Hong Kong is gradually relaxing its Covid-19 restrictions, with theme parks reopening and conventions and trade shows resuming next month. Authorities are exploring the creation of travel corridors to destinations that have a similar level of success in dealing with the pandemic. These are welcome moves for economic sectors hard hit by social distancing and quarantine measures and give hope that normal life can soon return. But expectations should not get ahead of the reality that the disease is far from tamed globally and in some countries, getting steadily worse. Two of the nations that worry health experts are India and Indonesia, which have large communities in Hong Kong. Like other low-income countries, their weak health systems and small levels of testing for Covid-19 mean that authorities do not have a proper understanding of the scale of the problem. The economic impact has been serious and lockdowns are being eased to enable people to get back to work so that there can be a resumption of business, financial and industrial activity. Given that their governments are ill-equipped to deal with outbreaks, though, the serious lack of knowledge about the extent of the spread of the coronavirus will only increase the risks to citizens and the number of cases. Chinese inmates in Philippines fear the worst as Covid-19 deaths rise Both nations reflect the reality that the world continues to struggle with Covid-19. A record number of daily cases were reported to the World Health Organisation last Sunday, with almost 75 per cent coming from just 10 countries, most in South Asia and the Americas. The reopening of economies is partly to blame; as shown with the lifting of restrictions in the United States last week, there was a prompt jump in infections in 22 of the 50 states. Internationally, totals continue to soar, with more than seven million cases and 400,000 deaths, and health experts warn that the worst is still to come. Complacency remains the biggest threat, with leaders like US President Donald Trump and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro – whose countries are the world’s third and seventh most populous and the first and second worst affected by the coronavirus – setting poor examples. Officials in India and Indonesia recognise the challenges, but their nations lack the resources. Until there is a vaccine, identifying cases and isolating and treating patients and tracing people they came into contact with is the only strategy, a difficult task for governments lacking sturdy health infrastructure, routine surveillance systems, diagnostic testing capacity and reporting. As Hong Kong gives the go-ahead for more flights and movement of people, authorities must remain vigilant to risks and threats in Asia. Poor control in any country will have regional and global impact. No government can afford to prematurely let down its guard.