Southeast Asian countries grapple with COVID-19 hinh anh 1Indonesian people wear face masks (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
– Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia, Thailand and Laos have been struggling with the acute respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which has so far killed more than 14,560 people worldwide.

Indonesia has prepared 109 military hospitals nationwide for treatment of coronavirus cases, said General Hadi Tjahjanto, Military Commander on March 23.

He added that the government has also arranged hospitals in Galang, Batam, Riau and Wisma Atay Kemayoran islands to treat COVID-19 patients across Indonesia.

To date, Indonesia has recorded a total of 541 infection cases, including 48 deaths.

The third Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge across the Mekong River linking Thailand’s northeastern Nakhon Phanom province and Laos’ Khammouane province was closed from 10:00 pm on March 22 as a precaution against COVID-19.

The bridge closure under an order issued by Nakhon Phanom Governor Sayam Sirimongkol will be in effect for an indefinite period.

After the order takes effect, people of all nationalities will not be allowed to travel across the border, except vehicles transporting cargo. In those cases, drivers and crew will be subject to strict screening for coronavirus.

Temporary border checkpoints in four border districts of the provinces will also be closed under the same order.

As of March 22, Thailand reported nearly 600 infection cases, including one death.

Meanwhile, Malaysia recorded 123 more cases and two fatalities on March 22, increasing the tallies to 1,306 and 10 respectively./.