Three Years Later: A Look Back At The Impact Of Border Closures On COVID-19

About the Webinar

Three years ago, countries around the world implemented an unprecedented series of border closures in a bid to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time there was little real-world data available on whether these border closures were effective.

Now drawing on data from 166 countries, new research is providing valuable insights for policy makers and researchers on whether border closures should form a part of countries’ responses to future pandemic threats.

This webinar held a presentation of research recently published in PLOS Global Health on the effectiveness of border closures in slowing the spread of COVID-19. Featuring a discussion with Professor Kelley Lee (Simon Fraser University), this 1-hour webinar showed research findings by the authors and provided an opportunity for questions from the audience.

About the Discussant: Professor Kelley Lee

Kelley Lee is Professor and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Global Health Governance, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University.  She is also the Scientific Director of the Pacific Institute on Pathogens, Pandemics and Society (PIPPS).  She was previously Professor of Global Health Policy at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine where she co-directed the WHO Collaborating Centre on Global Change and Health.  Trained in International Political Economy and Public Administration, her research focuses on collective action to address transboundary health risks including major infectious disease outbreaks.  She currently heads the Pandemics and Borders Project which analyses the use of travel measures during the COVID-19 pandemic and supports efforts to strengthen decision making in their future use. She has published 15 books, 200+ papers and 60+ book chapters including the Oxford Handbook of Global Health Politics (edited with Colin McInnes and Jeremy Youde, 2020).


About the Presenters

Dr. Mathieu Poirier

Mathieu Poirier is the Co-Director of the Global Strategy Lab, York Research Chair (Tier II) in Global Health Equity, and Assistant Professor of Social Epidemiology at the School of Global Health. His research ranges from evaluating international law to developing health equity metrics and generating policy-relevant research on socially and politically determined inequities in health. Mathieu is a member of the WHO Collaborating Centre on the Global Governance of Antimicrobial Resistance, has worked throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and has previously directed vector-borne disease research for the University of Notre Dame Haiti Program.

Dr. Susan Rogers Van Katwyk

Susan Rogers Van Katwyk is the Research Director of Global Antimicrobial Resistance at Global Strategy Lab and Managing Director of the AMR Policy Accelerator. Susan is an epidemiologist with significant experience engaging policymakers and mobilizing interdisciplinary teams to improve policy implementation, evaluation and decision making at national and international levels. Susan also holds leadership positions with the WHO Collaborating Centre on Global Governance of Antimicrobial Resistance and the International Network for AMR Social Science and is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Global Health at York University.

Gigi Lin

As the data analyst at GSL, Gigi plays a major part in designing, developing, and managing databases to ensure transparency, consistency, and completeness in the data integral to the numerous ongoing research projects. She has worked on topics such as evaluating the effectiveness of border closures, international law, trajectories of tobacco epidemics, and establishing the foundations of GLE. She joined GSL with the aim to grow the presence of Global Legal Epidemiology in the global health space and challenge herself in deepening her quant skills with new skillsets and techniques.

Download the briefing note below:


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