Turkmenistan is among other 14 countries of the world free from the novel coro-navirus COVID-19. The list of countries and 11 permanently inhabited territories with no confirmed cases has been compiled by the British Daily Mail. In the article on April 6 ORIENT informed, there are only 22 states on Earth still without coronavirus.
According to the authors of the publication, these countries and territories that have not registered a single case of coronavirus have benefitted from early efforts to introduce timely decisive quarantine measures.
At the same time, a number of international media are concerned their governments may be hiding the truth or not knowing about cases of infection in the country.
With regard to Turkmenistan, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov clarified this issue at a briefing for foreign diplomats and journalists on the situation with coronavirus.
Answering a question from the Ambassador of Germany to Ashgabat Neithart Höfer-Wissing about the current epidemiological situation in the country, the For-eign Minister said that there were no confirmed cases of infection with the corona-virus COVID-19 in the country. Otherwise, Turkmenistan would report an infec-tion to its international partners, the World Health Organization. “We are not hid-ing anything, we are open,” the diplomat said, noting that Turkmenistan is respon-sible for the obligations assumed as a member of the UN, as a country with per-manent neutrality, recognized by the world community 25 years ago.
The head of the foreign ministry also told about international transport connection in Central Asia and the Caspian basin against the backdrop of a pandemic. Meredov noted that the Turkmen side has determined a list of checkpoints across the state border, where teams that include various specialists from relevant state bodies work. Their main task is to carry out a set of measures from an epidemio-logical point of view to ensure a high level of sanitation and hygiene as well as car-go safety control.
He emphasized that all checkpoints have buffer zones where medical testing of drivers (so far only for Turkmen drivers) is carried out, as well as measures on disinfection of vehicles and cargo are being taken.
Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan also told about specifics of transport traffic in the Caspian Sea in a pandemic.
“In the Turkmenbashi Gulf, we have identified two anchorage sites for sea-going vessels, where mobile medical teams conduct the first testing. After receiving the results, the vessel calls at a port. The port has all necessary equipment for disin-fection, disinsection and fumigation,” Meredov said.
Foreign chief emphasized, to carry out these activities, Turkmenistan has reached a full understanding with Azerbaijani and Uzbek colleagues, who, in turn, in their countries’ territories carry out exactly the same work to decontaminate goods and vehicles passing through their territory and conduct a medical examination of citi-zens entering Turkmen territory.
“We are talking about ships’ crew members, staff of rolling stock in a railway transport, Turkmen drivers, as well as some other persons coming from these states to Turkmenistan. We are doing the same,” the Minister said.
In this regard, he said that at the next stage it is planned to organize the same work at checkpoints across the border of Turkmenistan and Iran.
“After the construction of the relevant infrastructure at the border on both sides, we will re-open transport connection with Iran. I am authorized to officially an-nounce this to those present,” the head of the Turkmen Foreign Ministry said.
Nurmuhammed Amannepesov, Ministry of Healthcare and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan, also addressed at a briefing, noting that Turkmenistan has 3 border quarantine zones (Lebap Province, city of Turkmenbashi and Garabogaz) for de-tecting COVID-19, where 151 cases are still being diagnosed, most of them are long-distance truck drivers and ships’ crew members.
Minister also said that Turkmenistan has 30 thousand diagnostic test kits, and an-other 40 thousand will be delivered in the near future from Russia, Turkey and Germany.
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Besides Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, the Comoros Islands, Kiribati, Lesotho, Mar-shall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and North Korea have no reported cases of COVID-19. The list of permanently inhabited territories with no confirmed coronavirus cases includes: the Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha (UK), American Samoa (United States), Wallis and Futuna Islands (France), Spitsbergen (Norway), Christmas Island, Norfolk Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands (Australia), Niue, Tokelau, Cook Islands (New Zealand).
Some places have benefitted from their remote geographical position like Como-ros, the volcanic archipelago off the east coast of Africa, or Tuvalu, the remote Pacific nation.