“World” Editorial Department. In the spring of 2020, when overwhelmed and disarmed Europe finds itself at the center of the Covid-19 pandemic, Asia provides a spectacular counterexample. With the exception of China, which manages the health crisis that the West cannot imitate, Asian democracies have succeeded in quickly controlling the spread of the virus by relying on the experience of respiratory infectious diseases acquired during the epidemic. SARS, in the early 2000s, would also like to thank people for their discipline and their familiarity with new technologies.
After more than a year, the situation is very different. If the epidemics in Europe and North America are declining sharply, then India has just experienced a devastating outbreak, and several countries in Southeast Asia are experiencing a rebound in the epidemic, even countries like Taiwan or Singapore that seem to be completely bankrupt.
It is obvious all over the world: the way out of the crisis and the normal functioning of the country, society and economy depend to a large extent on the vaccination rate. However, on this issue, the Asia-Pacific region lags far behind Europe and North America. There are several reasons, but the main reason is that, considering that the risk of pollution is controlled, Asians believe that vaccination is useless.
Some governments have neglected to order doses on time and now have to wait for delivery through the UN-sponsored Covax mechanism. India had to stop exporting its products to deal with its own crisis. As for China, it produces vaccines, but reserves half of it for export as part of its vaccine diplomacy.
This gap delays the return to normal flow of people between countries and also slows the recovery of economic activity. Faced with the constant threat of new variants, such as those in India, countries that have escaped the pandemic but have no effective vaccine strategy are destined to extend their closure.