Early policy actions and emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Mongolia: experiences and challenges: Mongolian key policies in COVID-19 containment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Ryenchindorj Erkhembayar
  • Emma Dickinson-Craig
  • Darmaa Badarch
  • Indermohan Narula
  • Chimedsuren Ochir

Colleges, School and Institutes


Country-led control measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, have been diverse. Originating in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, the COVID-19 outbreak was declared a pandemic by World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11th, 2020. In recognition of the severity of the outbreak, and having the longest shared border with China, the Government of Mongolia (GoM) activated the State Emergency Committee in January 2020 based on the 2017 Disaster Protection Law. As a result, various public health measures have been taken that led to delaying the first confirmed case of COVID-19 until 10th of March 2020, and with no intensive-care admissions or deaths by June 10th. These measures included promoting universal personal protection and preventions, such as using face masks and hand washing, restricting international travel, suspending all training and educational activities from kindergartens to universities and banning major public gatherings such as the celebration of the national New Year holiday. These measures have been accompanied by active infection surveillance and self-isolation recommendations. The Mongolian case demonstrates that with robust preventative systems, an effective response to a pandemic can be mounted in an LMIC. We hereby examine the emergency preparedness experience, effectiveness and challenges of the early outbreak policies on coronavirus (COVID-19) prevention in Mongolia. Unintended consequences are discussed.
Keywords: Public Health Practice; Health Policy; Pandemics; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Mongolia


Original languageEnglish
JournalLancet Global Health
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 22 Jun 2020


  • Public Health Practice, Health Policy, Pandemics, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2; Mongolia