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Scott Morrison with Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

While most of south-east Asia has been spared from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic -- for now -- the region’s most populous nations, Indonesia and the Philippines, have continued to struggle largely ignored by the Australian media.

In Indonesia, cases rose to an average of nearly 4500 a day in the past week. Indonesia’s Health Ministry announced 4497 new cases and 79 deaths on October 11, bringing its total number of infections to 333,449. The official death toll stands at 11,844.

The disease is in all 34 provinces and Bali has been forced to close to tourists again after reopening for a short time.