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    Asian nations experience a surge in Covid cases with India and Singapore included; are countries implementing measures to control the spread?

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    Asian countries are seeing a rise in Covid-19 cases due to a highly transmissible strain of Omicron known as XBB subvariants. Singapore, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam have reported a surge in infections, with Singapore’s weekly infections peaking in March-end at over 28,000 cases. India reported 10,158 coronavirus cases and 19 deaths, while Indonesia’s daily infections reached around 1,000 on Wednesday. Vietnam’s Covid infections quadrupled from the previous period, with Hanoi recording the most cases.

    Despite the increase in cases, governments are treating the virus as endemic as it isn’t causing widespread severe illness. Most of the population in these countries have been vaccinated or had prior infections. The governments have also said that new Coronavirus waves are to be expected from time to time after the pivot to living with Covid and dismantling many curbs.

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    Singapore has dropped most mask mandates in February, citing significantly reduced threats from the virus but is witnessing a surge in Covid-19 infections as the country transitions to living with an endemic virus. India is conducting mock drills to check for preparedness and has imposed new mask rules in a handful of states. Experts have said the virus’ new XBB.1.16 variant could be driving the surge and predicted that cases in the national capital will peak in the next couple of weeks. President Joko Widodo has urged citizens in Indonesia to take a second booster shot and said the country’s high level of immunity meant the situation was “still well under control.”

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    Rajesh M
    Rajesh M
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