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Majlis Podcast: Central Asia Warily Monitors Spread Of Coronavirus From Neighboring China


A Kazakh sanitary-epidemiological-service worker uses a thermal scanner to detect travelers from China who may have symptoms possibly connected with the coronavirus at Almaty International Airport on January 21.

As the first month of 2020 came to an end, the new strain of coronavirus that broke out in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019 had spread throughout China and cases had been recorded as far away as Japan, the United States, France, Germany, and Australia.

For the governments and people of Central Asia the virus that is spreading through neighboring China is a source of great concern. There are hundreds of Central Asian students at Chinese universities and thousands of Chinese workers in Central Asia.

But as of the end of January 2020, there were no confirmed cases of this new coronavirus in Central Asia. That has not stopped people in Central Asia from worrying, though.

RFE/RL's media-relations manager, Muhammad Tahir, moderated a discussion that looked at what the Central Asian governments are doing to prevent the spread of the virus and how the people of Central Asia are reacting to the potential spread of the virus into their homelands.

From New York University's School of Medicine, Dr. Purvi Parikh joined the discussion. From RFE/RL's Kazakh Service, known locally as Azattyq, Dana Sanseeva, and from RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service, known locally as Azattyk, Ainura Asankojoeva explained what was going on in their countries. I had a thing or two to say also.

Majlis Podcast: Central Asia And The Coronavirus
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About This Blog

Qishloq Ovozi is a blog by RFE/RL Central Asia specialist Bruce Pannier that aims to look at the events that are shaping Central Asia and its respective countries, connect some of the dots to shed light on why those processes are occurring, and identify the agents of change.

Bruce Pannier
Bruce Pannier

Content draws on the extensive knowledge and contacts of RFE/RL's Central Asian services but also allow scholars in the West, particularly younger scholars who will be tomorrow’s experts on the region, opportunities to share their views on the evolving situation at this Eurasian crossroad.

The name means "Village Voice" in Uzbek. But don't be fooled, Qishloq Ovozi is about all of Central Asia.

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