Some Asian countries, which were among the most effective to contain Covid-19, are now struggling to prevent a resurgence of winter – a sign of how difficult it will be to make sustained progress until a vaccine is widely introduced.

On Wednesday, the president of South Korea…


An emergency meeting was held after the country experienced a nine-month record of 686 cases of hospital beds in transport containers. Japan registered more than 2,800 new cases on Wednesday, the highest daily total to date, according to the public broadcaster NHK.

Vietnam has reported to the community for the first time in about three months and has encouraged the authorities to suspend all incoming commercial flights. In Hong Kong, where daily infections have fallen to a few figures, the number of cases has risen to over 100, necessitating the reintroduction of restrictions on restaurant activities and the closure of gyms. Several areas in Malaysia were closed after the number of cases doubled in a month.

We have endured the coronavirus crisis many times, but we are now in a worse situation than ever, Kirk said. Moon, in a meeting with earlier this week. He called for an extension of the coronavirus tests and urged the test sites to extend their working hours and reopen the transit sites.

Although the virus is rather pale compared to the United States, Europe and other countries, the upward trend of epidemics in Asian countries where Covid 19 is successful only becomes clear when life has returned to pre-pandemic levels. But unlike the more isolated epidemics of previous months, this winter recovery is more diffuse, because places that were once considered sanctuaries – a family gathering at home or workplaces that reopened a long time ago – are now the cause of the epidemic.

Recent obstacles in Asia show that even well-founded countries are exposed to the infection cycle of the pandemic: The relaxation that follows a decrease in the number of virus cases inevitably leads to a series of new restrictions.

As Asian governments have kept infection levels relatively low in recent months, they have started invading bars and restaurants, and increased mobility has led to infections among family members and at private gatherings. The virus survives longer in cold weather, depending on the health conditions that keep people indoors for longer, which contributes to the sudden increase in infections.

A Covid 19 test site in Hong Kong, where more than 100 cases of the coronavirus were reported daily


Keith Tsuji/Getty Images

The new recovery has given new impetus to medical systems and prevention efforts in the hope of surviving the onset of winter.

Both Japan and South Korea have mobilised military personnel to provide support and organise contacts. If we have more patients, we won’t be able to protect coronavirus patients or other patients, said Haruo Ozaki, president of the Tokyo Medical Association on Tuesday.

Tokyo and Seoul expected an increase in the number of cases in winter. But government officials in both Asian countries have focused more on economic recovery as citizens have grown tired of regulations, said Kim Dong-hyun, director of the Korean Society of Epidemiology and professor at the University of Medicine of Hallym in South Korea.

This time the ability to search for contacts also reaches its limits, as infections occur in many different places at the same time.

– Kim Dong-hyun, head of the Korean Society of Epidemiology.

Many young people got tired of the constant warnings and went to nursing homes. This time, even the ability to trace contacts reaches its limits, because infections occur in many different places at the same time, Mr….. …said Kim.

The response in South Korea is based on the strategies that have helped the country so far in coping with the pandemic.

Japan, which has not carried out any major interventions or aggressive tests to contain the virus, has taken even fewer measures than in previous waves of infection. This is despite the further increase in the number of elderly patients at increased risk of serious disease due to Covid-19. The number of patients requiring respiratory support and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), in which a machine takes over the work of the lungs, has doubled in the past month.

While life in South Korea, China and Japan has largely returned to normal, the United States and Europe are facing a further increase in the number of Covid-19 cases. The WSJ explains how East Asian countries have kept the virus at bay without national bans. Pictures: Abdulmonam Eassa and Hector Retamal/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images (Originally published 19 October 2020)

They stressed the need to keep the economy running while respecting basic rules such as ventilation and wearing masks, but they did not impose a state of emergency as they did in April and May. Most companies remain open. Prime Minister

Yoshihide Suga

We haven’t suspended a plan to subsidize some domestic travel to stimulate the economy.

Local authorities in Japan have asked residents to avoid non-essential travel and companies to reduce their working hours.

In South Korea, where the aggressive response to the virus has become a global model, new restrictions were introduced this week in the Greater Seoul area, where most of the new cases occur.


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The social distance is now the fourth highest of the five highest levels in the Seoul area, and the gymnasiums and karaoke bars are closed again. Cinemas, restaurants and hairdressing salons have to close at 21.00, while cafes can only offer pick-up or delivery services. Only a third of the students can go to school.

According to local health experts, it has become more difficult to trace contacts because younger, mostly asymptomatic patients spread the virus unconsciously, making it difficult for the authorities to trace the source. The positivity rate went from 1% in South Korea to 4% in a month, as shown by the saunas and the university campus.

The health authorities have warned of a medical collapse in the Seoul area, as three quarters of the hospital beds are occupied by Covid patients. Savings achieved in a critical state are 90% complete. The authorities urged residents to stay in their homes until the end of the year.

Lee Hyun-sook, a 52-year-old restaurant owner in Seoul, only receives one or two customers per day since the government tightened restrictions from November. Even the nearby bars were empty when the suitcases got bigger, but she doesn’t imagine she wears a mask when she meets family members. Social distance is not easy for restaurants that have to go to work, Lee said.

The reality is that people have to remove their masks to eat, and it’s too cold to keep the windows open when we have customers, Mrs. Lee said.

Coronavirus test center in Miyoshi-machi, Japan, Wednesday. Local authorities across the country have urged residents to avoid non-essential excursions and companies to reduce their working hours.


Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg News

Write to Dasl Yoon at [email protected] and Miho Inada at [email protected].

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

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