South East Asia's least affected Covid19 countries - eNidhi India Travel Blog

South East Asia's least affected Covid19 countries

Which all countries in South East Asia are doing relatively better in terms of Corona Virus Pandemic? I referred  World wide meter for Covid-19 as of May 28th morning and below countries seem to be much better, factoring their population and area.

In this post I am focusing only on South East Asia, a region Indians visit in large numbers due to cheap flights, easy visa rules, great natural beauties, food and other attractions. South East Asia includes Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, East Timor, Brunei, Taiwan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore and Myanmar. (11 countries)

Significance of this is that those countries that manage corona virus situation well will command lots of demand from tourists once tourism opens up. If a country is deemed safe tourists will readily flock there and that country can command a premium on everything compared to its neighbors who are worse affected.

Let us see.

1. Timor Leste (East Timor) - 24 total, zero active
East Timor, a tiny nation at the edge of Indonesia is the only Covid-Free country in South East Asia. Read my earlier post to know more about this destination. East Timor doesn't get flock of tourists like Thailand or Indonesia and that could be the primary reason. Also Timor Leste is least populated country in the region with just about 12 lakh people, less than the population of a Tier 3 city in India.

2. Cambodia: 125 total and 2 active
With only under 125 cases for entire country and only 2 active cases, Cambodia seems least affected in all of South East Asia. Cambodia is a tourist hub and shares border with Vietnam, Thailand, Laos etc but the country of 2 crore population has managed the crisis well so far.

3. Brunei: 142 total 2 active
I visited Brunei last year- a small country rich with oil and hardly dependent on tourism. Brunei has only 2 active cases and is a good news. Read my Brunei travel guide here

4. Laos 19 total and 3 active
Cambodia's northern neighbor has even lesser number of cases- just 19 total so far.

5. Taiwan: 450 total, 15 active
With under 500 cases, Taiwan is hailed as a success story world wide in Corona Virus management. They acted early, trusted their own intuition and previous experience (SARS) despite what WHO was advising or rest of the world was doing and have managed the crisis well so far.

Taiwan's population (2.3 crore) is similar to Cambodia but its surface area is almost one fifth of Cambodia. Thus factoring its population density, Taiwan has really done well.

6. Vietnam: 350 total and 50 active
Under 350 total cases and 50 active cases, Vietnam is next best country that has evaded Corona Virus well, despite being populous (10 crore compared to Cambodia's 2 crores) and with strong China links. Vietnam knows the side effects of such crisis very well- they were victims of Agent Orange during Vietnam war, they deal with mosquitoes and such issues all the time.

Related: Vietnam travel guide

7. Thailand 3000+, 66 active
Thailand is a tourism focused country and it is very important for them to keep themselves and visitors safe in order to rebound tourism asap. So far Thailand seems to be doing fine- despite 3000+ cases most have recovered and only 66 are yet to be cured. That is a good news for a country of 7 crore people.

Above: somewhere in Phuket (Travel guide here)

8. Myanmar 206 total 76 active
Burma or Myanmar shares border with India (Moreh) and so far has not seen any major spike.
Related: Myanmar travel guide

9. Malaysia 7600,  1500 active
1500 active cases for a population of 3 crore plus, Malaysia is at the bottom of the table and looks not that great compared to its peers in the region. But the country is vast and spread out and should be able to control well.

10. Indonesia 24000 total, 17000 active
11  Singapore 33000 total, 16000 active
Indonesia and Singapore are worst affected countries in South East Asia so far- both tourism hubs. Singapore is a small and densely populated country and hence is more worrisome.

While most of South East Asia seems to be under control, it remains to be seen how they treat visitor once tourism opens up. With India, US and European nations in world top 10, would these countries give visa on arrival, will the quarantine all tourists etc need to be seen.

India's other neighbors- Bhutan, Nepal and Srilanka are also doing fairly well.

If these countries open their border in say another 3-6 months, which one would you like to visit?


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