(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.