After initially successful attempts to contain the the COVID-19 virus, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are once again experiencing its rapid spread, causing extreme strain on public health systems, economies and governance systems.  What went wrong and what are the prospects for addressing the growing social, economic and humanitarian emergencies in the region?

Joanna Lillis

Joanna Lillis is a Kazakhstan-based journalist reporting on Central Asia. She is the author of Dark Shadows: Inside the Secret World of Kazakhstan. 

Bruce Pannier

Bruce Pannier is an RFE/RL correspondent reporting on a wide range of events in Central Asia, and edits Qishloq Ovozi, a dedicated blog focusing on Central Asia.

Gaukhar Mergenova

Gaukhar Mergenova, MD, MS is a project director at Columbia University Global Health Research Center of Central Asia. 

Barno Anvar

Barno Anvar is a journalist with RFE/RL’s Uzbek Service locally known as Ozodlik Radiosy. Prior to joining Ozodlik in Prague in 2007, Anvar has worked as the organization’s reporter in Tashkent and in Bishkek. 

Paul Stronski

Paul Stronski is a senior fellow in Carnegie’s Russia and Eurasia Program, where his research focuses on the relationship between Russia and neighboring countries in Central Asia and the South Caucasus.