The Covid-19 pandemic is affecting all the inhabited continents of this planet and leaves none of us untouched. It has already killed thousands of people across the globe, closed down cities, borders and businesses and most countries are still just in the initial phase of this crisis. Although there is 24/7 reporting on the pandemic, much of the focus in international media has been on the most affected countries and richer countries in Eastern Asia, the EU and the US. Much less attention has been given to countries around the Baltics, in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus.
However, these countries are home to more than 200 million people and to the institutes that form the Forum for Research on Eastern Europe and Emerging Economies, i.e. the FREE network. The FREE Network has therefore started to collect data on this region from official sources with the ambition to offer a regularly updated, comprehensive and easily comparable overview of the health impact of the Covid-19 pandemics, as well as the policies and practices countries in the region adopt to deal with it.
The countries in the network and the region that are included in the project are Belarus, Georgia, Latvia, Poland, Russia, Sweden, and Ukraine. Italy is included as a point of comparison since it is a country that has been particularly badly affected and several people involved in the project know Italian and follow these developments closely. In addition to FREE Network countries, Armenia, Estonia, Lithuania, Moldova and Germany are covered due to close links between the network and economists and researchers specialised in these countries, therefore extending the covered region.
The COVID19 FREE Network Project covering the above mentioned countries is available here.
The Poland country report is available here.