IN Indonesia, heartbreaking stories about health care workers who died as a result of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) started appearing in newspapers within weeks of the first diagnosed cases in the country. Doctors, nurses and other frontline health workers without appropriate personal protectic equipment (PPE) were falling gravely ill and in far too many cases, dying. Similar stories appeared across many Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) member-states.

We are now about six months into the Covid-19 crisis and a few things have become clear:

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