Asian countries playing down Covid-19 to appease China, says Fitch

Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Pakistan may be under-reporting cases of Covid-19 to avoid antagonising China, on whom they rely for major investments in infrastructure, the analyst Fitch Solutions said in a research note yesterday.

Laos and Myanmar have yet to report a single case, while Cambodia is reporting one and Pakistan has logged five so far.

This appears anomalous because Chinese companies and workers had a heavy presence in those countries before the outbreak in Wuhan captured international attention.

Fitch said poor healthcare systems might go some way to explaining the low numbers.

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