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.