METHODS: COVID-19 data on cases, deaths, testing, and vaccinations were extracted from the Our World in Data (OWID) COVID-19 data repository for all the ten ASEAN countries. Comparative time-trends of the epidemiology of COVID-19 using the incidence rate, cumulative case fatality rate (CFR), delay-adjusted case fatality rate, cumulative mortality rate (MR), test positivity rate (TPR), cumulative testing rate (TR) and vaccination rate was carried out.
RESULTS: Over the study period, a total of 12,720,661 cases and 271,475 deaths was reported within the ASEAN region. Trends of daily per capita cases were observed to peak between July and September 2021 for the ASEAN region. The cumulative case fatality rate (CFR) in Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, was of 0.9% (N=68), 2.2% (N=2,610), 3.5% (N=142,889), 0.1% (N=36), 1.2% (N=27,700), 4.0% (N=18,297), 1.6% (N=40,424), 0.1% (N=215), 1.7% (N=18,123), and 2.6% (N=21,043), respectively. CFR was consistently highest between January-June 2020. The cumulative mortality rate (MR) was 9.5, 13.7, 51.4, 0.2, 80.3, 32.4, 34.5, 1.6, 23.9 and 19.7 per 100,000 population, respectively. The cumulative test positivity rate (TPR) was 8.4%, 16.9%, 4.6%, 7.5%, 11.1%, 12.9%, 0.5%, 11.7%, and 3.6%, with the cumulative testing rate (TR) at 25.0, 90.1, 27.4, 917.7, 75.8, 177.8, 3303.3, 195.2, and 224.9 tests per 1,000 population in Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, respectively. The percentage of population that completed vaccinations (VR) was 44.5%, 65.3%, 18.5%, 28.2%, 61.8%, 6.8%, 19.2%, 76.8%, 22.7%, and 10% in Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, respectively.
CONCLUSION: In 2020, most countries in ASEAN had higher case fatality rates but lower mortalities per population when compared to the third quarter of 2021 where higher mortalities per population were observed. Low testing rates have been one of the factors leading to high test positivity rates. Slow initiation of vaccination programs was found to be the key factor leading to high incidence and case fatality rate in most countries in ASEAN. Effective public health measures were able to interrupt the transmission of this novel virus to some extent. Increasing preparedness capacity within the ASEAN region is critical to ensure that any future similar outbreaks can be dealt with collectively.
METHODS: Consensus-driven approach between authors from the six selected countries was applied. Country specific policy documents, official government media statements, mainstream news portals, global statistics databases and latest published literature available between January-October 2020 were utilised for information retrieval. Situational and epidemiological trend analyses were conducted. Country-specific interventions and challenges were described. Based on evidence appraised, a descriptive framework was considered through a consensus. The authors subsequently outlined the lessons learned, challenges ahead and interventions that needs to be in place to control the pandemic.
RESULTS: The total number of people infected with COVID-19 between 1 January and 16 November 2020 had reached 48,520 in Malaysia, 58,124 in Singapore, 3,875 in Thailand, 470,648 in Indonesia, 409,574 in Philippines and 70,161 in Myanmar. The total number of people infected with COVID- 19 in the six countries from January to 31 October 2020 were 936,866 cases and the mortality rate was 2.42%. Indonesia had 410,088 cases with a mortality rate of 3.38%, Philippines had 380,729 cases with a mortality rate of 1.90%, Myanmar had 52,706 cases with a mortality rate of 2.34%, Thailand had 3,780 cases with a mortality rate of 1.56%, Malaysia had 31,548 cases with a mortality rate of 0.79%, and Singapore had 58,015 cases with a mortality rate of 0.05% over the 10- month period. Each country response varied depending on its real-time situations based on the number of active cases and economic situation of the country.
CONCLUSION: The number of COVID-19 cases in these countries waxed and waned over the 10-month period, the number of cases may be coming down in one country, and vice versa in another. Each country, if acting alone, will not be able to control this pandemic. Sharing of information and resources across nations is the key to successful control of the pandemic. There is a need to reflect on how the pandemic affects individuals, families and the community as a whole. There are many people who cannot afford to be isolated from their families and daily wage workers who cannot afford to miss work. Are we as a medical community, only empathising with our patients or are we doing our utmost to uphold them during this time of crisis? Are there any other avenues which can curb the epidemic while reducing its impact on the health and socio-economic condition of the individual, community and the nation?
METHODS: We obtained viral hepatitis mortality data from the WHO Mortality Database for six East and Southeast Asian countries between 1987 and 2015. We produced choropleth maps of viral hepatitis mortality rates in 1987 and 2015 in East and Southeast Asia to illustrate geographic variations. We made predictions of mortality rates for each included country until the year 2030 using a series of joinpoint models.
RESULTS: Viral hepatitis mortality rates declined in China (the average annual percent change (AAPC) = -5.1%, 95% CI: -7.5, -2.6), Singapore (AAPC = -5.4%, 95% CI: -7.5, -3.2), and the Philippines (AAPC = -3.4%, 95% CI: -4.9, -1.8). In contrast, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Malaysia have experienced increasing trends in mortality rates, followed by decreasing trends. Our predictions indicate that all countries will experience slight to moderate downward trends until 2030.
CONCLUSION: Favourable decreasing trends have been noted in East and Southeast Asian countries, which may not only inform the control and management of viral hepatitis in this region but also guide the prevention of viral hepatitis deaths in another region with a similar viral hepatitis epidemic.