fredag 17. april 2020

As coronavirus spread through Asia, the West had a head start to prepare. Why wasn't it used?

At the beginning of the year, parts of east Asia were a somewhat scary place to be. The coronavirus was spreading rapidly across mainland China and its neighbors, with cases reported in South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan and beyond. Western governments began evacuating citizens from Wuhan, where the virus was first detected, and many foreign nationals began fleeing the region, holing up in their home countries.

Now that situation has almost entirely reversed -- with the notable exception of Japan and Singapore, east Asian governments have reported a steady drop in new cases and are gradually beginning to relax lockdown measures. As the situation has grown increasingly dire in the West, Asia now feels like one of the safest places in the world.

Some of that is simply down to time -- Asia has been dealing with the coronavirus since late last year, so governments have had longer to respond, and waves of infections have risen and fallen. Europe and the US are in the relative early stages of their outbreaks and numbers can be expected to slow there, too, in the coming weeks and months.