(Image: Supplied)

Australia’s COVID-19 deaths in January are the highest relative to population of all 28 major Asia-Pacific nations (with populations above 1 million). Vietnam is second. The other 26 are a long way behind. Not that this is a race.

In January Australia experienced one of the worst surges in the region since the Chinese city of Wuhan copped the first wave of COVID fatalities in February 2020.

Thereafter, virtually the entire hemisphere -- comprising continental Asia, Eurasia and the islands in the Indian and Pacific oceans -- has been spared the horrific death rates suffered in western Europe and the Americas. None of the 57 countries with total deaths above 1000 per million since the pandemic started is in Asia.