Almost two years into the pandemic, many countries in Asia are beginning to rethink and recalibrate their pandemic management strategies. Some have been generally successful in keeping COVID-19 at bay, while others have been forced into severe mobility restrictions and lockdowns several times already in order to prevent their health systems from being overwhelmed. All these countries face growing economic pressure due to the combined effects on consumption and investment of the chilling effect of COVID-19 and often severe mobility restrictions and economies locked down. 

Nevertheless, progress in vaccination offers a light at the end of the tunnel, even as scientists have begun to re-think the plausibility of herd immunity. It is critical to understand the reasons why “zero-COVID-19” may no longer be feasible, and what practical alternatives there are in terms of “living with COVID-19”, as these may finally start to define the new normal.

To facilitate a deeper understanding on this policy issue, the Ateneo School of Government, through the Ateneo Policy Center, in partnership with the Eastern Regional Organization for Public Administration (EROPA), will be hosting an online roundtable discussion titled “Recalibrating Inclusive Health and Economic Recovery in Southeast Asia: From Zero-COVID-19 to Living with COVID-19”, to be held on January 19, 2022 (Wednesday), from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM via Zoom. 

This policy roundtable discussion will feature emerging lessons from Southeast Asia in terms of countries’ pivot from “zero-COVID19” to “living with COVID-19”. The discussion will feature two main country types. First, there will be a focus on countries that have, more or less, successfully flattened the COVID-19 curve and kept morbidity and mortality rates very low. These countries include Singapore and Taiwan. On the other end of the spectrum are countries that have continued to struggle with containment—notably with new COVID19 strains, like the delta-variant. These countries include the Philippines and Indonesia.

This webinar is free and open to the public but slots are limited. Register now through

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