Bloomberg: Southeast Asia adjusts its anti-COVID-19 strategy to save the economy

Bloomberg: Southeast Asia adjusts its strategy to fight COVID-19 to save the economy - Photo 1.

People wear masks when going out in Singapore – Photo: BLOOMBERG

Southeast Asia is becoming one of the most vulnerable regions in the world with the emergence of the Delta variant, in the context of low vaccination rates in this region.

However, in an article published on September 13, Bloomberg said that Southeast Asian countries cannot continue blockade measures when financial resources are dwindling.

Factory closures in Southeast Asia are affecting the global supply chain. Many car manufacturers such as Toyota were forced to cut production, while fashion retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch warned that the situation was “getting out of control”.

Despite low vaccination rates, Southeast Asian governments are increasingly concerned about the economic consequences of restrictive measures.

Typically, Malaysia has halved its growth forecast for 2021 to only about 3-4% as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase.

“Expectations to revive Thailand’s tourism industry were also quickly dashed,” Bloomberg wrote.

According to economist Wellian Wiranto of Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp.

Mr. Wiranto also warned that people are feeling more and more exhausted as the crisis drags on.

In Singapore and the Philippines, businesses have spoken out about their difficulty in long-term planning because of the uncertainty in government policy.

According to Bloomberg, for the above reasons, the policy of many Southeast Asian countries is shifting from treating COVID-19 as a pandemic to an endemic disease. In it, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand have learned from Singapore’s strategy of learning to “live with the virus”.

Typically, Indonesia – the largest economy in the region – chooses to focus on a long-term strategy.

Indonesian ministers are trying to reinforce longstanding regulations such as the mandatory wearing of masks, in place of previous flexible regulations.

They also devised a “long-term plan” for specific locations such as offices or schools, in order to establish a long-term regulatory framework within the new normal.

Meanwhile, instead of regional or nationwide blockade orders, the Philippines chooses to limit travel to a smaller scale, such as by neighborhood or by house.

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