Community transmission, clusters of cases, sporadic cases and no cases.

In the Philippines and Indonesia (where in-person services are suspended except for emergencies), the World Health Organization (WHO) gives the transmission classification of “Community Transmission” which is the same classification as the United States and the United Kingdom.

Cases reported in the past 24 hours are as follows: Philippines = 1,585, Indonesia = 530, US = 37,908 and UK = 812.  The US and Indonesia rank 3rd and 4th respectively for the world’s largest populations, so a comparison based upon cumulative cases per million population adds clarity: Philippines = 4,561, Indonesia = 1,902, US = 16,408 and UK = 4,717.

In this space we would typically notate increasing cases, outbreaks and changes to restrictions so it may seem strange to compare these distant countries.  But the perspective underlying the understanding of what constitutes “safe” and what constitutes “dangerous” seems to very much be based upon the location of the reader.

Media headlines exclaim the outbreak in Vietnam and Korea.  Those outbreaks are being taken very seriously and the measures to contain them have been swift and serious. But compared to the numbers for countries listed above, Vietnam has had 5 cases in the past 24 hours and a cumulative total of cases per million equal to 10 while in the past 24 hours, Korea reported 288 new cases and has a cumulative total of 318 cases per million people.

Back in May, we shared our emergency programs for virtual and contactless destination services.  Since the resumption of service delivery in most of our 17 countries, we have yet to see a high demand for these programs.  Discounting the Philippines, India and Indonesia where services are technically suspended or severely limited, most of the service orders we have received focus on traditional services with slight adjustments.  Our team is ready to deliver these newer programs if the need arises, but we are looking for how our clients may define that need.  Will it be based upon the case counts and infection rates in the destination?  Or upon the concerns held by assignees coming from high case-count countries?  Perhaps their use will be dictated by the ability to deliver traditional destination services.

Maybe the virtual and contactless services, while they have a place and purpose, were an overreaction by us all.  Potentially they could become more frequent as borders continue to open and more movement becomes possible.  They certainly will come in handy when and where spikes occur and traditional face-to-face isn’t an option.

You may also click this week’s report below to open in a new window.

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