Thanks to the early prompt measures taken by the government to prevent the development of COVID-19 in Turkmenistan, there are no registered COVID-19 cases in the country currently, the UN Resident Coordinator, Elena Panova, stated in an exclusive interview with AMI Trend.
Answering a question of Trend correspondent, she noted that the government of Turkmenistan, together with UN agencies, has developed the draft Country Preparedness and Response Plan on COVID-19 in Turkmenistan.
The main objective of this Plan is to prevent the introduction of infection to the country. The plan was also shared to international partners on development, including international financial institutions, which welcomed its development and expressed their readiness to support its implementation.
“I hope that the plan will be approved by the government of Turkmenistan, and soon we will jointly begin its implementation,” Elena Panova said.
As a follow up to the call by the UN Secretary General, the UN Office in Turkmenistan initiated the establishment of UN-Government Joint Working Group (JWG) on socio-economic impact of COVID-19, which was supported by the government, and the composition of the Turkmen side was approved.
“President of Turkmenistan instructed on the development of specific measures to reduce the negative impact of the global crisis on the economic situation in the country. The goal of the joint working group is to study the possible socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on the vulnerable groups in the country, as well as to discuss and develop a joint action plan to mitigate such impact,” Elena Panova explained.
According to her, potential priority areas of cooperation were outlined, which are to strengthen and improve the health sector, revise the fiscal policy, ,expand support for small and medium-sized enterprises, targeted social protection of vulnerable groups of population and introducing digital technologies in various industries of the economy.
Elena Panova also said that an agreement was reached with the Department of Digital Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the creation of a subgroup to promote digital solutions. As many experts in the world today note, when pandemic is over, digital solutions will become even more in demand as the pandemic will affect people’s behavior and their voluntary tendency to social distancing. It is assumed that those sectors of the economy that are founded or include elements of digital solutions will recover and develop faster than other sectors.
In an interview with AMI Trend, the UN Resident Coordinator in Turkmenistan also voiced the UN support on the government’s commitment to invest in the health system.
“Today, the world had faced with the unprecedented test. The pandemic caused by the spread of the COVID-19 virus has threatened the achievement of a global healthcare system. It also revealed the necessity to strengthen state systems in an integrated and coordinated manner to respond to the challenges that have arisen in connection with this global crisis,” Elena Panova emphasized.
“We acknowledge that thanks to the prompt measures taken by the government of Turkmenistan in the early stages to prevent the development of COVID-19 in Turkmenistan, there are no registered cases of the COVID-19 virus in the country,” the Resident Coordinator emphasized. “We welcome the decision of the Government of Turkmenistan to carry out prophylactic medical examination of the population. It also answers the call by the World Health Organization – to ensure the continuity of health services, including immunization, wherever possible.”
Having reminded that on April 3 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for increased global solidarity and international cooperation against the novel coronavirus outbreak, Elena Panova noted that Turkmenistan, as one of the sponsors of the resolution, proved its active position in the fight against the pandemic through decision-making on protection the health, safety and well-being of its population.