Experts Doubt Low Coronavirus Counts of Some Southeast Asian Countries

Health experts say the low Covid-19 case numbers some Southeast Asian countries are reporting — some still in the single digits — have much more to do with limited testing than reality. They warn that faulty figures may breed a false sense of security and help the virus causing the deadly disease to spread.

Laos and Myanmar, which both border China, where the global coronavirus pandemic sprouted late last year, were still reporting zero cases early last week. Laos has since confirmed six cases as of Saturday. Myanmar, which borders China for more than 2,000 kilometers, has confirmed eight.

Cambodia and Vietnam, which also share close cultural and commercial ties with China, have reported 104 and 169 cases respectively, more than Laos or Myanmar but still on the low end.

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