Currently, Mongolia has one of the lowest reported cases in East Asia, with a low count of 288 total cases and zero deaths (only North Korea is lower, and only because it does not publish its numbers). This can be attributed to the decisive preventative measures adopted by the Mongolian government in early February.
Government officials canceled the national holiday Tsagaan Sar, the Mongolian lunar new year, to slow travel between Ulaanbaatar and other provinces outside the capital. They also closed their borders with China and Russia and banned international flights from COVID hotspots like South Korea. The Mongolian Government was able to mobilize a task force of 832 individuals monitoring 336 checkpoints around the country in late February. This, along with Mongolia having a smaller population, allowed the task force to quickly suppress the outbreak in the country.
Some Mongolians have attributed the success and the country’s resilience to Genghis Khan. The nomadic lifestyle and lack of stress and consumerism faced in other countries is said to be because of Genghis Khan’s army’s discipline and resilience and his choice of land being “good land. And he promised that it would protect us,” said monk Ukhaanzaya Dorjnamnan.
Author: Camryn Thomas