Paper

Lessons from Asia: A Review of Five National Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Erlinda Palaganas, University of the Philippines Baguio

Panel

Impacts and Responses in Southeast Asia

Abstract

Since its discovery in China, the outbreak of COVID-19 caught nations off guard, sparking different responses and measures to control the spread of the pandemic. Here we review the national responses of five Asian nations, namely: China, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, and the Philippines. Using a scoping review of existing literature, the effectiveness of their responses are evaluated using the frameworks detailed by the World Health Organization’s Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. Both frameworks outline long-term objectives of reducing viral transmission and reducing disaster risks and losses. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, both frameworks provide clear goals to which countries can pattern their responses. Although there are stark differences in terms of the economy across the countries in this study, their varied responses contain lessons that we can derive from to effectively realize the objectives set by both frameworks, particularly: strategic preparedness and wilful implementation and adaptation of the national action plan based on the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation.

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