Trade and travel restricts in the context of COVID-19 - An open dialogue with Dr Karen Grépin


Join us on 29 May 2020 (Friday) for Part 3 of the Open Dialogue series with our Global Health experts.

Date: 29 May 2020 (Friday)
Time: 14:30 – 16:30 HKT
Medium: Zoom Webinar

About the Webinar
On January 30, 2020 under the provisions of the International Health Regulations (IHRs), the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) and also recommended against “any travel or trade restrictions” at that time. However, as of mid-April, 2020, by some estimates, all 194 member states adopted some form of cross-border travel restriction in direct violation of the IHRs. The universal adoption of travel restrictions as well as the lack of a response by the WHO to such measures raises fundamental questions about the role of the WHO in coordinating actions in PHEICs and the responsibilities of governments as signatories to the IHRs. In this talk, I will briefly introduce the IHRs and the logic of trade and travel regions, present data on the proliferation of such measures, and then open a discussion about whether such measure should or should not be utilised in this and future outbreaks of infectious diseases.

About the Speaker
Karen A. Grépin is an Associate Professor at the School of Public Health at the University of Hong Kong. She was formerly the Canada Research Chair in Global Health Policy and Evaluation at Wilfrid Laurier University and an Assistant Professor at New York University. Dr. Grépin's research focuses institutional factors affecting the demand and supply of health services, the politics and effectiveness of development assistance for health, and the role of routine health information systems in strengthening health systems. Her research has been published in leading global and health journals including the Lancet: Global Health, Health Policy & Planning, and the Journal of Health Economics. She has a PhD in Health Policy (economics) from Harvard University and an SM in Health Policy and Management from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Join us for our next open dialogue with Karen A. Grépin to learn more about the impact of COVID-19 to trade and travel. Mark your calendar and register now!.

Should you have any enquiries, please feel free to contact the HKU School of Public Health at