FORSIGE ASIA – The continent accounts for around one-fourth of the global caseload of 42.1 million viruses, behind only Latin America. With over 163,000 deaths, some 14 percent of the global COVID-19 toll is accounted for by the country.
Given test failures and possible underreporting in many nations, the true number of cases and deaths is likely to be much higher, experts claim.
The area overall has registered progress in the handling of the pandemic in recent weeks, despite the Asian spikes, with daily caseloads slowing in places such as India-a strong contrast to the revival of COVID-19 seen in Europe and North America.
Within the country, India-led South Asia is the worst affected, with nearly 21% of confirmed global coronavirus cases and 12% of fatalities.
This compares with countries that have smashed infections such as China and New Zealand, and Japan, where COVID-19 was stubbornly entrenched but not accelerating.
After the United States, India is the worst-hit country in the world, while infections are slowing in the second-most populated country in the world.
India reports more than 57,000 cases of the virus a day, as seen on a weekly average, with 58 new cases per 10,000 people in Asia’s third-largest economy.
India has an average of 764 COVID-19 deaths a day, the world’s worst and responsible for one in every 13 deaths from the global pandemic.
The nation has recorded almost 7.8 million illnesses, 8.5 million behind the U.S. tally, and almost 118,000 deaths, compared with 224,128 in the United States.
However, unlike the recent U.S. surge, India’s slowdown saw the lowest daily caseload on Wednesday in nearly three months.
But with a holiday approaching and winter bringing more extreme pollution from farmers burning stubble, India’s infections could surge again, doctors fear, worsening the breathing difficulties that many COVID-19 patients experience.
Bangladesh, India ‘s eastern neighbor, is Asia’s second-worst hit region, with almost 400,000 cases. However, regular infections have slowed to 1,453, which is less than 40% of the July high.
Although the pandemic is slowing in Bangladesh, after China , the world ‘s largest apparel manufacturer is facing a serious recession as a second COVID-19 wave hits key markets in Europe and the United States.
Even if the nation is making progress on disease prevention, key apparel industry leaders complain that foreign retailers are delaying orders or seeking steep price cuts, causing them to lay off their employees.
There were some 1 million furloughed or laid-off employees. According to union officials, nearly one-third of those have been rehired since July.
In Southeast Asia, as the worst-hit nation with more than 370,000 infections, Indonesia surpassed the Philippines last week.
Indonesia, the world’s largest nation with a Muslim majority, has struggled to bring its outbreak under control.
The government is racing to secure a supply of vaccines still under production with the nation set to host soccer’s under-20 World Cup next year, which some epidemiologists claim means finding a “silver bullet” solution before full vaccine effectiveness and protection is understood.
The Philippines, which posted its largest regular tally in a month last week, imposed partial restrictions on coronavirus around the capital Manila until Oct. 31 to search COVID-19 ..
A World Health Organization expert said on Monday, considering Asia’s patchy record, that Europe and North America should follow the lead of Asian states in pursuing anti-COVID measures and quarantine restrictions for infected individuals.