Asia – Coronavirus Update

Apr 7, 2020

As of 6 April 2020, governments throughout Asia continue to implement movement controls in response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Japan is expected to declare a state of emergency for seven prefectures on 7 April, while lockdown orders were extended in the Philippines and Malaysia. Thailand also extended a ban on inbound international flights. Additional details are available below.

In Japan, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo is expected to declare a state of emergency as early as 7 April for Tokyo, Chiba, Kanagawa, Saitama, Osaka, Hyogo and Fukuoka prefectures, which will likely remain in effect until at least 6 May. The declarations will allow authorities to implement local stay-at-home orders and enforce mandatory closures for all nonessential businesses and schools.

In Thailand, officials extended the ban on all inbound international flights to the country, effective 0001 local time on 7 April (2701 on 6 April) until 2359 local time on 18 April. Thai nationals abroad have been requested to remain in place until 15 April. From 6-30 April, entry and exit bans are in effect for all travelers in Songkhla province. Only individuals working in essential sectors — such as energy, finance, medicine or consumer products — will be permitted to enter the province.

In the Philippines, on 6 April a total lockdown for Rizal province — located approximately 15 km (9 mi) east of Metro Manila on Luzon Island — went into effect until further notice. Residents are prohibited from leaving their homes with the exception of essential workers who are required to carry an identification card. In addition, nonessential travelers will be prohibited from entering the province. Security forces have implemented strict penalties — such as arrests and fines — for those not complying with the rules. Commercial cargo and essential services personnel will be exempt from the restrictions. On 16 March authorities implemented a lockdown for all of Luzon Island, which is set to expire on 12 April if it is not extended.

In Singapore, authorities placed two residential facilities for foreign workers — the S11 Dormitory at Punggol and the Westlite Toh Guan dormitory — under mandatory quarantine and ordered all residents to self-isolate for 14 days after health officials recorded a cluster of COVID-19 cases in the communities. Authorities will conduct health screenings to monitor the workforce and isolate symptomatic individuals. Workers employed in essential services will be moved to separate lodging facilities, and all salaries will continue to be paid. Similar measures are expected to be implemented for other worker dormitories in the short-term and may be announced with little advance notice.

The state of Western Australia implemented border restrictions as of 5 April until further notice to limit the spread of COVID-19. All travelers attempting to enter the territory will be required to fill out an official arrival form. The order does not pertain to medical, government, security or transportation workers. Residents of Western Australia entering the state will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

In Kyrgyzstan, authorities in the capital Bishkek implemented a nightly curfew from 2000-0700 local time (1400 and 0100 UTC) until 15 April. Individuals who violate the curfew order — with the exception of medical and security personnel or those with emergencies — will be detained until the end of the nationwide lockdown, which is also set to expire on 15 April. In addition, residents in Bishkek are required to carry an ID and a written copy of the following information: full name, telephone number, reason for leaving the house, time of leaving, expected time of return, home address, destination address.

Malaysia’s government ordered all foreign nationals entering the country to undergo mandatory quarantine at a government center for 14 days under the existing Movement Control Order (MCO). Under the MCO, all foreign nationals are banned from entering the country, except diplomats, permanent residents or expatriates working for an essential service. Foreign nationals are granted entry to transit within Kuala Lumpur International Airport (WMKK/KUL), but will be prohibited from transferring between the main building (Terminal 1) and the low-budget airline facility (Terminal 2).

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