alexa certify

How Some Asian Economies Contained the Coronavirus Outbreak

Some Asian economies seem to have contained the spread of the coronavirus, with the number of daily cases slowing in the last few weeks.

Few countries globally have achieved as more countries started winding down containment measures to revive their economies.

However, public health experts have warned against the move, fearing outbreaks could resurface even after containing the virus – as seen in South Korea and China.

But according to data by Johns Hopkins University, some Asian economies such as Hong Kong and Taiwan have made several reports of no new infections.

Taiwan and Hong Kong used different routes to arrive at this stage, but experts point out that their governments quickly enacted containment measures. Experts also say that the two countries seemed to draw lessons from their experience with the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak 20 years ago.

According to WHO, the SARS first emerged in China in 2002 before affecting almost 30 countries, mostly in Asia.

The coronavirus disease was also first detected in China last December. It has now infected over 4 million people across 188 countries, according to Hopkins.


Taiwan is an independent Island from Mainland China, which has avoided a massive outbreak of the coronavirus disease. The success is despite the extensive air links with mainland China and lack of access to vital information from WHO.

Statistics according to Hopkins data as of May 17

  • Taiwan population: roughly 24 million
  • Covid-19 tally: 440 confirmed cases, 395 recoveries, and 7 deaths

A widely cited report published in the American Medical Association’s Journal attributed Taiwan’s success partly due to its use of big data and technology.

Taiwan uses technology in:

  • Integrating its immigration databases and national health insurance enabled authorities to identify potential cases based on their travel history and clinical symptoms.
  • They required incoming travelers to complete an online health declaration form before their departure or upon arrival so that they can separate them based on their risks of infection at immigration.

Taiwanese government implemented such top efforts early in their decision to close borders, ban the export of face masks, and increase domestic mask production.

Authorities increased the use of masks to reduce transmission months before the WHO recommended the same.

The effectiveness of such measures enabled Taiwan to avoid economic lockdown, and businesses were allowed to operate as usual. Schools closed for an extended winter break but reopened in late February with additional measures in place.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong quickly implemented strict quarantine, tightened its border controls, and introduced extensive social distancing measures.

Statistics according to Hopkins data as of May 17:

  • Population: Nearly 7.5 million
  • Covid-19 tally: 1,055 confirmed cases, 1024 recoveries, and 4 deaths

Hong Kong tightened its measures when China experienced a surge in cases in March from residents who returned from overseas.

They expanded their testing capacity, closed gyms, and restaurants – but stayed short of a lockdown or stay-at-home order.

According to Worldometer, the statistics site, Hong Kong has recorded among the highest testing rates in Asia, with 168,291 tests translating to around 22,448 tests per 1 million people.

However, some experts say Hong Kong owes part of its success to its people who wore protective masks before the official directive.

The city started reopening schools, gyms, pubs, cinemas, and bars early this month.

Hong Kong also eased the limit on public gatherings from a group of four to eight.


Vietnam, a frontier economy sharing a border with China, has punched above its weight in its response to the outbreak.

Statistics according to Hopkins data as of May 17:

  • Population size: More than 97 million
  • Covid-19 tally: 320 cases confirmed, 260 recoveries, and no deaths,

It was among the earliest countries to tighten border controls in January. They also imposed large-scale quarantines and closed schools, some businesses such as restaurants and gyms.

Experts said Vietnam’s informant culture allowed authorities to monitor, identify, and isolate potential cases effectively. They didn’t have to spend their limited resources on mass testing programs such as Singapore and South Korea.

Despite the low cases of infections, the government ordered a nationwide partial lockdown on April 1. This required people to stay indoors, limited gatherings, and suspended public meetings.

But Vietnam was the first Southeast Asian country to start easing restrictions from late April.

But recently, Vietnam reported a spike in new cases involving citizens placed under quarantine after returning from abroad.

Comments Rating 0 (0 reviews)

Get the latest economy news, trading news, and Forex news on Finance Brokerage. Check out our comprehensive trading education and list of best Forex brokers list here. Subscribe now and receive FREE updates on the market today!

Leave a Reply


Subscribe to Our Newsletters

Have the best of Finance Brokerage News delivered directly to your mailbox. Subscribe now to receive the latest market news.