The science and understanding underpinning the Covid-19 outbreak is emerging at an unprecedented and impressive rate around the world. Led by a team based at icddr,b in Dhaka, Bangladesh, the aim is to drive and seek wider engagement with teams across the region to illustrate and promote the studies and research strategies, planned and underway as part of this global effort to respond. These initiatives seek to strengthen research capacity, promote and recognise locally-led health research, improve visibility of research teams and centres, and contribute to the science of sharing.


 Here we attempt to bring together all the information, resources and updates being provided by all the Asian networks and pan-Asian organisations who work in health research. The aim is to make it as easy as possible to find the right information, support and guidance, by connecting all the Asian initiatives together and making all the sources of reliable information and tools both accessible and discoverable. 

The first cases of COVID-19 in Asia were reported to the WHO on 31st December 2019, via the WHO China Country Office. The cases, detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, were the first cases of COVID-19 to be reported globally and as the cause of the condition was then unknown they were reported as 'cases of pneumonia with unknown etiology (unknown cause)'.  The causative agent was identified as a novel coronavirus, later named SARS-CoV-2, on 7th Jan 2020 by the Chinese authorities.

As of the 18th of November 2020 Asia has 9.8 million cases and 161,000 deaths. The response to COVID-19 of individual countries in Asia varies hugely. Each individual country's coronavirus status can be accessed here, a website updated daily with the cases and deaths of each country in Asia. All countries in Asia except Turkmenistan and North Korea have reported COVID-19 cases.

Since the start of November, weekly cases have stabilized. Weekly deaths have also remained relatively stable. Countries with highest number of weekly new cases per million population in the past week included Nepal, Maldives and India. The regional trend continues to be strongly influenced by India, which consistently reports the highest numbers of cases and deaths in the Region. After a period of sharp decline, cases and deaths in India have stabilized since the end of October. Indonesia reported the second highest number of cases in the Region in the past week, a 23% increase from last week.

Highlights of WHO’s response to COVID-19 September-October 2020

Statement by WHO Regional Director Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari on COVID-19


Selected Articles, Papers & Books

Find articles on COVID-19 in Asia here.


Information on COVID-19 Diagnostics in Asia.


How are we Responding to the COVID-19 Open Research Challenge? Experiences from South Asia

Questions around disease surveillance and characterisation as well as challenges related to prevention, diagnostics and management for COVID-19 arise in different regions. This open workshop (hosted by The Global Health Network, 23/04/2020) was organised in partnership with the Clinical Research Office, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre in Pakistan, bringing together experts in the field from across Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Nepal to understand how South Asian countries are reacting to the outbreak and identifying the research gaps that need urgent attention in these settings.

Asia Resources - per Country

Click your country to see links to resources

If you have anything to add or suggestions on what would be useful please get in touch

Key research organisation contacts:

The following is a list of contacts within Asian organisations, including the WHO Regional Groups, China CDC and other institutions who are preparing to deal with this response. You can find more information also via the partner links listed in the right hand navigation. 

China CDC  | ADPC |  AMDA | MoH Singapore | NHC ChinaSSHSPH WHO Western Pacific | WHO South-East Asia | WHO EMRO | WHO Europe