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Majlis Podcast: Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, And The Coronavirus

Tajikistan has officially confirmed just 76 coronavirus infections and two deaths.

On the last day of April, authorities in Tajikistan announced the country’s first cases of the coronavirus.

There were signs for weeks prior to the announcement that the virus was already in Tajikistan and spreading, but Tajik officials insisted that was not true and attributed suspicious deaths to other causes, usually pneumonia.

Officials in Turkmenistan continue to maintain there are no cases of coronavirus in their country, though many of the same rumors that circulated through Tajikistan about deaths from respiratory ailments and quarantined facilities are also coming out of Turkmenistan.

On this week's Majlis podcast, RFE/RL's media-relations manager for South and Central Asia, Muhammad Tahir, moderates a discussion on how the authorities in Tajikistan and Turkmenistan have been handling -- or mishandling -- the coronavirus.

This week’s guests are, from Italy, Peter Leonard, a veteran correspondent covering Central Asia and currently the Eurasianet editor for Central Asia; and from Prague, Sirojiddin Tolibov, the managing editor of RFE/RL’s Tajik Service, known locally as Ozodi, and Bruce Pannier, the author of the Qishloq Ovozi blog.

Majlis Podcast: Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, 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 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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