COVID-19: Global coverage for a pandemic

All GV COVID-19 stories can be found under the COVID-19 category.

There is little doubt that late 2019 will be remembered in world history as the date when COVID-19, the disease caused by a previously unknown virus, brought an unprecedented challenge to human societies and reshaped global relations. Since then, COVID-19 continues to dominate world news and capture the attention of citizens and governments alike. This is a testimony to the March 11 decision by the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare COVID-19 a pandemic. A pandemic can be defined as an epidemic that spreads across the world much faster than expected and affects people who do not have immunity to fight it.

As an international network of reporters present across the world and speaking over 100 languages, Global Voices rose to the occasion in January 2020 and started to report on the issue in China, rapidly expanding coverage to address the various consequences of COVID-19. Given the scale and scope of the pandemic, we are now organizing our coverage based on regions (with the most recent story at the top of each section) for easier navigation.

Our goal is to present the various ways in which COVID-19 affects human and digital rights, freedom of expression, causes more mis- and disinformation, and challenges existing systems of media ecology, public health, governance, politics, global economy – from a local perspective, while keeping in mind our global readership. In this effort, we remain particularly vigilant to protect the safety and well-being of individuals and communities unfairly targeted because of a real or perceived association with COVID-19, as well as our reporters.

Global impact

Promoting coronavirus education through indigenous languages (May 11, 2020)

Coronavirus and surveillance technology: How far will governments go?  (March 25, 2020)

World Health Organization officials criticized for ‘slow response’ and ‘pro-China’ bias as COVID-19 spreads across the world (March 1, 2020)

Central Asia and the Caucasus

Azerbaijanis required to send SMS notification before leaving homes (April 10, 2020)

Kyrgyzstan's civil society mobilises to fight COVID-19 (April 9, 2020)

COVID-19 makes first victims in Afghanistan (April 1, 2020)

Azerbaijan signals a lockdown and a crackdown in fight against coronavirus (March 24, 2020)

Turkmenistan fights coronavirus with (more) isolation and herbal remedies (March 18, 2020)

Central and Eastern Europe

‘Corona Ciao': Parody of old revolutionary song goes viral in the Balkans (May 13, 2020)

Russians in lockdown celebrate a subdued Victory Day online (May 11, 2020)

Life's a beach: How COVID-19 is changing tourism on the Albanian coast (May 8, 2020)

Russians under lockdown (re)create famous artworks online (April 27, 2020)

Out of 20,000 COVID-19 cases in the Balkans, more than a third are in Serbia (April 25, 2020)

Prosecutions mount as Russia intensifies fight against COVID-19 ‘fake news’ (April 24, 2020)

Six false statements by Serbian government officials on COVID-19 (April 22, 2020)

Russians launch mass virtual protests using satnav application (April 20, 2020)

As Russia goes into lockdown, feminists fear an epidemic of domestic violence (April 3, 2020)

Moldova's meme heroes promote solidarity with Eurosong spoof amid COVID-19 crisis (March 30, 2020)

COVID-19 pandemic adversely affects digital rights in the Balkans (March 30, 2020)

Hundreds of Croatians left homeless by earthquake amid COVID-19 crisis (March 28, 2020)

No coronavirus cases in Donetsk and Luhansk, say separatist authorities (March 26, 2020)

Kosovo government first to fall in worldwide coronavirus crisis (March 26, 2020)

Croatia's earthquake risk disrupting partial lockdown amid COVID-19 outbreak (March 23, 2020)

St Petersburg firm creates online bar for self-isolating Russians (March 19, 2020)

Czech Republic enters quarantine amid conflicting government directives (March 17, 2020)

Czech Republic introduces drastic measures to deter spread of COVID-19 (March 11, 2020)

Churches in Greece and North Macedonia refuse to modify rituals conducive to the spread of COVID-19 (March 10, 2020)

Coronavirus-related xenophobia spreads to Central and Eastern Europe (February 15, 2020)

East Asia and Oceania

Papua New Guinea’s police minister says two journalists who reported on COVID-19 funding ‘can’t be trusted’. (April 18, 2020)

Fighting the COVID-19 ‘Infodemic’ in the Asia-Pacific. (April 17, 2020)

Malaysia orders ‘stern action’ against media misreporting government statements on COVID-19 (April 15, 2020)

China makes face masks as COVID-19 surges global demand (10 April, 2020)

Online journalist detained for quoting Cambodian prime minister’s advice on COVID-19 (April 9, 2020)

COVID-19 diaries from Wuhan: ‘Our action has brought us hope’ (9 April, 2020)

COVID-19 on the frontline: Insights from an Australian humanitarian nurse (April 8, 2020)

COVID-19 diaries from Wuhan: Restrictions tighten (April 4, 2020)

As Japan's COVID-19 cases jump 4-fold, Abe government launches response (April 3, 2020)

Papua New Guinea nurses strike over lack of protection against COVID-19 (March 28. 2020)

COVID-19 diaries from Wuhan: Looking for human connection in isolation (March 26, 2020)

Outrage after Indonesia politicians among first in line to get tested for COVID-19 (March 26, 2020)

Classified data shows that China's official figure of zero domestic COVID-19 cases excludes asymptomatic carriers (March 23, 2020)

Combating ‘fake news’ in the time of COVID-19 in Myanmar (March 23, 2020)

COVID-19 diaries from Wuhan: ‘…not only a city being locked down, but also our voices’ (March 21, 2020)

Study suggests that China could have prevented 95% of its coronavirus cases (March 16, 2020)

Japan resurrects ‘Amabie’, an old supernatural creature to fight COVID-19 (March 15, 2020)

China government spokesperson suggests on Twitter that COVID-19 may have originated in the United States (March 13, 2020)

Does Singapore's ‘top-down’ approach’ to handling COVID-19 deserve all the praise it's been getting? (March 13, 2020)

Campaign urging Wuhan residents to show gratitude to the Communist Party leadership in fighting COVID-19 backfires (March 9, 2020)

How Chinese social media platforms control information on COVID-19 (March 8, 2020)

China censors report of how China authorities hid COVID-19 genome sequence test result for 14 days (March 2, 2020)

Battered by criticism, Abe government scrambles to save Japan from COVID-19 (February 28, 2020)

Chinese censorship demonstrates it can afford the cost of the death of media (February 21, 2020)

Japan edges ever closer to a COVID-19 epidemic (February 18, 2020)

China travel ban heightens threats to Australia's trade, tourism and education sectors (February 18, 2020)

Positive energy floods Chinese social media as over 60,000 infected with COVID 2019 (February 16, 2020)

Is the coronavirus epidemic China's ‘Chernobyl moment'? (February 14, 2020)

#OustDuterte trends as Filipinos criticize the government's response to the coronavirus (February 13, 2020)

View our extensive coverage of the early stages of COVID-19 in China and East Asia here.

Latin America and the Caribbean

Stay-at-home orders accompanied by rise in domestic violence in Trinidad & Tobago (April 9, 2020)

‘Export restrictions’ prevent US ventilators from reaching Barbados — but citizens question tactics (April 9, 2020)

Caribbean cooking  in the time of Covid-19 (April 7, 2020)

Lockdown in Colombia will affect the right to abortion, says human rights lawyer (April 3, 2020)

Forty years on, a locked-down El Salvador remembers the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero online (March 27, 2020)

Tunes in the time of the corona: A playlist from Trinidad & Tobago hits all the right notes (March 26, 2020)

‘Protecting forests is crucial to cure pandemics’, indigenous leaders say (March 19, 2020)

Trinidad & Tobago closes its borders as COVID-19 cases double to four (March 16, 2020)

Trinidad & Tobago fight against COVID-19 puts emphasis on ‘personal responsibility’ (March 15, 2020)

New COVID-19 disaster area order places a Jamaica under quarantine, but ‘not under curfew’ (March 14, 2020)

With no officially confirmed cases, El Salvador locks itself down to prevent COVID-19 (March 14, 2020)

Trinidad & Tobago clamps down as two cases of COVID-19 are confirmed (March 14, 2020)

Life in the times of COVID-19: Jamaicans adjust their lifestyle as country records second case (March 12, 2020)

Caribbean tourism threatened by the region's first cases of COVID-19 (March 4, 2020)

A rash of ‘travel bans’ as the Caribbean gets serious about coronavirus (February 12, 2020)

Middle East

COVID-19 in the Middle East: Is this pandemic a health crisis or a war? (April 24, 2020)

Iran fails to contain COVID-19 as internal political clashes prevent a timely and unified response (April 14, 2020)

Fighting COVID-19 goes hand-in-hand with shuttering newspapers across the Middle East (April 14, 2020)

Impact of COVID-19 containment measures on human rights and civil liberties in the MENA region (April 8, 2020)

South Asia

In Bangladesh, criticism of government response to the COVID-19 pandemic is risky (May 11, 2020)

The coronavirus pandemic intensifies Islamophobia in India (May 5, 2020)

Coronavirus and surveillance technology in India: Public health vs. privacy (April 29, 2020)

COVID-19 creates more uncertainty for migrant workers in India (April 23, 2020)

Nepali cartoonists illustrate the country’s COVID-19 crisis (April 23, 2020)

For Nepal's migrant and daily wage workers, lockdown is more dangerous than the coronavirus (April 19, 2020)

Bangladesh's frontline health workers contend with resource scarcity, stigma and restrictions (April 18, 2020)

Police violently break up protest by healthcare workers in Balochistan, Pakistan (April 10, 2020)

India's COVID-19 lockdown leaves vulnerable populations to fend for themselves (April 8, 2020)

Bangladeshis turn to video sites during COVID-19 lockdown (April 5, 2020)

Is India fighting COVID-19 the “mass surveillance” way? (April 4, 2020)

Healthcare workers attacked as fears about coronavirus take hold of India (April 2, 2020)

Maldives: Can a country so dependent on tourism afford a lockdown? (March 26, 2020)

India stays home for 14 hours in the fight against COVID-19 (March 22, 2020)

Quarantine woes in Bangladesh amid coronavirus fears (March 21, 2020)

Pakistan claims COVID-19 under control amidst rising figures (March 18, 2020)

Nepal postpones international events as fear of COVID-19 intensifies (March 10, 2020)

Bhutan deals with its first COVID-19 case by temporarily shutting down borders (March 6, 2020)

Pakistani students under lockdown in Wuhan are appealing for assistance (February 1, 2020)

Sub-Saharan Africa

A high-profile funeral highlights a double standard in Nigeria under lockdown (April 23, 2020)

Liberia's President George Weah sings his fight against COVID-19 (April 21, 2020)

How to protect Nigerian's personal information while combating COVID-19 (April 20, 2020)

COVID-19 revives grim history of medical experimentation in Africa (April 11, 2020)

Ahead of contentious elections, Burundi faces its first COVID-19 cases (April 10, 2020)

Cameroon battles COVID-19 alongside separatist war and strained health care system (April 9, 2020)

Mozambique and Cape Verde's telcos offer affordable mobile internet as citizens urged to stay home (April 3, 2020)

A king's belief in herbal remedies to cure COVID-19 butts up against science in Nigeria (April 1, 2020)

Kenyan star runner Eliud Kipchoge says 2020 Olympics postponement is ‘shocking but noble’ (March 29, 2020)

Market mayhem in Uganda as COVID-19 measures upend women's lives (March 28, 2020)

Musicians in East Africa rush to produce ‘corona’ songs⁠—even as industry falters (March 27, 2020)

Can Zimbabwe handle the coronavirus amid a collapsing health care system? (March 26, 2020)

Across Africa, COVID-19 heightens tension between faith and science (March 25, 2020)

As Ebola outbreak ends, coronavirus begins in DR Congo (March 22, 2020)

With no confirmed cases of COVID-19, Mozambique prepares for looming outbreak (March 20, 2020)

COVID-19 pandemic lays bare the political leadership deficit in Nigeria (March 20, 2020)

Nigeria enforces travel bans amid sloppy management of COVID-19 cases (March 19, 2020)

Tanzania tackles COVID-19 with strict measures to slow the spread (March 19, 2020)

COVID-19 in Africa: ‘Unprecedented levels of mobilization’ as nations brace for pandemic (March 14, 2020)

France24 headline about COVID-19 in Africa irks citizens as racist (March 4, 2020)

An Italian national is the index case of COVID-19 disease in Nigeria (February 28, 2020)

Here are useful sources of information, some regularly updated, to follow the impact of COVID-19: 

A map from Johns Hopkins University for a visual overview of the global spread of COVID-19. The BBC also provides a visual guide to the pandemic.

For proper use of terms associated with COVID-19, here is a comprehensive online dictionary.

Here is a comprehensive explainer by the BBC of COVID-19 symptoms and how to protect oneself. For more, there is also an online course to understand COVID-19.