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Majlis Podcast: Will Central Asia Deal With Latest Wave Of COVID-19 Differently?


Bodies lie on the ground outside the morgue in the southern Kazakh city of Shymkent on August 13.

This summer has seen an increase in the number of cases of coronavirus in Central Asia.

Kazakhstan seems to have been hit the hardest, with officials reporting about 8,000 cases daily in early August, four times the number the country was reporting in August 2020 .

Tajikistan has grudgingly admitted the coronavirus is spreading again, after earlier this year Tajik officials declared they had beaten the virus and it was no longer present, and Turkmenistan, in defiance of reason, clings to its tale that there has never been coronavirus in the country.

On this week's Majlis Podcast, RFE/RL media-relations manager Muhammad Tahir moderates a discussion on the latest wave of COVID in Central Asia, how bad is it, and what have the countries learned in the months that have passed since the virus first appeared.

This week's guests are: from Kazakhstan, Baurzhan Zhussupov, research coordinator at the Kazakh National Medical University in Almaty; from Bishkek, Aibek Mukametov, the head of the health-care program at the Soros Foundation in Kyrgyzstan; from Prague, Farruh Yusupov, the director of RFE/RL's Turkmen Service, known locally as Azatlyk; and Bruce Pannier, the author of the Qishloq Ovozi blog.

Revisiting Central Asia's COVID-19 Struggle
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Listen to the podcast above or subscribe to the Majlis on iTunes or on Google Podcasts.

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 the dots to shed light on why those processes are occurring, and identify the agents of change.

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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