In ASEAN, the COVID-19 situation is most severe in Indonesia. It reported 10,827 additional COVID-19 cases and 163 deaths, bringing the total number of people infected and fatal in the country to 1,157,837 and 31,556, respectively.
Meanwhile, Malaysia had 3,731 more cases of SARS-CoV-2 virus infection, bringing the total number of infected people to 242,452. The total number of deaths in this Southeast Asian country was 872 after a further 15 deaths on February 7.
The Ministry of Health of the Philippines also announced to record 1,790 new cases and 70 cases did not survive. Thus, up to now, the country has recorded a total of 537,310 cases, of which 11,179 cases died.
In Thailand, the country’s authorities discovered 237 new cases, of which the majority of infections in the community. To date, the total number of infections in this Southeast Asian country is 23,371 cases. Among the newly recorded cases, 112 cases were discovered under the proactive testing campaign, 113 cases were discovered in hospitals and 12 entries. So far, 14/77 provinces and cities in Thailand have not recorded any new infections within 7 days from January 31st.
The remaining countries have a negligible number of cases. Myanmar has not released the data on January 7.
Thailand warned of the risk of spreading the epidemic during the Lunar New Year
Thailand’s Ministry of Health has expressed concern about the risk of spreading the SARS-CoV-2 virus when families reunite to celebrate the upcoming Lunar New Year.
Chawetsan Namwat, director of emergency disease control and health risks at Thailand’s Department of Disease Control, emphasized the importance of strict social segregation during family gatherings. Families should safely celebrate using video calls, he said, to reduce face-to-face meetings, especially with the elderly in the at-risk group. People should wear a mask when talking, or use video calling chat apps to reduce direct exposure.
According to Mr. Chawetsan, people will still have to comply with disease control measures until the community immunity becomes available. Active testing will continue, although the number of COVID-19 cases has begun to decline.
Meanwhile, the poll results of the National Development Management Institute (NIDA) published on February 7 showed that the majority of Thai people are satisfied with the Government’s handling of the COVID wave. -19 second, but nearly a quarter of the population does not want to be vaccinated.
The survey was conducted by telephone interview of 1,315 people aged 15 years and over, with different educational and career backgrounds in the country from February 1-3. When asked what they would do with regard to the COVID-19 vaccination, 63.12% said they would accept the free government-provided vaccine, but nearly a quarter (23.57%) said that they don’t want vaccinations. In addition, 7.98% wanted to vaccinate in private hospitals authorized by the Government at their own expense, while 5.33% did not comment or care.
Regarding the level of satisfaction with the government’s treatment in the second wave of COVID-19, 27.6% are very satisfied and 42.13% are moderately satisfied, saying that the measures have been taken. show up quickly to stop outbreaks and areas are clearly classified to indicate the severity of the outbreak
Malaysia relaxes prevention regulations
In the afternoon of February 7, Malaysia’s Unification Ministry said that the National Security Council (NSC) had decided to allow union parties during the Lunar New Year. This decision was made after the NSC meeting chaired by Malaysia’s Senior Minister of Security and Defense Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
Specifically, these reunion parties are only held on February 11 with a maximum of 15 people, in which members must ensure living conditions within 10 km and cannot travel inter-district or federal.
In addition, religious activities at temples and places of worship are allowed on February 11, 12, and 19 with the condition of strictly adhering to the standard operating regulations (SOP).
Previously, on February 4, in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 epidemic, Mr. Ismail Sabri Yaakob declared that reunion parties during the Lunar New Year could only be held between members in the same house. When only 5 members of the management board of the temples were allowed to operate, organize religious activities and rituals during this period. Malaysian authorities also banned activities to visit each other’s New Year’s Day as well as activities to celebrate the New Year locally.
Indonesia approves Sinovac vaccine for the elderly
The Indonesian Food and Drug Administration (BPOM) has approved the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech for use by the elderly.
The move shows that Indonesia is likely to change its immunization strategy that previously prioritized the workforce, partly due to limited data on vaccine safety among the elderly. In a letter to state pharmaceutical company Bio Farma – Sinovac’s partner in Indonesia, BPOM said the licensing of CoronaVac vaccine by Sinovac for the elderly “takes into account the emergency of the COVID-19 pandemic. and limited information on vaccine benefits and safety “.
On January 14, Indonesia officially launched the first phase of the national program of free vaccination against COVID-19 among health workers and civil servants with 3 million doses of CoronaVac vaccine provided by Sinovac. The Indonesian government’s updated figures show that nearly 800,000 people received the first shot. Another 25 million doses of the vaccine are expected to be produced by the end of March with materials supplied by Sinovac, officials said.
Indonesia aims to vaccinate more than 180 million people out of a population of 270 million within a year.