Starting from May 12, Chinese authorities in the city of Wuhan will, for a period of 10 days, conduct mass testing for the virus. Wuhan is home to 11 million people. Radio Free Asia reports that a cluster of cases has emerged for the first time since the city’s lockdown was lifted in the Dongmin residential compound in Jianghan district, raising fears of a second wave of infections. (RFE/RL Russian Service)
As many European companies have found themselves in a vulnerable position due to financial uncertainty associated with the coronavirus pandemic, Chinese companies are looking for opportunities to take advantage of the situation to buy the latest technology, in fields ranging from artificial intelligence to telecommunication networks and data streams. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
Chinese state media reports, citing the country’s embassy in Russia, that effective May 8 passengers on the Chinese airline Air China Moscow-Beijing route will be required to carry a certificate confirming that they test negative for COVID-19. The certificate must be issued within 120 hours of the flight. (RFE/RL Russian Service)
Russia’s Ministry for the Development of the Far East and Arctic has received authorization to open the first automobile bridge from Russia to China, near the city of Blagoveshchensk across the Amur River. The bridge will begin to operate after restrictions relating to the coronavirus are removed. (RFE/RL Russian Service)
With Russia and China vying for influence in the region, the leaders of EU institutions and member states gathered for a two-hour video summit on May 6 with EU hopefuls Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia. The pandemic has suppressed any appetite EU leaders have for enlargement, but European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen declared after the meeting, “The Western Balkans belongs in the EU and there is no question for us about it.”
The chaotic situation comes as Tajikistan finally admitted having recorded 15 coronavirus infections on April 30, after it claimed for weeks the country was virus-free.
Central Asia's largest bazaar has been closed for a month now, causing hunger and poverty for some 50,000 people in Bishkek who worked there before COVID-19 struck. Some of these people live on-site in shipping containers, while others live at an informal shantytown on a nearby garbage dump. (video)
With veteran Almaty-based reporter Joanna Lillis; Bishkek-based physician Dr. Nursultan Masylbekov; and RFE/RL Uzbek Service Director Alisher Sidikov.
The removal of Darigha Nazarbaeva earlier this month from her post as parliamentary speaker injected confusion into a country already under strain from the coronavirus and a major revenue loss due to the drop in world prices for oil.
Uzbek authorities say they are probing the cause of the May 1 collapse of the Sardoba dam, which killed at least four people and drove tens of thousands from their homes. Officials blame the incident on "anomalous severe windstorms." But it has prompted questions among Uzbeks about potential corruption and cronyism, and shone a spotlight on a wealthy senator, Abdughani Sanginov, who was closely involved in the project through a private company he owns.
The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has added China to its list of 15 country case studies for Beijing’s mass internment of Uyghurs in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, saying the three-year-old camp system represented “crimes against humanity.” (Radio Free Asia)