Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Opinion
Lionel Laurent

Don't Ignore the Good News On Covid-19 From Asia

There’s light at the end of the lockdown tunnel, provided the right lessons are learnt.

Life goes on.

Life goes on.

Photographer: NHAC NGUYEN/AFP

It’s easy to feel that there’s no light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel. Europe’s intensive care wards are filling up again, pushing France and Germany into a fresh round of stay-at-home restrictions and lockdowns — albeit ones designed to be softer than the first. Even countries hit hard by the first wave, such as Italy and Sweden, are seeing rising cases, suggesting herd immunity is a long way off. The U.S. looks to have given up on controlling the pandemic until a vaccine arrives.

Yet we shouldn’t ignore the better news from Asia. The strategies pursued by South Korea, Vietnam, China and others do still seem to be paying off. While the total Covid-19 death toll is between 500-700 per million people in France, the U.K., Spain and the U.S., in China and South Korea it is below 10 per million. Cases are a less perfect measure, but there’s a similar observable gap. Wuhan, once the epicenter of Covid-19, is welcoming tourists again.