Asia is a large continent, and trying to make a general assessment of its response to the virus is almost impossible. However, some trends and particular good examples can be examined—and if we exclude China, a world unto itself, we can attempt a classification.
First, there are the countries on the border with China, its southern geographical “belt”: Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar, direct neighbors but among the least-affected countries in the world. Then, there are the countries with large populations, from Indonesia to the highly populous nations of South Asia, with relatively “few cases.” Then, the rich countries, technologically advanced but not always praiseworthy at the social level (South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore). Finally, the areas where war reigns, more or less explicitly proclaimed, from Afghanistan to the endemic conflicts around Myanmar.
First, we must look at the “mystery of the (Chinese) belt.” Looking at the statistics table, it is striking that only five countries in Asia have zero recorded deaths. Excluding East Timor (24 cases, 0 deaths) and Turkmenistan (0 cases, 0 deaths), the others are Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, to which we can add Myanmar (only 6 deaths). These are the countries from the southern “belt” of China, on the periphery of the “Empire” and therefore the closest to the epicenter in Wuhan (Central Asia, further to the west, was also little affected, but is farther from the epicenter).
Read all on ilmanifesto (published on June 21th)