ASEAN COVID-19 PANDEMIC UPDATES: PART 1: BRUNEI TO MALAYSIA- Here is the ASEAN status as of Monday, 7am, January 4, 2021


COVID-19 infection crosses 85.2 million globally as deaths cross more than 1.85 million.


The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting 218 countries and territories around the world and 2 international conveyances.


The update-1.4.2021

Sick Earth Plague Day 404

Cases globally: 85,420,081 :

Deaths:  1,849,4145

Recovered: 60,357,002.




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Coronavirus Cases globally  : 85,420,081 :

Deaths: 1,849,4145:  Recovered: 60,357,002.


Here is the ASEAN status as of Monday, 7am, January 4, 2021

Khmer Times


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.Brunei had +15 new cases, has a total of 172 with 3 deaths.

15 new imported cases found

James Kon & Rokiah Mahmud

Brunei Darussalam yesterday recorded 15 new imported COVID-19 cases, arriving on the same flight from the United Kingdom (UK).

No new strains of COVID-19 were detected among them, said Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar during a press conference yesterday.

The minister also revealed that the new cases are part of a group of 81 people who arrived in the country from London on December 21, 2020, via Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) flight BI004.

“Case 165 started developing symptoms – a sore throat – on December 31, 2020, while the other cases did not have any signs of infection,” he said.

“All new cases are at the National Isolation Centre (NIC) for monitoring and treatment. Meanwhile, contact tracing for the new cases are still being conducted.”

Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar speaks at the press conference. PHOTO: JAMES KON

Asked if more imported cases would be expected in the country in the coming days or weeks, the minister explained, “It will depend on the entry of people from abroad or the essential travellers permitted by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

“We have procedures and systems that need to be followed, especially those who are in the high community spread,” he said, adding that “they will be isolated for 14 days, and undergo another swab test on their 10th or 12th day, in accordance with the procedures”.

Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health (MoH) Haji Abdul Manap bin Othman was also present at the press conference.

The new cases bring the total number of COVID-19 cases in Brunei Darussalam to 172 cases, with 20 active cases receiving treatment at the NIC.

One imported case from India announced on December 30, 2020, was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), while the rest are in stable condition.

With the detection of the new cases, 31 imported cases have been confirmed. Since the last local infection reported on May 6, 2020, Brunei Darussalam has recorded 242 days without local transmissions.

Meanwhile, 572 individuals are undergoing mandatory self-isolation at government monitoring centres, after arriving from overseas. At present, 10,519 individuals have completed mandatory self-isolation at the centres.

In the past 24 hours, 233 samples have been tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, bringing the total number of laboratory tests conducted since January 2020 to 83,775.

With the latest developments and the current global situation, the minister reminded the public not to be too complacent when observing social responsibilities. They are required to maintain personal hygiene, as well as proper coughing and sneezing etiquette.

The public – especially individuals at risk, like the elderly, pregnant women and individuals with chronic diseases such as diabetes, kidney patients and respiratory problems – are recommended to wear a face mask in public places, including shopping malls, sales expos and sightseeing venues.

Members of the public are also advised not to leave home if feeling unwell and to avoid visiting crowded places.

As per the provisions under the Infectious Diseases Act (Chapter 204), the public is required to comply with all regulations and instructions in force during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For information, visit the MoH official website at or contact the Health Advice Line at 148 or through the BruHealth app.





There has been +2 new positive case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Cambodia.  The tally is at 381. No deaths. Total recovered at 362.

‘Super-spreader’ virus alert

Brian Badzmierowski and Tith Kongnov / Khmer Times

Migrant workers return to the country through the O’Smach International Border Checkpoint in Oddar Meanchey province yesterday. GDI

Cambodia is on the alert for a more infectious strain of the COVID-19 virus which originated in the United Kingdom and is now at its doorstep after cases  were reported in Vietnam and Thailand over the weekend.

The novel strain called SARS-CoV-2 VUI 202012/01 or “B.1.1.7.” was first discovered in September in the southeast of England and may be responsible for the recent spike in cases in the region.

According to Xinhua, a Vietnamese woman travelling from the United Kingdom tested positive for COVID-19 on December 24.

It was then revealed that she was infected with the strain first detected in the UK.

A World Health Organization press release published yesterday said clinical research suggests that this strain spreads faster than the original strain but it doesn’t show increased severity.

The press release said studies are being conducted to determine if vaccine performance is affected by the new strain.

In Thailand, the new, more contagious virus strain was also detected in a British family of four who recently arrived in the country, according to media reports.

In view of this, Cambodia has stepped up checks along its borders with Vietnam and Thailand to prevent the “super-spreader” virus from crossing into the Kingdom.

The stepped-up checks along the Thai border also come after 16 more returnee migrant workers tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend.

Battambang province deputy governor Soeum Bunrithy said yesterday that he had already prepared preventive measures by placing forces along the border and some corridors 100 metres apart, involving 10 to 15 officers per stretch, including border police and the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces.

“We know that in general, the workers who come to Cambodia today do not do so through the entrance agreed upon with the Thai authorities. They mostly enter through the streams and walk through the corridors,” he said. Some of them try to avoid doing quarantine by hiring taxis to return to their homes.”

Bunrithy appealed to Cambodians working in Thailand to follow the instructions of the Thai authorities all times in the wake of the new strain of the virus.

Ly Sary, deputy governor of Banteay Meanchey province, said yesterday that although no migrant workers in the province had so far tested positive for COVID-19, the authorities had deployed more than 300 police and military officers along the corridors at the Thai border.

“We have already deployed forces along the border, with police and military forces preventing and restricting the entry and exit of migrant workers,” he said.

He called on migrant workers not to run away or refrain from doing quarantine and follow the instructions of the Ministry of Health on the 14-day requirement before returning to their houses.

Sary added that migrant workers, who are working in Thailand, should not move from one area to another to avoid being infected by the new virus strain.

A group of national police officers are checked at the Bavet International Border Checkpoint after returning from a security research training in Vietnam on Thursday. GDI

Ros Pharith, deputy governor of Svay Rieng province, said that the authorities are keeping strict checks along the Vietnam-Cambodia border to prevent illegal crossings of Cambodian or Vietnamese workers.

“We have been tightening checks at the border checkpoint and if people enter, we require them to be placed in quarantine centres for 14 days,” he said.

General Keo Vanthorn, General Department of Immigration spokesman, said yesterday that officials at the border gates have been working closely with the Ministry of Health to monitor migrant workers, who cross the border and other corridors.

Those crossing the border illegally will be immediately sent for quarantine.

“The Ministry of Health has advised people, especially migrant workers, to be very careful about a new virus strain of COVID-19 and participate in the implementation of sanitary measures on a regular basis,”  Gen Vanthorn said.

Or Vandine, Ministry of Health spokeswoman, said yesterday that although the new virus strain has a potential mutations, people will be safe if they follow preventive measures.

“In order to protect ourselves from the spread of a new virus strain of COVID-19, I appeal to all authorities to continue to restrict the movement of all migrant workers who enter Cambodia, ensure they are quarantined for 14 days and prevent any of them from fleeing the quarantine centres,” she said.

Meanwhile, WHO on Thursday authorised the use of the Pfizer vaccine in emergency situations under its Covax initiative but it is unclear when or if Cambodia will be receiving this vaccine.

The Covax facility has reportedly been working with Pfizer to order doses, but distributing the vaccine could be difficult in Cambodia because it needs to be stored at sub-zero temperatures.

Dr Li Ailan, WHO representative to Cambodia, told Khmer Times that distributing a vaccine which requires ultra-cold temperatures presents a challenge to many countries, including Cambodia.

She said Covax is working to bring other vaccines under development with less stringent storing requirements to countries with limited resources.

“It is our hope that WHO will issue its emergency use listing for more COVID-19 vaccines in 2021,” she said.

Concerning Cambodia’s preparedness, Ailan said she has been impressed with the policies implemented thus far.

“WHO is pleased that Cambodia has already developed its draft National Deployment and Vaccination Plan and Operational Guidelines for vaccine roll-out and [it’s] also encouraging to see other ongoing preparations in Cambodia, including the rapid funding mobilisation under the leadership of the government,” Ailan wrote in an e-mail.

Vandine said the government has already ordered one million doses from Covax, but she does not know which vaccine will be available.

In a related development the Ministry of Health confirmed yesterday that a male migrant worker who died while in quarantine in Tboung Khmum province had suffered a fatal heart attack on Saturday.

The 52 year-old victim was in quarantine after he crossed the Oddar Meanchey province border from Thailand on December 28. He tested negative for COVID-19 before being placed in mandatory quarantine.

The ministry also reported that the COVID-19 migrant workers cluster, tally had increased to 16 over the weekend with total positive cases rising to 381.

This includes two migrant worker women who tested positive on Saturday after returning from Thailand.


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The country reported +6,877 new infections, taking the totals to 765,350 infections with +179  new deaths, bringing total to 22,734 deaths.


An airport worker removes a box of Sinovac vaccine upon arrival at the cargo terminal ot the Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Tangerang, Banten, on Dec. 31, 2020. (Beritasatu Photo/Mohammad Defrizal)

Indonesia Begins Distributing 3 Million Doses of Coronavirus Vaccine


JANUARY 03, 2021

Jakarta. Indonesia’s state-owned pharmaceutical company Bio Farma began distributing 3 million doses of vaccine against coronavirus to all 34 provinces on Sunday.

The vaccine, developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech, has been approved for emergency use by the Drug and Food Control Agency (BPOM).

“We are distributing the vaccine to 34 provinces from today after of course everything has been prepared. Health service facilities across the country have prepared the cold chain network,” government spokesman Bambang Herianto said in a video conference in Jakarta.

The Sinovac vaccine must be kept at between 2 degrees and 8 degrees Celsius.

Bambang said mass vaccination is not new to Indonesia, expressing confidence that the initial distribution process would run smoothly across the country.

“The vaccine’s quality is guaranteed because it’s being distributed at a low temperature until reaching the final destination namely the public health centers,” Bambang said.

In the initial vaccine distribution, the Health Ministry is collaborating with the military, the National Police and the Transportation Ministry, Bambang said.

The government has targeted to vaccinate at least 181 million of the country’s 270 million population, with health workers given the top priority.

The vaccine will be distributed to 13,000 public health centers or Puskesmas, 2,500 hospitals and 49 health offices at seaports across the sprawling archipelago.

Indonesia has recorded a total of 765,350 confirmed cases of coronavirus since the outbreak started, with an additional 6,877 cases on Sunday.

(Click for a full view)
(Click for a full view)

The total number of active cases currently stands at 110,679 or 14.5 percent of the overall cases.

The virus has killed 22,734 people in the country, which reported a further 179 deaths in the last 24 hours.

The seven-day average of coronavirus-related deaths has topped 200 for the sixth straight day. The daily death toll has been in three-digit territory since Nov. 22, a span of 42 consecutive days.

Central Java has reported the most deaths during the deadliest period of the Indonesian outbreak and now is ranked second with a total of 3,749 Covid deaths.

East Java has recorded the highest death toll, which exceeded 6,000 on Sunday after adding another 50 more deaths.

Jakarta is ranked third with 3,326 deaths, followed by West Java (1,178), East Kalimantan (763), North Sumatra (683) and South Sulawesi (607).

(Click for a full view)
(Click for a full view)

The four provinces in Java also make up the majority of overall cases nationwide.

Jakarta has recorded a staggering 189,243 cases since the outbreak, even bigger than the combined cases from two provinces closest to its total.

The capital city has been averaging 1,902 cases in the past week.

West Java has seen a dramatic surge in newly cases since early December to overtake East Java in the second place. The daily total in the country’s most populous province has topped 1,000 in the last six days, bringing its total to 87,482.

East Java has recorded 599 new cases in the 24-hour period, its lowest daily number since Dec. 8, to take its total to 86,361.

Coronavirus cases are rising fast in East Java, which averaged 718 in December in comparison to an average of 314 a month earlier.

Central Java has been outpacing East Java since November, recording a total of 84,512 cases as of Sunday to cut the gap further.

(Click for a full view)
(Click for a full view)

South Sulawesi set a new all-time high of 595 cases to bring its total to 32,782, the biggest number outside Java. That means all the top five worst-affected provinces are experiencing an ongoing surge in newly cases.

The virus is also spreading faster in Banten and Yogyakarta, two remaining provinces in the most-crowded island of Java, and in East Kalimantan and Bali.

Banten is now ranked ninth among provinces with the most cases while Yogyakarta saw its total number of cases more than double in just a month.

The surge is slowing in Sumatra Island, including in Riau and North and West Sumatra, which currently are inside the top ten.

(Click for a full view)
(Click for a full view)




The country reported +0 new case recorded, total at 41. No deaths.


Frontline medical staff vaccinated, more Covid-19 vaccines expected

Some frontline medical workers have been vaccinated against Covid-19 thanks to China’s provision of 2,000 doses of vaccine, the Minister of Health has said.
The first round of vaccinations has been administered to volunteer medical staff, according to Associate Prof. Dr Bounkong Syhavong.
“The vaccinations produced good results and no adverse side effects have been reported so far,” Dr Bounkong said in a press statement issued on December 31.
The vaccine has been developed by China’s Sinopharm and is among 10 Covid-19 vaccines listed in the Emergency Use Listing (EUL) procedure of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
So far, no Covid-19 vaccine has been officially certified for its safety and effectiveness by the WHO.
The Emergency Use Listing procedure has been drawn up by the WHO to expedite the availability of vaccines to people affected by a public health emergency, according to Dr Bounkong, who is Deputy Head of the National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control.
The vaccines listed in the EUL do not cause any serious side effects and about 95 percent of people vaccinated have developed antibodies that suppress the virus. People given the Sinopharm vaccine need two injections.
The vaccine provides immunity against Covid-19 for a period of three years and can be stored at a temperature of 2-8 degrees Celsius, the minister said.  “China has vaccinated millions of its citizens with good results,” Dr Bounkong said.
Another 500 doses of Sputnik V, a Covid-19 vaccine developed by Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute, arrived in Laos on January 2. This vaccine is also included in the WHO’s Emergency Use Listing.
“We are getting ready to administer the Sputnik V vaccine and preparing freezers to store it,” the minister said in the statement, adding that the Russian vaccine must be stored at -18 to -20 degrees Celsius.
People given the Sputnik vaccine also need two doses and will develop immunity to Covid-19 for two years.
Laos also expects to receive Covid-19 vaccines from the Gavi COVAX Facility – an initiative working to ensure global equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines.
Vaccines funded by the COVAX Facility are expected to be administered in April when about 1.4 million people representing 20 percent of the population will be vaccinated.
Dr Bounkong said Laos is one of 92 countries that will be given vaccines in the form of a grant from the Gavi COVAX Facility.
People in at-risk groups will be given priority in receiving vaccinations. They include frontline workers such as medical staff including nurses and volunteers, elderly people, those with a chronic illness, and migrant workers.
In addition to the vaccines provided by other governments and the COVAX Facility, the Lao government has allocated a budget for the purchase of more vaccines, to be supplemented by financial assistance from donors. The ultimate aim is for the whole population to be vaccinated and re-vaccinated every two or three years.
It is estimated that it will cost almost US$18 to immunise just one person, meaning that almost US$100 million is required to vaccinate everyone, according to the minister, citing an estimation made jointly by the Ministry of Health, the World Bank, WHO and Unicef.


BySouksakhone Vaenkeo
(Latest Update
 January 4, 2021)


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The country reported  +1,704 new cases, taking the total to 119,077,  with +11 new deaths, total deaths at 494.


Covid-19: 1,741 infections reported overnight, 22,089 active cases – Health DG

04 JAN 2021 / 19:36 H.
Covid-19: 1,741 infections reported overnight, 22,089 active cases - Health DGPUTRAJAYA: Malaysia reported 1,741 new Covid-19 cases today, taking the total number of infections in the country to 120,818 cases.

Health DG Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said of the overall tally, 22,089 are active cases.

Selangor remained the state with the highest daily tally, reporting 687 new cases (39.5%), followed by Sabah with 303 cases (17.4 per cent) and Johor with 295 new infections (16.9%).

“Also, eight were imported cases who got infected abroad, and the remaining 1,733 cases were local transmissions.

“A total of 541 cases (78.7%) were from clusters and close contact screening in the field while 32 cases (1.8%) were linked to clusters in lockups, immigration depots, and prisons,” he told a media conference on Covid-19 developments today.

Seven fatalities were also reported today, Dr Noor Hisham said, involving three men and four women, all of them Malaysians aged between 45 and 83.

Also, there are 122 cases being treated in the intensive care unit, with 53 of them intubated, he added.

As for recovered cases, Dr Noor Hisham said 1,010 recoveries were recorded today, bringing the country’s recovery tally to 98,228 cases so far. — Bernama


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