Around June 2020, many institutions restarted full operating schedules to clear the backlog of postponed surgeries because of the first wave in the COVID-19 pandemic. In an online survey distributed among anaesthestists in Asian countries at that time, most of them described their safety concerns and recommendations related to the supply of personal protective equipment and its usage. The second concern was related to pre-operative screening for all elective surgical cases and its related issues. The new norm in practice was found to be non-standardized and involved untested devices or workflow that have since been phased out with growing evidence. Subsequent months after reinstating full elective surgeries tested the ability of many hospitals in handling the workload of non-COVID surgical cases together with rising COVID-19 positive cases in the second and third waves when stay-at-home orders eased.