Lockdowns In Asia As Some Nations See 1st Major Virus Surges

People queue in line to wait for the coronavirus testing at a Public Health Center in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, July 9, 2021. South Korea will enforce its strongest social distancing restrictions in the greater capital area starting next week as it wrestles with what appears to be the worst wave of the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

(AP) — Several countries around Asia and the Pacific that are experiencing their first major surges of the coronavirus have rushed to implement tough restrictions. The measures come a year and a half into a pandemic that many initially weathered well.

Faced with rapidly rising numbers of infections in recent months, authorities hope the measures announced or imposed Friday can slow the spread before health care systems are overwhelmed.

It’s a rhythm familiar in much of the world, where repeated surges deluged hospitals and led to high numbers of deaths. But many Asian countries avoided that cycle by imposing stiff travel restrictions combined with tough measures at home. Now some are seeing record numbers of new cases and even deaths.


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