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Central Asia faces COVID-19 surge and resurgence risks

Friday, July 3, 2020

Significance

Like Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan took timely action when evidence of COVID-19 emerged. Their governments' claim of effective management may prove justified but is currently endangered by a surge in new cases in all three.Tajikistan took greater risks by delaying its admission of infections and appearing to avoid full disclosure, while the Turkmen authorities deny there are any cases.

Impacts

  • Misrepresenting COVID-19 data would be a setback for efforts to secure public buy-in.
  • Digital surveillance may extend beyond its immediate health control purposes.
  • Laws against COVID-19 disinformation may be used to penalise legitimate criticism.
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