measures for medical equipment amid reports of the circulation of substandard gloves and face masks.
- Quang Nam Province lifted social distancing measures on August 28.
- On August 31, the Ministry of Health issued a directive allowing foreigners entering Vietnam to work for a period of less than 14 days to forgo quarantine
- Vietnam resumed issuing e-visas to foreign visitors from 80 countries on July 1.
- Vietnam on July 13 announced it was allowing the resumption of commercial flights to and from China.
- On July 27, Vietnam began a four-day evacuation process of 80,000 people from Danang after several new cases cropped up in the tourist hotspot over the weekend. Meanwhile, the Vietnamese government warned of stiff penalties for illegal immigration and mandated social distancing in Danang while banning gatherings of 30 or more.
- The Vietnamese government swiftly imposed a lockdown on Danang, restricting any flights or public transit in or out of the city and closing entertainment venues.
- Vietnam recorded its first two deaths from Covid-19 on Friday, July 31.
- Flights between Vietnam and Japan for commercial activities resumed between June 25 and 27.
- Cross-border travel restrictions with Cambodia were lifted on June 22.
- On May 7, the Ministry of Transport announced that all public and commercial transport could begin to operate at full capacity and frequency.
- The country reopened six secondary border gates with China in mid-May to facilitate the resumption of cross-border trade.
- A national lockdown began on April 1.
- The government on April 15 released a decree to prevent the spread of “fake news” related to the pandemic. Violators face fines of about $400 to $850.
- Social isolation measures were lifted in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi on April 23 with some restrictions remaining for hospitality and entertainment businesses. “Unnecessary major events” remained banned, and non-essential public services suspended.
- The government released guidelines on April 25 that allowed localities to lift Covid-19 restrictions if they had contained the virus.
- Vietnam declared a state of emergency and banned all flights to and from China on February 1.
- On February 15, Vietnam announced its first local quarantine orders.
- Vietnam recorded its first case of Covid-19 on January 23.
- The government on April 20 extended the deadline for payment of value added tax, corporate income tax, personal income tax, and land rental fees to ease the economic impacts of the pandemic on hard-hit sectors.
- On March 10, Vietnam’s central bank announced it will provide state-owned Vietnam Airlines with an interest-free loan of up to $174 million to help it weather the pandemic.
- The Vietnam Bank for Social Policy on January 14 allocated $1.3 million in soft loans to 207 businesses to pay the wages of workers who lost their jobs due to Covid-19.
- Vietnam’s National Assembly on November 17 passed a series of measures to assist national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines, including allowing the State Bank of Vietnam to refinance and offer loan extensions to the company.
- Ho Chi Minh City on November 18 approved a proposal to disburse over $1 million in unemployment benefits to workers in non-essential sectors impacted by Covid-19
- On October 2, the government announced a 30 percent corporate income tax cut for certain businesses for the 2020 financial year.
- Ho Chi Minh City on August 17 allocated $26 million in financial support to over 500,000 individuals impacted by Covid-19, including workers laid off or on unpaid leave.
- In early April, the government announced plans for a $2.6 billion fiscal package to support those most affected by the pandemic. Under the new package, those displaced from their jobs received about $76 per month through June, low-income households collected about $42 per month, and those who “rendered services to the state during the revolution” were sent about $22 a month.
- The government has delayed collecting an estimated $7.6 billion in value-added tax, corporate income tax, and land rent from various businesses and households for five months starting April.
- On March 3, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc announced a $1.16 billion fiscal stimulus package from the government’s contingency budget. The package included tax breaks, delayed tax payments, and government spending on infrastructure.
- Vietnam stopped exporting rice on March 24 to ensure national food security.
- The ADB reported that Vietnam’s GDP grew by 2.9 percent in 2020 and projected it to rebound to 6.7 percent growth in 2021, up from an earlier projection of 6.5 percent
- The IMF in its April 2021 World Economic Outlook report measured Vietnam’s 2020 GDP growth at 2.9 percent and projected the economy to accelerate to 6.5 percent growth in 2021.
- The government statistics office announced on December 27 that the economy expanded 2.9 percent in 2021, a 30-year low.
- On September 15, the ADB revised Vietnam’s projected economic growth to 1.8 percent, but the economy is expected to bounce back at 6.3 percent in 2021.
- The World Bank estimates that Vietnam’s GDP will grow by 2.8 percent in 2020 and 6.7 percent in 2021.
- The World Bank estimates that Vietnam’s annual inflation rate will be 3.7 percent for 2020.
- Oxford Economics predicts that Vietnam will achieve 8 percent GDP growth in 2021
- Vietnam’s first quarter employment rate reached a 10-year high. On July 10, the government announced that the Covid-19 pandemic had negatively impacted about 31 million workers, with 900,000 out of work and up to 18 million receiving reduced income. The services sector has been most heavily impacted, with 72 percent of workers affected.
- In late May, S&P maintained Vietnam's credit rating at BB, with a stable outlook.
ASEAN Response to Covid-19
While ASEAN has convened a series of meetings on how to deal with the pandemic, including with external partners such as the United States, China, and the European Union, there has been little collective action. Diplomatically, the crisis has threatened ASEAN’s centrality in regional affairs, with the crisis causing the cancellation of several key ASEAN meetings, including the ASEAN-U.S. summit scheduled for March 14 in Las Vegas and the 36th ASEAN Summit scheduled for April 6-9 in Vietnam. The latter was held as a virtual summit on June 26 where leaders agreed to establish an ASEAN Covid-19 fund and a regional reserve of medical supplies and coordinated disease response mechanisms.
- Singapore’s prime minister Lee Hsien Loong announced at the ASEAN Summit on November 12 that his country will contribute $100,000 to the Covid-19 ASEAN Response Fund.
- Vietnam donated $5 million worth of health equipment to ASEAN’s regional reserves and contributed $100,000 to ASEAN’s Covid-19 Response Fund on November 12.
- ASEAN pledged to step up cooperation with the European Union and India following the ASEAN-EU and ASEAN-India Ministerial Meetings on September 12, where both sides agreed to support capacity building and response to the Covid-19 pandemic and promote recovery.
- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on September 10 that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control will open a regional office in Hanoi to increase its public health engagement in Southeast Asia.
- During the September 10 ASEAN-US Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, the United States introduced cooperation and support programs for ASEAN member states that focused on four main fields: strengthening public health systems for the future, building connectivity through human capital development, advancing partnerships in economic cooperation, and promoting maritime cooperation for a secure Indo-Pacific.
- During the ASEAN-China Ministerial meeting on September 9, ministers of member countries called for increased cooperation with China in supporting ASEAN’s Covid-19 response as well as in areas in economic development, cybersecurity, maritime issues, and disaster relief
- The ASEAN Foreign Minister’s Meeting kicked off on September 9 with a draft communique acknowledging widespread supply chain disruptions, job losses, and demand shocks.
- The ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly Caucus met on August 14 with the aim of deepening coordination on Covid-19 response.
- ASEAN on July 29 convened a meeting between ASEAN and Australian health experts to discuss best practices on the public health response to Covid-19.
- Southeast Asian leaders virtually attended the 36th ASEAN Summit on June 26, where they addressed “land reclamations, recent developments and serious incidents” in the South China Sea, the Rohingya crisis, and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the region. As part of the post-pandemic recovery plan, ASEAN will establish a Covid-19 response fund for medical supplies and aid. Thailand has already pledged $100,000 and ASEAN partners China, Japan, and South Korea are expected to contribute
- The 29th Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Trade Negotiating Committee Meeting was held April 20 to 24. Representatives from the 17 parties to the agreement reaffirmed their commitment to sign it into law in 2020. They also voiced interest in engaging with India to bring it back into the fold and reiterated the importance of RCEP in jumpstarting the global economy in response to Covid-19.
- ASEAN foreign ministers participated in an ASEAN-U.S. special foreign ministers’ meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and ASEAN Secretary General Lim Jock Hoi on April 23. In addition to discussing coordination on Covid-19, Pompeo raised Washington’s concerns about China’s damming of the Mekong River and its continued assertiveness in the South China Sea despite the ongoing pandemic.
- On February 20, the foreign ministers of ASEAN and China met in Vientiane, Laos, to discuss ways to tackle the public health and economic implications of the global pandemic. The 10 ASEAN countries and China agreed to step up cooperation in sharing medical and health information and best practices to enhance emergency preparedness and response, with the communiqué praising China’s response to the pandemic.
- Southeast Asian leaders virtually attended the 36th ASEAN Summit on June 26, where they addressed “land reclamations, recent developments and serious incidents” in the South China Sea, the Rohingya crisis, and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the region. As part of the post-pandemic recovery plan, ASEAN will establish a Covid-19 response fund for medical supplies and aid. Thailand has already pledged $100,000 and ASEAN partners China, Japan, and South Korea are expected to contribute.
- ASEAN: China on April 21, 2020 donated 75,000 surgical masks, 300 bottles of hand sanitizers, and 35 infrared thermometers to the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta.
- Malaysia: The Chinese Embassy in Malaysia delivered a batch of medical supplies to Sungai Buloh Hospital on March 19, 2020. The Chinese government and other entities sent three more relief packages in March. Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein received the largest shipment of medical supplies from China on March 28. Despite this close engagement, Malaysian officials have expressed doubts about Chinese-made test kits. Malaysian hospitals are now considering acquiring test kits from Singapore and South Korea instead. On May 15, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob expressed his appreciation for China’s support in fighting the pandemic to his Chinese counterpart, Minister of National Defence General Wei Fenghe.
- Philippines: China’s first shipment of medical donations to the Philippines arrived on March 21, 2020. China sent a team of medical experts and a second batch of donations on April 5, followed by another one on April 27. On May 10, China sent another shipment of supplies, including 100 ventilators, 150,000 test kits, 70,000 protective suits, 70,000 N95 masks, 1.3 surgical masks, and 70,000 goggles. China’s Ministry of National Defence contributed another batch of supplies, including more than 80,000 surgical masks, goggles, and suits on May 13. China on June 9 provided 7,200 bags of rice to officials in Cebu to commemorate the 45th anniversary of Philippines-China relations. The Chinese Embassy in Manila on June 15 announced that it was donating over 3,000 tons of rice to families impacted by Covid-19. China on August 13 donated 130 ventilators to the Philippines. As of March 4, 2021, China has donated 1 million doses of Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccine to the Philippines. The Philippines on May 7 received 1.5 million more doses of the Sinovac vaccine.
- Thailand: China sent medical supplies worth $9 million. Deputy Defense Minister Chaichan Changmongkol received them in a public ceremony on May 12, 2020. This followed a shipment received in April during the Songkran Festival. The Chinese Embassy in Bangkok in partnership with the state-owned Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has donated 120,000 masks. An additional batch of supplies with 1.3 million masks, 70,000 N95 masks, 150,000 test kits, and 70,000 suits of personal protective equipment (PPE) arrived on June 29. On June 7, 2021, Thailand received 500,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine.
- Indonesia: On March 20, 2020, Indonesia sent a military aircraft to Shanghai to pick up 9 tons of medical supplies. A consortium of Chinese institutions and ministries sent 40 tons of Covid-19 test kits and other medical supplies to Indonesia one week later. On April 4, President Xi Jinping committed to helping Indonesia fight the outbreak during a phone call with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, reportedly saying, “We believe that with your perseverance, Indonesia will be able to defeat this pandemic.” Indonesia’s Covid-19 task force obtained RNA isolation kits, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test kits, and a viral transport medium kit from China on April 26. The Sichuan NGO Network for International Exchanges on May 14 donated over 10,000 masks to the Indonesian Chinese Entrepreneur Association. On June 5, the Chinese government donated an additional 100,000 test kits, 70,000 sets of PPE, 70,000 protective masks, and 1.3 million surgical masks.
- Laos: From April 10–11, 2020, a team of Chinese medical experts shared anti-epidemic experiences and held training courses throughout Laos. The team provided 10,000 PCR kits, 10,000 KN95 masks, and 30,000 masks. The city of Kunming on August 14 provided medical supplies and equipment to Vientiane and Luang Prabang, including two ambulances. Laos on February 8, 2021, received 300,000 doses of the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine. Laos on March 31 received 800,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine as part of a donation from the Chinese government and the People’s Liberation Army. On April 26, Laos received an additional 300,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine from China to help in its second wave of outbreaks. On May 5, China sent 25 medical experts and medical supplies worth $1.5 million as Laos faces a rise in new cases. The Chinese government confirmed on June 2 that it would provide 500,000 additional doses of the Sinopharm vaccine to Laos. On June 7, the GX Foundation, a nonprofit charitable organization based in Hong Kong, provided medical supplies to support Laos’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak.
- Cambodia: On March 18, 2020, China sent medical supplies including detection kits, ventilators, PPE, and masks to Cambodia. On March 23, a Chinese medical team from Guangxi province delivered medical supplies including ventilators, medical masks, and test kits to Phnom Penh. China shared another shipment of “urgently needed” Covid-19 supplies, including testing kits and protective gowns, on April 26 at Cambodia’s request. Cambodia received another donation of unspecified medical supplies on June 4. UNICEF on October 21 announced a collaboration with China’s Ministry of Commerce to provide hygiene supplies and education materials to more than 3,000 Cambodian preschools. Cambodia will receive 1 million doses of China’s Sinovac vaccine, 600,000 of which will arrive by February 7, 2021. The Health Ministry on January 19, 2021, announced that China is slated to deliver 300,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine to Cambodia in early February. China on February 5 donated 10,000 Covid-19 detection kits to the Pasteur Institute in Cambodia. China on February 23 donated over 100,000 face masks to the Phnom Penh City Hall. The Chinese Embassy in Cambodia on March 1 announced it would donate 400,000 additional doses of Chinese-made Covid-19 vaccines to Cambodia. The Chinese Ministry of National Defense on March 23 announced that it will donate an additional 300,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine for the Cambodian military. China on March 25 announced that it would donate 3,000 vaccine doses to the Funcinpec Party. China on March 25 also announced that it would donate Covid-19 testing facilities to Cambodia’s Preah Sihanouk Provincial Referral Hospital. Cambodia on March 31 received 700,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccines from China, 300,000 of which were reserved for the armed forces. On April 13, the Chinese Embassy in Cambodia announced that Beijing will donate another 400,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine due to arrive at the end of the month. China on April 19 donated Covid-19 testing equipment and medical equipment to the Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration. Another 400,000 doses of Chinese government-funded Sinopharm vaccines arrived on April 28.
- Myanmar: On April 8, 2020, a 12-person Chinese medical team from Yunnan province arrived in Yangon for a 14-day visit, followed by another visit on April 24. On April 22, China provided 20 ventilators reportedly worth $400,000 and followed that up with another 15 machines on April 30. China sent medical experts from the People’s Liberation Army on April 24 to train Myanmar army medical workers on Covid-19 infection control. China on May 13 delivered 150,000 test kits and 18,000 sets of PPE to the Myanmar Health and Sports Ministry. Chinese ambassador Chen Hai on June 9 announced the donation of masks, goggles, and other PPE in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and Myanmar. China in December provided a Covid-19 testing facility to the United Wa State Army. On January 12, 2021, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi promised 300,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to Myanmar. China on April 30 donated 500,000 vaccine doses to Myanmar.
- Brunei: On April 23, 2020, China provided Brunei with medical supplies, including 100,000 N95 respirators and 1,000 surgical gowns. The Chinese Embassy in Brunei also donated about $42,000 to Brunei’s Covid-19 Relief Fund. On May 14, Brunei received masks, goggles, protective clothing, suits, and more. China on August 11 provided Brunei with 35,000 face masks and 5,000 units of hand sanitizer. As of August 11, 2020, over $1.3 million in aid has been given to Brunei from more than 12 Chinese companies and China-Brunei joint ventures. Brunei on February 10, 2021, announced that the Chinese government had donated an undisclosed number of doses of the Sinopharm vaccine. The Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine has yet to receive emergency use authorization in Brunei.
- Sinagpore: On May 5, 2020, Singapore received a total of 620,000 face masks from the Chinese government and the Red Cross Society of China.
- Myanmar: On January 11, 2021, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi promised to provide Myanmar with 300,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines.
- Philippines: China’s foreign minister Wang Yi on January 16, 2021 promised half a million doses of coronavirus vaccines.
- Timor-Leste: On June 5, 2021, China donated 100,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine and a batch of syringes to Timor-Leste.
Non-government Chinese aid has included
- Chinese non-government entities have also been active, most notably the Alibaba and Jack Ma foundations. On March 19, 2020, the two foundations announced they would send 2,000,000 masks, 150,000 test kits, 20,000 sets of PPE, and 20,000 face shields to Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Myanmar, and Thailand. On April 9, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China donated medical equipment worth $117,500, including 150,000 face masks to Laos. On May 14, Jack Ma and the Manny Pacquiao Foundation donated over 50,000 test and extraction kits to the Philippines. As of May 19, Chinese enterprises in the Philippines have donated 2.65 million masks and 250,000 protective suits, along with gloves and goggles. Secretary Teodoro Locsin said, “[China] is a model for what the rest of the world should be doing. Instead of blaming each other for what's happening, we should all start working together to help each other.”
- On June 19, 2020, the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation partnered with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to donate 500,000 surgical masks valued at $183,000 to frontline workers in Indonesia.
Assistance from the United States
Pledges have included:
- Philippines: The U.S. government has allocated more than $19.1 million for Covid-19 aid. This includes $5 million in Economic Support Fund (ESF) assistance to provide grants and skills training to heavily affected communities, $6.5 million in health assistance, $6.8 million in International Disaster Assistance (IDA), and $875,000 in Migration and Refugee Assistance (MRA). During an April 19, 2020 phone call, Presidents Donald Trump and Rodrigo Duterte discussed cooperation between the United States and the Philippines to combat the pandemic. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on June 18 provided an additional $2.5 million for educational services during the pandemic. The United States on August 28 donated 100 ventilators to the Philippines. USAID on September 28 extended $213 million in funding to the Philippines to boost economic development and growth. On April 15, USAID donated $3.5 million to support vaccination efforts. The U.S. Embassy also posted a fact sheet indicating that the United States would be donating 44 million vaccine doses to the Philippines, although it did not commit to a timeline or type of vaccine. As of April 15, 1.1 percent of those 44 million doses have been delivered.
- Indonesia: The U.S. government has pledged $11 million to Indonesia for Covid-19 aid, encompassing $9 million in health funding, nearly $1.5 million in MRA, and testing and visits by technical experts. One hundred ventilators arrived in Indonesia from the United States in July 2020, followed by 500 more at the end of August.
- Thailand: The U.S. government has pledged approximately $7.2 million for Covid-19 aid, consisting of $6.5 million in health assistance and $730,000 in MRA for the nine border camps housing Myanmar refugees in Thailand.
- Laos: The U.S. government has pledged approximately $8 million for Covid-19 aid. Secretary Pompeo announced in March 2020 that Washington had provided a modest amount of PPE and medical equipment to Laos, including protective goggles, surgical gowns, face shields, biohazard bags, aprons, N95 masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer. On June 19, 2020, USAID announced plans to provide an additional $2.5 million to support the Covid-19 response in Laos. USAID on August 7 donated medical supplies to the Lao Ministry of Health worth $170,000. On November 6, 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Laos donated $75,000 worth of Covid-19 test kits and related supplies to the Lao government. The United States on March 31, 2021 donated medical equipment worth $600,000 to Laos, including intensive care unit beds, pulse oximeters, and PPE. U.S. ambassador Peter Haymond presented PPE and hygiene supplies to Minister of Health Bounfeng Phoummalysith on May 25, 2021, the first of two packages valued at $203,000 in total.
- Cambodia:The U.S. government has allocated over $11 million in assistance to Cambodia, encompassing risk communication, community engagement, and laboratory support in response to the pandemic.
- Myanmar: The U.S. government has pledged approximately $18.5 million in Covid-19 aid since February 2020. About $6.5 million has gone to health centers conducting contract tracing and fever testing. USAID has partnered with UNICEF to deliver nearly 30,000 N95 masks in conflict-affected parts of Kachin and Shan states. Over 60 percent of those were provided to non-governmental organizations.
- Vietnam: The U.S. government has pledged $9.5 million in Covid-19 aid. This includes $5 million in ESF to support private-sector recovery and $4.5 million in health assistance, covering testing and visits by technical experts. On September 30, 2020, the U.S. donated 100 ventilators, worth over $1.7 million, and pledged grants worth $9.5 million to support health services.
- Malaysia: The U.S. government has pledged $1.2 million in Covid-19 aid. This includes $1 million for prevention and control of infections in health facilities, community engagement, contact-tracing systems, and risk communication, and $200,000 in MRA for refugees and asylum seekers in Malaysia. On June 21, the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur donated $250,000 worth of personal protective equipment to Malaysia.
- Timor-Leste: The U.S. government has given $1.6 million in Covid-19 aid to Timor-Leste. This includes $1.1 million to help the government prepare to test and trace cases, and $500,000 for community engagement and sanitation in health clinics. On June 2, 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Timor-Leste also donated 15,000 reusable fabric masks to the Ministry of Education in order to help students return to school.
Non-government U.S aid:U.S. philanthropic assistance has come from a range of sources, including $50 million worldwide from the Rockefeller Foundation to combat Covid-19, including to its Asia office in Bangkok. Give2Asia, a U.S.-based public charity, has collected over $17 million in donations from corporations, foundations, and individuals to support Covid-19 response in the Asia-Pacific region. The PepsiCo Foundation has contributed $3.3 million, the largest donation yet. U.S. businesses have reportedly donated at least $40 million to ASEAN as well.
Singapore’s “Test-kit Diplomacy”
Singapore, partly through the Temasek Foundation, was the first Southeast Asian country with excess capacity and ability to deliver aid to neighbors. “From a foreign policy point of view, we now have test kit diplomacy. What we need to do as a world is to share best practices, to rapidly develop test kits, vaccines, antivirals,” said Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan on March 10.
Malaysia: On April 1, 2020, Singapore donated 5,000 Universal Transport Medium swabs, a critical component in fast-acting test kits, to Malaysia.
- Philippines: On March 25, 2020, Singapore sent 3,000 test kits and a PCR machine for processing tests to the Philippines. On April 1, the Temasek Foundation donated 40,000 test kits and 2 ventilators to the Philippines.
- Vietnam: On March 30, 2020, the Temasek Foundation presented 10 ventilators to Vietnam to support the country's treatment of Covid-19 patients. The foundation said it will supply 10 oxygen generators to Hanoi and 10 to Ho Chi Minh City in the near future.
- Brunei: Singapore sent 3,000 test kits and a PCR machine for processing tests on March 25, 2020.
- Indonesia: On March 13, 2020, Singapore donated 50 sets of PPE and 2 ventilators to Batam. On April 2, Singapore sent medical supplies including 30,000 test kits, 5 PCR machines, and more than 1,000 sets of PPE to Indonesia. On April 8, an Indonesian navy vessel was sent to Singapore to collect supplies to manufacture more than 55,000 gallons of hand sanitizer for use in the city. On May 11, Singapore’s Economic Development Board organized a consortium of 13 companies to donate 100,000 KN95 masks and 5 tons of hand sanitizer to the city of Batam.
- Myanmar: On March 4, 2020, Singapore sent 3,000 diagnostic tests and 2 PCR machines to test for Covid-19 to Myanmar. Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan informed State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi on October 2 that Singapore would be donating an additional 25,000 Covid-19 diagnostic kits, 1 million surgical masks, and 200,000 bottles of hand sanitizer.
Vietnam has extended aid to regional and international partners since early April 2020 after ramping up its domestic production of medical supplies. On April 30, Vietnam started exporting domestically made and WHO-approved Covid-19 test kits. Having already received orders from 20 countries, Vietnam is reportedly one of five nations with ready-to-export kits. The government suspended the export of drugs used to treat the virus to ensure sufficient preventive and curative supplies for Vietnam.
- Laos: On April 3, 2020, Vietnam sent nearly 5 tons of Covid-19 related medical equipment worth over $300,000 to Laos, including test kits, 340,000 face masks, and PPE. It sent another 200,000 face masks on July 16. In April 2021, Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long announced that Vietnam would donate ventilators, masks, and other equipment to Laos, as well as support Lao doctors in treating Covid-19 patients via telehealth systems. On May 4, Vietnam provided Laos with $500,000, 35 medical personnel, and supplies.
- Cambodia: On April 3, 2020, Vietnam donated 390,000 face masks to Cambodia. On April 7, Region 7 of the Vietnam People’s Army provided medical supplies and equipment, including 50,000 face mask, 1,000 sets of PPE, and 260 gallons of hand sanitizer to units of the Cambodian Royal Army. The group also provided 30,000 face masks and over $21,000 in assistance to Vietnamese Cambodians in the area. Vietnam on March 24, 2021, donated 80,000 face masks to the Cambodian People’s Party. The Ministry of Health on April 22 announced it would deliver 800 ventilators, two million medical facemasks, 300,000 N95 masks, and other medical equipment to Cambodia, Vietnam’s largest aid package for another country to combat Covid-19. The Vietnamese province of Long An on May 5 donated medical supplies worth $6,500 to Cambodia’s Svay Rieng and Prey Veng provinces. The Vietnam Border High Command on May 11 donated medical supplies, including 250,000 medical masks and 15,000 protective suits, to the military and public security forces of Cambodia. The Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations and the Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Association on May 12 provided an aid package of over $20,000 to the Cambodian Embassy in Vietnam. The Vietnamese Consulate General in Preah Sihanouk on May 18 provided aid packages to 434 low-income households. Vietnam’s Saigon Newport Corporation on May 24 donated medical equipment and supplies to the Royal Cambodian Navy.
- Indonesia: On April 5, 2020, Vietnam’s Ministry of Science and Technology sent 500 diagnostic test kits to Indonesia.
- Myanmar: On April 10, 2020, Vietnam presented $50,000 as a symbolic gift of support during the Covid-19 pandemic.
- United States: On April 8, 2020, Vietnam donated 450,000 protective suits to the United States, with 450,000 more suits to follow in the near future. The delivery drew praise from President Trump on Twitter, who expressed thanks to “our friends in Vietnam.” On April 16, Vietnam announced it was donating 250,000 made-in-Vietnam face masks, including 50,000 sent directly for use at the White House, reportedly worth at least $100,000. Vietnam on April 29 presented 420,000 medical masks to U.S. Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink as a donation to the American Red Cross. On June 5, 2020, Vietnam donated 1.3 million masks, valued at $450,000.
- China: On February 8, 2020, Vietnam’s Ha Giang province border guards donated 1,000 face masks and 20 sanitizer containers to the Yunnan Border Guards as a symbolic gesture. Two weeks later, the Department of Military Medicine within Vietnam’s Ministry of National Defence supplied unspecified “medical equipment” to China’s Ministry of Defence in a more formal ceremony. On March 8, border guards at Dien Bien province gifted 10,000 face masks to their Chinese counterparts.
- Europe: Vietnam on April 7, 2020, donated 550,000 masks to France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
- Russia: On March 27, 2020, Vietnam’s Department of Military Medicine gifted unspecified supplies to the minister counsellor of the Russian Embassy in Hanoi. On April 13, 2020, Vietnam donated 150,000 made-in-Vietnam antimicrobial face masks.
- Japan: Japan received made-in-Vietnam face masks reportedly worth $100,000.
- Sweden: Vietnam gifted more than 100,000 face masks to Sweden on April 21, 2020.
- France: The Vietnamese Embassy in France on May 7, 2020, donated 15,000 masks to local authorities. The Hanoi People’s Committee on May 17 presented 200,000 made-in-Vietnam masks to French localities.
- Cuba: The Ministry of National Defence announced it would transfer test-kit technology developed by the Vietnam Military Medical University to Cuba.
- Maldives: Vietnam on August 31, 2020, presented aid worth $20,000 in medical equipment to the Maldives to support its efforts against Covid-19.
- Israel: Vietnam on September 22, 2020, donated 100,000 medical face masks to the Embassy of Israel.
- Palestine: Malaysia contributed 1 million face masks, 500,000 gloves, and 500 face shields on May 11, 2020, to Palestine’s efforts against Covid-19
- Cambodia: Malaysia donated $100,000 worth of Covid-19 supplies to Cambodia on March 26, 2021, including PPE, face masks, and gloves
- Timor-Leste: On June 8, 2020, the Indonesian Red Cross donated medical supplies to Timor-Leste, including 500 masks, 500 protective suits, 500 face shields, 10,000 pieces of disinfectant, 10 sprayers, and 10 thermometers.
- Cambodia: The Indonesian Embassy in Cambodia on April 26, 2021 donated pharmaceutical and packaged food products to the Ministry of Health.
- The Thai Ministry of Defence on October 23, 2020, announced it would provide 20 mobile isolation chambers to Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, and Myanmar.
- On November 17, 2020, Thailand donated 10,000 Covid-19 test kits to Singapore.
- On February 14, 2020, the government of Japan announced it would donate 222,000 sets of PPE to Cambodia, the Philippines, Laos, and Mongolia. The equipment was drawn from a stockpile of the Asia-Europe Foundation financed by Japan’s contribution.
- Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on March 9, 2020, that it will donate $4.1 billion through UNICEF to support cold-chain distribution in 25 Asian countries, including Timor Leste along with all ASEAN countries except Singapore.
- During the July 9, 2020, Mekong-Japan Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, Japan announced $115.3 million in aid to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Thailand. $106 million will be designated for medical equipment and training medical workers.
- On November 13, Japan pledged $50 million to create the ASEAN Center for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases and $1 million for the bloc’s Covid-19 response fund.
- Cambodia: In April 2020, Cambodia received $20 million from Japan to aid its Covid-19 response. Cambodia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on June 12, 2020, announced that the government of Japan was providing $6 million in medical supplies and technical assistance through the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). Japan on April 2, 2021, donated nearly $1 million to Cambodia through UNICEF to support the Cambodian government in its Covid-19 vaccination efforts. Japan on May 8, 2021, donated 35 ambulances to Cambodia.
- Indonesia: On June 1, 2020, UNDP, the WHO, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) delivered five ventilators to Indonesia, two of which were sourced through collaboration between the WHO and the government of Japan. The WHO and Japan will contribute 25 more ventilators through this partnership. On October 21, Japan offered Indonesia $473 million in low-interest loans to support its fight against Covid-19.
- Laos: On February 25, 2020, Japan gifted almost 5,000 isolation gowns, more than 6,000 gloves, 6,000 N95 face masks, 13,200 surgical gowns, 270 goggles, and 240 bottles of rubbing alcohol to Laos. The government of Japan provided Laos with $14 million for Covid-19 health and medical equipment on June 5, 2020. Tokyo pledged an additional $3 million for supplies to Laos through the UNOPS. In a congratulatory message to newly elected president of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on March 22, 2021 pledged to provide $1.8 million in vaccine-related aid.
- Myanmar: JICA announced on February 25, 2020, that it would send Covid-19 primer and testing reagents to the National Health Laboratory of Myanmar, worth approximately $3,700. A Japanese flight carrying $18.1 million worth of donated medical equipment arrived in Myanmar on August 15. Japanese foreign minister Toshimitsu Motegi on August 24 pledged to provide Myanmar about $280 million in loans for emergency budget support and $140 million to assist small and medium-sized enterprises.
- Philippines: Japan extended a Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan worth $500 million to the Philippines on July 1, 2020. JICA on July 23 donated lab equipment and supplies to the Philippines to boost Covid-19 testing capacity. Japan on September 15 provided the Philippines with a loan of nearly $500 million for Covid-19 response. JICA on April 15, 2021, announced a technical cooperation project with the Philippine Department of Health to increase testing capacity. Japan’s ambassador to Manila announced on June 15, 2021, that his country will be donating an unspecified number of AstraZeneca’s vaccines to the Philippines
- Vietnam: JICA on February 7, 2020, announced it was providing Covid-19 testing reagents to the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology of Vietnam, worth about $130,000. Japanese foreign minister Toshimitsu Motegi on April 1, 2020, pledged to provide at least $1.8 million in aid to Vietnam to combat the virus. Japan on September 7 provided an $18.8 million grant to Vietnam for Covid-19 prevention and control. Japan announced on June 15, 2021, that it would send 1 million domestically produced AstraZeneca vaccine doses to Vietnam.
- JICA also cooperated with UNICEF, USAID, and the Korea International Cooperation Agency to jointly donate $3 million worth of PPE to the Philippines. This was followed by an additional $46.5 million emergency loan to Myanmar announced on June 1.
- In a separate call with Vietnamese president Nguyen Phu Trong, Suga announced that Japan would provide Vietnam with support for Covid-19 vaccinations, including cold storage.
- On April 8, 2020, South Korea committed to provide $500,000 in “varied forms of assistance” to Indonesia. On April 19, Indonesia received 50,000 test kit reagents with an additional 495,000 reagents expected in the coming weeks. South Korean conglomerates pledged to donate 50,000 sets of PPE and PCR test kits each. CJ Corporation donated $255,000 worth of rapid test kits and hand sanitizers to medical facilities and workers in the ride-hailing industry. The Philippines received over 50,000 test kits from South Korea between March and April.
- On June 17, South Korea launched a program worth $5 million funded by the ASEAN-Korea Corporation Fund that will provide testing kits, PPE, and other medical equipment to Southeast Asia.
- South Korea on July 15 announced it was sending 400,000 masks to the Philippines and Timor-Leste.
- South Korea on July 27 donated 200 metric tons of rice, valued at $200,000, to the Philippine Department of Social Welfare and Development to support its Covid-19 relief efforts.
- The Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency on July 27 delivered Covid-19 test kits to the Philippine Department of Health. The donation was accompanied by 60,000 KF94 masks, seven Covid-19 walk-through diagnostic booths, and 1,000 face shields.
- Myanmar received 200,000 test kits from South Korea at the end of September.
- The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) provided $200,000 to the International Red Cross’ (ICRC) regional delegation to Indonesia and Timor-Leste. The funds are expected to enable the ICRC to expand its program and technical support to 67 prisons in six provinces that accommodate more than 57,600 inmates.
- Myanmar announced on October 20 that it had received and disbursed 700,000 out of the 900,000 rapid antigen test kits promised from a South Korean company.
- KOICA on October 20 donated 15,000 sets of food and hygiene products for Cambodians impacted by the pandemic.
- On November 13, South Korea pledged $1 million to the ASEAN Covid-19 response fund and $5 million worth of medical equipment to ASEAN member states.
- KOICA on April 19, 2021, donated $350,000 in Covid-19 testing supplies to the Cambodian Ministry of Health.
- On June 3, 2021, South Korean ambassador to Cambodia Park Heung-kyeong reported a donation of $300,000 worth of Covid-19 test kits to the Cambodian Ministry of Health.
- Between June 7 and 11, 2021, KOICA provided packages of food and infectious disease prevention equipment to vulnerable people in Cambodia.
- KOICA on June 9 provided $1 million in essential medical equipment to Laos
- Prime Minister Hun Sen announced on November 14 that Cambodia would donate 2 million face masks and other medical supplies to neighboring Laos
- On November 24, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that Cambodia would donate 2 million face masks and other medical supplies to Myanmar.
- On December 2, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that Cambodia would donate more than 1 million face masks and other medical supplies to Timor-Leste.
- Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on April 14, 2020, announced that it would be sending 1.6 million face masks to countries covered by its New Southbound Policy. As of August, Taiwan has provided 1.1 million face masks to Singapore, 300,000 to Indonesia and Vietnam, and 200,000 to Thailand. Taiwan has also provided 800,000 face masks and PPE to the Philippines and infrared thermal imaging cameras, PPE, and 170,000 face masks to Myanmar.
- India provided Myanmar with Covid-19 supplies, including 200,000 hydroxychloroquine tablets, gloves, body bags, and thermometers on May 6. On January 22, 2021, 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine arrived in Myanmar from New Dehli. On March 24, 2021, India put a temporary hold on all major exports of the AstraZeneca coronavirus shot made by SII, the world’s biggest vaccine-maker, to meet domestic demand as infections rise. SII is a key vaccine production hub for the COVAX global vaccine-sharing scheme. The restriction has delayed vaccine delivery for 64 developing countries, including several in Southeast Asia.
- Australia has redirected over $280 million from existing development programs to Covid-19 aid. Canberra provided $14.5 million to Indonesia on May 29, followed by $4.3 million alongside the WHO on June 17 and $3.4 million in partnership with UNICEF on June 22.
- A $7.3 million pledge was made to Vietnam on June 6, with an additional $3.4 million administered through the Australia-World Bank Group Strategic Partnership on June 25.
- On July 8, Australia announced approximately $1.5 million in assistance to Muhammadiyah and Nahdlatul Ulama, Indonesia’s largest Islamic organizations, to support their Covid-19 response. The Australian government partnered with the IOM on July 24 to donate over 100 ventilators as part of its $1.4 million critical medical and laboratory equipment package for Indonesia.
- Australia on October 31 announced it will spend $351 million to secure Covid-19 vaccines for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
- During the ASEAN-Australia meeting on November 14, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a $15 million donation to the ASEAN Regional Center on Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases, and $51 million for recovery efforts.
- Through Australia’s financial assistance, Cambodia will receive 3 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines. Australia on April 9, 2021, announced that it would donate locally manufactured AstraZeneca vaccines to Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste.
- The Australian government on April 12 announced that it would provide $5.4 million in emergency relief to Timor-Leste for the country’s recovery from recent floods and the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Australia on May 7 signed an agreement with the UNDP to provide $3.15 million in funding to mitigate the impacts of Covid-19 on Cambodia.
- Australia announced on May 12 that it would donate 1 million unspecified vaccine doses to Laos, as well as provide training and access to Australia’s health regulatory institutions.
- New Zealand on May 10 provided $3 million to Indonesia’s pandemic response and recovery efforts through UNICEF Indonesia.
- New Zealand on March 24, 2021, provided 5 tons of PPE to Timor-Leste as it faces a rise in Covid-19 cases.
- New Zealand on April 20 provided $400,000 through UNICEF to support Timor-Leste's Covid-19 response and rebuilding measures after recent flooding.
- The European Union on April 27, 2020, announced the mobilization of $378 million to ASEAN countries in support of pandemic response efforts. Indonesia has received over $235 million in grants and loans, as part of the European Union’s “Team Europe” global initiative. Team Europe has also contributed $22.5 million to the WHO’s efforts in Southeast Asia and $500,000 to the UN Multi-Sectoral Response Plan through the IOM in Indonesia. The European Union on August 18 provided Laos with $2.9 million in funding to mitigate the health, social, and economic impacts of Covid-19.
- The European Union on December 1 announced a $24 million Southeast Asia Pandemic Response and Preparedness program to support ASEAN’s regional coordination for Covid-19 response. The program aims to increase testing and monitoring capacity, strengthen the capacity of regional healthcare systems, and support transparent communication about pandemic developments.
- The European Union in Cambodia announced on December 4 that it will donate around $3.45 million to Cambodia in order to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.
- The European Union and the WHO on March 17, 2020, announced they would provide $3.3 million over three years to support Laos’s response to Covid-19.
- The French Development Bank provided about $2 million to Myanmar, Laos, the Philippines, Vietnam, and the Pasteur Institute of Cambodia.
- French drugmaker Sanofi said on April 12, 2021, that it would invest $475 million over five years in a new vaccine production site in Singapore
- In March, 2020, Germany pledged $1.6 million to Cambodia’s Emergency Response Pl
- Sweden on October 26 announced it would provide Cambodia with nearly $500,000 for Covid-19 relief.
- Israel has donated medical supplies to the Philippines, including 50,000 medical gloves, 30,000 surgical masks, 3,000 N95 masks, 4,500 medical gowns, 1,500 face shields, and non-contact thermometers. On November 7, Israel donated an additional 10,000 Covid-19 test kits to the Philippines.
- The United Arab Emirates sent 5 metric tons of medical supplies and testing kits to Cambodia on September 2.
- The United Arab Emirates may invest in a Covid-19 vaccine production facility in Indonesia, according to Energy and Infrastructure Minister Suhail Al-Mazrouei
- The prime minister of Portugal on February 23, 2021 announced that Portugal will “redirect” 5 percent of its acquired vaccines to Timor Leste and Portuguese-speaking African countries
- On March 16, 2021, Russia gifted Vietnam with 1,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine. The doses were brought by Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev on his two-day visit to Vietnam.
- The World Bank on December 7 approved $1 million in emergency funds for Timor-Leste's national health system.
- On December 3, the World Bank announced that the International Development Association fund had allocated an additional $60 million for the purchase, transport, and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines in Myanmar.
- The World Bank on October 22 approved $40 million in emergency financing to small- and medium-sized enterprises in Laos.
- Responding to a surge in cases, the World Bank provided Vietnam $6.2 million in aid on July 31.
- The World Bank on June 26 approved a loan of $200 million to Myanmar’s National Food and Agriculture System Project to help farmers weather the impacts of the pandemic.
- In late May, 2020, the World Bank approved a $250 million fund for Indonesia’s Covid-19 Emergency Response Project, which aims to shore up the country’s health care system.
- In early April, 2020, the World Bank approved $20 million in credit to support Cambodia’s pandemic response, $18 million in assistance to Laos to help the country strengthen its health system and response capacity, $7 billion in loans to Indonesia in partnership with the ADB and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a $50 million emergency loan for hospital improvements and public health emergency preparedness to Myanmar, and a $500 million loan to support the Philippines’ Covid-19 response and recovery
- The IMF on January 20, 2021, approved a second emergency loan to Myanmar, valued at $350 million, to address Covid-19. The fund approved an earlier $356.5 million loan in June 2019.
- The ADB on March 31, 2021, approved a $450 million loan to Indonesia to help the country's state firm Bio Farma to procure and distribute at least 65 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines as part of the bank’s APVAX program.
- The ADB on March 12, 2021 appproved $900 million in loans to fund the Philippines’ mass vaccination program.
- The ADB on March 11, 2021 suspended its funding for projects by Myanmar's government following a military coup in the country.
- The ADB on December 11 provided $600,000 to support Vietnam’s efforts to combat Covid-19.
- On October 12, the ADB approved a $30 million loan to support Myanmar’s fight against Covid-19 by helping the government upgrade laboratory and hospital equipment and clinic management and services.
- In early September, the ADB approved $250 million in concessional financing to support Cambodia’s Covid-19 response.
- The ADB on August 28 donated $1.3 million in medical equipment and health worker training to Laos.
- The ADB on August 4 announced it was providing a $1.5 billion loan to Thailand to support its Covid-19 response.
- On July 29, Myanmar announced it would seek a $250 million loan for its Covid-19 Economic Relief Plan. The loan was approved on August 2, 2020.
- The ADB on July 8 approved a $250 million loan to assist Cambodia’s response to Covid-19.
- On May 11, 2020, the ADB announced possible plans for an additional $125 million to aid the Philippines. The loan was approved on August 25.
- In late April 2020, the ADB approved a $1.5 billion loan to support Indonesia’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic and a $200 million loan to assist the Philippine government in providing cash subsidies to households affected by the pandemic.
- On March 25, 2021, the AIIB approved a $300 million loan for the Philippines' Covid-19 vaccine procurement. The loan is co-financed by the ADB.
- On May 29, 2020, the ADB and AIIB jointly approved a $750 million loan to the Philippines.
- The AIIB on May 8, 2020, allocated $1 billion in loans to Indonesia to support its pandemic response. The first $250 million will arrive as part of a co-financing program with the World Bank and the Islamic Development Bank, with the second loan of $750 million coming as a co-financing project with the ADB
- The Australian Embassy and UNICEF on April 19 announced $10.5 million worth of assistance to support Covid-19 vaccine delivery in Vietnam.
- UNDP on April 19 launched a program called “COVID-Resilient Elections in Timor-Leste.” The project is funded by a $4 million grant from the government of Japan with $300,000 in government co-funding.
- The International Organization for Migration, with financial support from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration donated 10 large vaccine refrigerators to Indonesia on April 7 for use in eight cities across the country.
- The UN Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund as of February 2021 has allocated $1.8 million to Cambodia, $3.7 million to Indonesia, $1 million to Laos, $850,000 to Myanmar, $1 million to Timor-Leste, and $1.85 million to Vietnam.
- The Myanmar Humanitarian Fund as of December 30 has allocated $16.2 million from the United States, Australia, United Kingdom, Germany, New Zealand, Switzerland, Sweden, Canada, and Luxembourg to Myanmar’s emergency response.
- The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has spent $4.2 million on Covid-19 response in Myanmar as of November by donating over 50,000 Covid-19 test kits since July and supplying quarantine facilities.
- UNICEF on October 21 provided over $1 million in medical supplies to the Lao Ministry of Health.
- The Global Partnership for Education on August 14 allocated a $7 million grant via UNICEF to Laos to mitigate the impacts of Covid-19 on children’s education.
- The IOM in July delivered over $1 million in essential medical equipment and supplies to Indonesian hospitals.
- The United States, United Kingdom, Sweden, and Switzerland have designated $1 million for the government of Myanmar’s Access to Health Fund.
- The United Nations has earmarked an additional $2 million for Indonesia, $1 million for Cambodia, $1 million for Laos, and $1 million for Vietnam from its Covid-19 Multi-Partner Trust Fund.
- On June 19, UNDP partnered with the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation to present Indonesia with 500,000 surgical masks valued at $183,000 for frontline workers.
- The UNDP and IOM on June 1 announced that they would procure six ventilators for Indonesia, in addition to the 27 to be provided by the WHO in partnership with Japan.
- A UN humanitarian aid flight delivered 10,000 test kits to Myanmar on May 10. A second delivery is due next month from UNICEF with 10,000 additional tests, reagents, and other medical supplies.
- In April and May 2020, USAID provided $6.5 million in Covid supplemental funding to the multi-donor Myanmar Access to Health Fund, which is managed by the UN Office for Project Services.
- The Livelihoods and Food Security Fund, a multi-donor fund financed by the United Kingdom, European Union, Australia, Switzerland, United States, Canada, and Ireland has allocated $15.8 million to Myanmar’s Covid-19 response