COVID-19 pandemic in Turkmenistan
There are no confirmed COVID-19 cases in Turkmenistan. The government has worked to control information about the virus, and experts suspect that it may be spreading in the country unreported.
Turkmenistan is a notoriously opaque state, purposefully isolated by an authoritarian regime led by Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow. Independent media in the country is virtually nonexistent so reporting about the current situation is difficult due to the inability to access and confirm reliable information from the country.
Prevention[edit source | edit]
On 29 February, Turkmenistan began refusing the entry of citizens from countries affected by the virus. On 5 March three foreign travellers, two of them diplomats of an Arab country, were denied entry when they flew from Almaty, Kazakhstan. Their flight was diverted to Türkmenabat and after arriving at Ashgabat, they were all put on a flight to Istanbul.
Starting in March, in order to prevent the importation and spread of coronavirus infection, all aircraft arriving in Turkmenistan from abroad were redirected to the Turkmenabat International Airport. Passengers arriving from outside of Turkmenistan were examined for signs of the virus. A delivery mechanism has been established if necessary for patients in an infectious diseases hospital. The airport medical center is equipped with personal protective equipment. After passing a medical examination, the plane, together with passengers on board, leaves for Ashgabat. Departures from Turkmenistan were carried out from Ashgabat International Airport.
Eventually, international flights were cancelled. Those authorized solely for diplomatic, official, humanitarian purposes are allowed to enter the territory of Turkmenistan. Most foreign airlines canceled their flights to Turkmenistan due to significant passengers unloading.[clarification needed] Those who wish to visit Turkmenistan must have a certificate of absence of coronavirus with them.
Around the large settlements of Turkmenistan, including the capital city Ashgabat, additional control points have been created. Before entering large cities and towns, the body temperature of drivers or passengers of vehicles is measured using infrared thermometers. This precaution also applies to passengers on all domestic flights.
The Football Federation of Turkmenistan suspended for an indefinite period all tournaments under its auspices, including the 2020 Ýokary Liga. It resumed on 19 April. Turkmenistan Futsal League resumes 2 June.
The government of Turkmenistan has restricted freight transport during April due to COVID-19.
Reporters Without Borders reported that the government of Turkmenistan had banned the word "coronavirus" and that people could be arrested for wearing masks or discussing the pandemic. The organization later corrected their report, clarifying that the word itself was not banned, but maintained that it had been removed from informational brochures and that the government was restricting information about the virus and providing "very one-sided information". According to Chronicles of Turkmenistan, state media did not begin reporting on the measures that had been taken until 25 March.
During the pandemic, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow advised burning the medicinal herb harmala to fight diseases, though it has not been scientifically investigated as a treatment for coronavirus and he did not explicitly mention COVID-19.
There is concern about economic problems in Turkmenistan caused by the pandemic, given the importance of trade with China to the country's economy. Turkmenportal reported that in Turkmenistan, an import substitution industrialization program has been operating for several years, domestic entrepreneurs and companies in the country produce a sufficient number of products and medicines in a wide range.
On 3 April, President Berdimuhamedow ordered to revise the state budget, revise plans for the construction of new buildings, take measures to support transport complex agencies, create an adequate supply of essential goods, and instructed to urgently develop measures to support private enterprises in connection with the coronavirus pandemic.
Sporting events were held on 7 April to celebrate World Health Day; Turkmenportal reported that "At a time when the situation with coronavirus remains tense in many countries of the world, in Turkmenistan thanks to timely measures, a calm epidemiological situation has been ensured."
"The sanitary and epidemiological situation in Turkmenistan is stable and under control," said President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, speaking on 10 April at an extraordinary summit of the Turkic Council.
Border checkpoint in Turkmenistan were equipped with disinfection facilities. The country has a clear system of sanitary and phytosanitary control, veterinary supervision, teams work at all checkpoints across the state border, which include specialists from the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry, the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection, and other relevant state bodies. Their main task is to carry out a set of measures to ensure a high level of sanitation and hygiene, disinfection, disinfection of territories and other areas.
On 22 April, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Raşit Meredow said that there were no confirmed cases of infection with the coronavirus COVID-19 in the country. Otherwise, Turkmenistan would report an infection to the World Health Organization. "We are not hiding anything, we are open," the diplomat said, noting that Turkmenistan is responsible for the obligations assumed as a member of the UN. Rashid Meredov suggested that his foreign colleagues visit the quarantine center in Lebap Region and make sure there is no pandemic. Turkmenistan has three border quarantine zones (Turkmenbashi, Garabogaz and Lebap Province) for detecting COVID-19.
In a telephone conversation with the Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres the President of Turkmenistan proposes to open a dialogue on transport issues within the framework of the UN in the context of the coronavirus pandemic and said that "Turkmenistan is ready to provide its experience and opportunities to restore the global economy under the auspices of the UN".
On 27 April, Paulina Karwowska, Head of the WHO Country Office in Turkmenistan, praised the work of the Government of Turkmenistan aimed at preventing coronavirus. She noted that Turkmenistan is working effectively to counter COVID-19 and prevent the spread of the virus in the country.
In May, the Russia-24 television channel released a documentary film by VGTRK special correspondent Anna Afanasyeva entitled "COVID-19. Medical history-2". A significant part of the airtime in it was devoted to the epidemiological situation in Turkmenistan. "As the whole world continues to struggle with COVID-19, Turkmenistan remains an oasis in the desert of viruses. Officially, this is the only state in the post-Soviet space that has bypassed the infection", Anna Afanasyeva said in the report. Ogulmyahri Geldiyeva, director of the Information Center of the Ministry of Health of Turkmenistan, spoke about the experience of Turkmenistan, saying that the virus had bypassed the country, on a direct video link with the Russia-24 channel.
On 3 June, Turkmenistan solemnly celebrated World Bicycle Day. The mass bike ride was attended by 7400 people. On this day, a mass bike ride was supported in foreign capitals: Brussels, Minsk, Kiev, Tashkent, Ankara, Tbilisi, Tokyo, Beijing, Paris, Bucharest, Abu Dhabi, as well as in the cities of Dubai (UAE), Turkestan (Kazakhstan), Istanbul (Turkey).
WHO mission[edit source | edit]
On July 6, a WHO mission arrived in Turkmenabat from Frankfurt am Main on a charter flight with Turkmenistan Airlines. On this day Neytralny Turkmenistan newspaper with a link to the Information Center of the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan reported that in Turkmenistan, an increased dust content in the atmospheric air was recorded, which is unfavorable for human health, namely for the respiratory system. The website recommended that in order to reduce the natural and exogenous effects due to a possible change in the air composition and increase in the content of pathogenic substances in it, employees of the healthcare system, retail outlets, public transport and other service workers should use personal protective equipment for the upper respiratory tract (surgical masks). Neytralny Turkmenistan also recommended masks for people with chronic diseases, and encouraged people to wash their hands and practice good hygiene.
On July 10, 2020, a meeting of experts from the advisory and technical mission of the WHO Regional Office for Europe with the leadership of the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan. The head of the WHO country office, Paulina Karvowska, expressed gratitude to the Government of Turkmenistan on the part of the WHO leadership for the coordinated organization of the visit of the WHO / Europe mission to Turkmenistan and comprehensive support. It was noted that Turkmenistan’s efforts to counter COVID-19, including the proposal to establish an international Council of Medical Scientists and join the country in The COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP), are very significant.
References[edit source | edit]
- "ВОЗ: В Таджикистане и Туркмении нет коронавируса" (in Russian). EurAsia Daily. 1 April 2020.
- Mackinnon, Amy. "Turkmenistan's Secretive Strongman Remains in Denial About the Pandemic". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
- Rickleton, Christopher (9 April 2020). "Experts doubt isolated Turkmenistan's virus-free 'show'". CTVNews.
- Putz, Catherine (1 June 2020). "What's the Impact of Turkmenistan's COVID Delusion?". The Diplomat.
- "Туркменистан приостанавливает авиарейсы в Бангкок и в Пекин из-за вспышки в Китае коронавируса" (in Russian). Turkmenportal. 31 January 2020.
- "No coronavirus cases officially registered in Turkmenistan". m.akipress.com. Archived from the original on 23 March 2020. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
- "Авиарейсы из-за пределов Туркменистана временно перенаправляются в Туркменабат Общество". Туркменистан, интернет портал о культурной, деловой и развлекательной жизни в Туркменистане. Archived from the original on 20 March 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
- "Central Asia tightens restrictions as coronavirus spreads". Reuters. 21 March 2020. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
- "Информация для граждан Республики Беларусь, рекомендации Посольства в связи с коронавирусом - Посольство Республики Беларусь в Туркменистане". turkmenistan.mfa.gov.by. Archived from the original on 20 March 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
- "Туркменистан усиливает меры по предотвращению проникновения коронавируса Здоровье". Туркменистан, интернет портал о культурной, деловой и развлекательной жизни в Туркменистане. Archived from the original on 25 March 2020. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
- Валавичюте, Диана. "Все турниры под эгидой Федерации футбола Туркменистана приостановлены". www.championat.com. Archived from the original on 25 March 2020. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
- ""Копетдаг" ушёл от поражения в матче возобновившегося чемпионата Туркменистана по футболу" (in Russian). Turkmenportal. 19 April 2020.
- "Turkmenistan football season restarts with crowds". France 24. 19 April 2020.
- "The Latest: 500 Fans Watch as Soccer Resumes in Turkmenistan". The New York Times. 19 April 2020.[dead link]
- "Turkmenistan Higher League to resume on April 19". Turkmenportal. 9 April 2020.
- "19 апреля возобновится чемпионат Туркменистана по футболу" (in Russian). Football Federation of Turkmenistan.
- "2 июня возобновится футзальная лига Туркменистана" (in Russian). Turkmenportal. 22 April 2020.
- "Второго июня возобновится футзальная Суперлига Туркменистана" (in Russian). Football Federation of Turkmenistan.
- "Туркменистан вывозит своих граждан из стран зараженных короновирусом". Trend.Az. 26 March 2020. Archived from the original on 26 March 2020. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
- "Туркмения вывозит граждан из стран с коронавирусом". Archived from the original on 28 March 2020. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
- "Turkmenistan exports its citizens from countries with coronavirus Society". Turkmenistan, an Internet portal on cultural, business and entertainment life in Turkmenistan. Archived from the original on 28 March 2020. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
- "Turkmenistan shuts down cargo traffic due to coronavirus". Reuters. 1 April 2020. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
- "Turkmenistan Has Banned Use Of The Word 'Coronavirus'". NPR.org. Archived from the original on 1 April 2020. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
- Kakissis, Joanna (31 March 2020). "Turkmenistan Has Banned Use Of The Word 'Coronavirus'". NPR.
- "Coronavirus off limits in Turkmenistan". Reporters Without Borders. 31 March 2020.
- Kramer, Andrew E. (2 April 2020). "'The Fields Heal Everyone': Post-Soviet Leaders' Coronavirus Denial". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
- Bennetts, Marc. "Turkmenistan's President Berdimuhamedov orders herb burning to halt coronavirus". Retrieved 4 April 2020.
- Kramer, Andrew E. (2 April 2020). "'The Fields Heal Everyone': Post-Soviet Leaders' Coronavirus Denial". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
- "Коронавирус – как противостоять пандемии". Archived from the original on 25 March 2020. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
- Curfews extended as USAID declares aid suspension in Yemen Archived 26 March 2020 at the Wayback Machine by SARAH EL DEEB and MAGGIE MICHAEL, AP, 26 Mar 2020
- "Президент Туркменистана распорядился пересмотреть Госбюджет в связи с пандемией коронавируса" (in Russian). Turkmenportal. 4 April 2020.
- "Президент Туркменистана поручил пересмотреть планы по возведению новостроек" (in Russian). Turkmenportal. 4 April 2020.
- "Президент Туркменистана распорядился принять меры по поддержке агентств транспортного комплекса" (in Russian). Turkmenportal. 4 April 2020.
- "Итоги развития Туркменистана в первом квартале 2020 года рассмотрены на заседании Правительства" (in Russian). Turkmenistan State News Agency. 3 April 2020.
- "В Туркменистане с размахом отметили Всемирный день здоровья" (in Russian). Turkmenportal. 7 April 2020.
- "Туркменистан отметил Всемирный день здоровья". www.turkmenistan.ru (in Russian). 8 April 2020.
- "Массовый велопробег в честь Дня здоровья провели в Ашхабаде" (in Russian). «Мир 24». 8 April 2020.
- "В Туркменистане создадут медицинские спецгруппы по контролю над здоровьем населения в целях профилактики COVID-19" (in Russian). Turkmenportal. 9 April 2020.
- "Всех граждан Туркменистана проверят на коронавирус" (in Russian). SNG.TODAY. 9 April 2020.
- "Бердымухамедов: "Санитарно-эпидемиологическая ситуация в Туркменистане стабильна и находится под контролем"" (in Russian). Turkmenportal. 10 April 2020.
- "Turkic states agree to cooperate against COVID19 pandemic". Daily Sabah. 10 April 2020.
- "Пограничные пункты пропуска в Туркменистане будут оборудованы дезинфекционными сооружениями" (in Russian). Turkmenportal. 21 April 2020.
- "МИД Туркменистана заявил, что в стране коронавируса нет". Moskovskij Komsomolets (in Russian). 23 April 2020.
- Даянч Конаров (22 April 2020). "В Туркменистане действуют 3 приграничных карантинных зоны по выявлению COVID-19" (in Russian). Arzuw News.
- "Телефонный разговор между Президентом Туркменистана и Генеральным секретарём ООН" (in Russian). Turkmenistan State News Agency. 22 April 2020.
- "Президент Туркменистана предложил открыть в рамках ООН диалог по транспортной проблематике в условиях пандемии коронавируса" (in Russian). Turkmenportal. 22 April 2020.
- "Бердымухамедов: "Туркменистан готов предоставить свой опыт и возможности по восстановлению мировой экономики под эгидой ООН"" (in Russian). Turkmenportal. 22 April 2020.
- "Паулина Карвовска положительно оценила профилактику COVID-19 в Туркменистане". www.sng.fm (in Russian).
- "В ВОЗ оценили профилактику коронавируса в Туркменистане" (in Russian). CentralAsia.news. 28 April 2020.
- "Меры против COVID-19 в Туркменистане оценены в ВОЗ" (in Russian). SNG.TODAY. 28 April 2020.
- "Turkmenistan to hold mass celebrations of Victory Day amid coronavirus". akipress.com. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
- "Turkmenistan to hold WWII military parade despite pandemic". www.thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
- COVID-19. История болезни - 2. Специальный репортаж Анны Афанасьевой
- Телеканал «Россия 24» рассказал о ситуации с коронавирусом в Туркменистане
- "Президент Туркменистана очень любит велосипед – организовал международный праздник и открыл монумент" (in Russian). Eurosport. 5 June 2020.
- "Президент Туркменистана открыл монумент "Велосипед" и принял участие в массовом велопробеге" (in Russian). Turkmenportal. 3 June 2020.
- "Туркменские посольства и консульства в зарубежных странах провели мероприятия в честь Всемирного дня велосипеда" (in Russian). Turkmenportal. 5 June 2020.
- ""Пандемия не помеха": дипломаты Туркмении устроили велопробег в ряде стран" (in Russian). REGNUM News Agency. 4 June 2020.
- "COVID-19: 'Virus-Free' Turkmenistan Reportedly Locks Down Two Major Hospitals". rfel.com. Retrieved 16 June 2020.
- "Turkmenistan Denies Apparent Covid-19 Outbreak". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
- Партнёрство с ВОЗ в борьбе с пандемией COVID-19 – в повестке встречи в МИД
- В МИД ТУРКМЕНИСТАНА СОСТОЯЛАСЬ ВСТРЕЧА С ЭКСПЕРТАМИ ЕВРОПЕЙСКОГО РЕГИОНАЛЬНОГО БЮРО ВОЗ