[WEBCAST] Coronavirus: Consequences for South AsiaVIEW EVENT DETAILS
ASPI Associate Director Anubhav Gupta speaks with Foreign Policy Managing Editor Ravi Agrawal and Mehmal Sarfraz, Pakistan correspondent for The Hindu, about the coronavirus' impact on South Asia. (58 min., 43 sec.)
This is the ninth in a series of webcast events by the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) entitled “Coronavirus, Asia, and the World.” Throughout the coming weeks, ASPI will be presenting web-only programs every Tuesday and Thursday to analyze the scope of the ramifications from the novel coronavirus across the Asia-Pacific region and the world. All events will be live-streamed on YouTube and Facebook. For information about future events in this series and for ASPI’s additional coronavirus content see here.
As the COVID-19 global pandemic tops one million confirmed cases globally, South Asia has only seen about 5,000 confirmed cases and 100 deaths as of the start of April. Pakistan has been the most severely impacted thus far, with over 2,200 cases and 31 deaths as of April 2. Though the number of confirmed cases remains relatively low thus far, South Asia is vulnerable given the high levels of poverty and critical gaps in health care access across many of its countries.
The high population and density of many South Asian urban centers have made the specter of community spread particularly troubling. To forestall the worst, governments in many South Asian countries have closed their borders and instituted curfews or mandatory lockdowns.
What other actions have governments in these countries taken, and will these be enough to forestall the worst? Can countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan, which spend far less of their GDP on healthcare than Western nations like the United States and Italy, provide adequate care if the number of infected grows exponentially as it has in those nations? What have been the economic and political ramifications so far?
To answer these questions, Managing Editor of Foreign Policy Ravi Agrawal and Pakistan Correspondent of The Hindu Mehmal Sarfraz will join Associate Director at the Asia Society Policy Institute Anubhav Gupta in an online conversation. Sarfraz will provide insight into how Pakistan is managing the public health and economic challenges posed by the coronavirus, while Agrawal will discuss the implications for the wider region.
Ravi Agrawal is the managing editor of Foreign Policy. Previously, Agrawal worked at CNN for more than a decade, including his most recent position as the network’s New Delhi bureau chief and correspondent. Previously, he served as a senior producer in CNN’s New York and London bureaus, receiving a Peabody Award and three Emmy nominations for his work. Agrawal is the author of India Connected: How the Smartphone Is Transforming the World’s Largest Democracy. He is a graduate of Harvard University and an alum of Asia Society’s Asia 21 Young Leaders network.
Mehmal Sarfraz is co-founder of The Current, a digital news and lifestyle platform that makes information more accessible for younger generations. She is also the Pakistan Correspondent of The Hindu. Sarfraz has worked as a senior content producer at Neo TV and was head of Neo’s 2018 Elections Transmission. Previously, she has worked as the op-ed editor of Daily Times. She is also the regional joint general secretary of South Asian Women in Media, a network of women media professionals. She is part of Asia Society’s Asia 21 Young Leaders network.
Anubhav Gupta (Moderator) is an associate director with the Asia Society Policy Institute in New York, where he manages ASPI's initiatives related to South Asia. Previously, Gupta worked for the Natural Resources Defense Council in San Francisco. He received his master’s degree in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University and a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University.
For event details visit https://asiasociety.org/policy-institute/events/webcast-coronavirus-consequences-south-asia This is a web-only event that will be live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube. Viewers can submit questions through comments on those platforms during the live stream.