New waves of coronavirus infections are sweeping through several countries in Asia, many having become more ferocious than previous outbreaks. After the devastating outbreak in India captured the world's attention, Malaysia is now in the spotlight as a fast-growing case load is putting a strain on the local health care system.
Malaysia's became the biggest major outbreak in Asia on Saturday, surpassing Nepal, Sri Lanka and India, where daily new cases are mostly in decline. The country counted a record 9,000 new cases Saturday. The 7-day rolling average of new cases per million of population stood at more than 236 Tuesday.
India still recorded almost 133,000 new cases Tuesday, after reaching an all-time global record of 414,000 on May 6. The average of daily new cases per million of population declined to 119. India's neighbor to the North, Nepal, is seeing a similarly grave COVID-19 outbreak in relation to population, which caused per-capita case burdens to outpace those of India from early May onward. Southern neighbor Sri Lanka became the third most affected major country in Asia, even though cases have been growing a little slower there.
The Philippines recorded around 6,000 new cases on June 1, according to Johns Hopkins University. This is far less than the daily record of more than 15,000 cases set on April 2, but more than the only 4,000 daily cases the country had been seeing as recently as last week. Looking at new cases in relation to population, the Philippines remained the fifth most affected major country in Asia at around 61 new cases per one million of population, even though Thailand was not far behind at 54.
COVID-19 model students like Thailand, Vietnam or Taiwan have been seeing more new cases than usual recently. New infections remained at stable levels in Indonesia, Singapore, South Korea, Bangladesh and Pakistan, while they declined in Japan and rose once more in Cambodia.