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Asian countries that tamed the virus find that reopening is more difficult. | Press "Enter" to skip to content

Asian countries that tamed the virus find that reopening is more difficult.

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All across the Asia-Pacific region, the countries that led the world in containing the coronavirus are languishing in the race to put it behind them.

While the United States, which suffered far more grievous outbreaks, is filling stadiums with vaccinated fans and cramming planes for summer vacations, the pandemic champions of the East are stuck in a cycle of uncertainty, restrictions and isolation.

In southern China, the spread of the Delta variant led to a sudden lockdown last week in Guangzhou, a major industrial capital. Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand and Australia have also clamped down after recent outbreaks, while Japan is dealing with a fourth round of infections.

Where they can, people are getting on with their lives, with social distancing and outings kept close to home. Economically, the region has weathered the pandemic relatively well because of how successfully most countries handled its first phase.

In some places, like Vietnam, Taiwan and Thailand, vaccinations are barely underway. Others, like China, Japan, South Korea and Australia, have seen a sharp rise in inoculations in recent weeks, while remaining far from offering vaccines to all.


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