Late last week, Vietnam handed over some assistance to Laos and Cambodia as the two fellow Southeast Asian states continue to manage the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic. While the development was in line with what Hanoi had previously signaled, it nonetheless put the spotlight on the dynamics of COVID-19 in mainland Southeast Asia which had belatedly come into full view after earlier speculation of underreporting in some countries.
As I have observed before in these pages, within Southeast Asia, following earlier speculation that the region’s coronavirus challenge had been underestimated, we have seen COVID-19 truly go regional over the past few week. Within mainland Southeast Asia, apart from Vietnam and Thailand which had already been dealing with the global pandemic earlier, Cambodia has reported growing cases while Myanmar and Laos.
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