There are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Central Asia

There are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Central Asia

There have been no confirmed cases of the China coronavirus in Central Asia, the regional media reports. Meanwhile, some of countries in the region are bordering China. According to interactive map created by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, which tracks the Wuhan Coronavirus in near real-time and collects data from multiple government sources including the USA, China, the WHO, and others, confirmed cases were recorded in Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, Singapore, Japan, Australia, the USA, Malaysia, South Korea, France, Vietnam, Cambodia, Canada, Germany, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

But coronavirus outbreak situation that change rapidly across the globe is forcing Central Asian countries to take various precautionary measures.

Thus, the authorities of Turkmenistan, to contain contracting the coronavirus and its spread at the territory of the country, urged citizens to avoid travel to China until the outbreak situation will be normalized. Earlier, the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan reported on measures taken to prevent the spread, import and protection of the country from infectious diseases.

Kazakhstan that borders China announced restrictions on Chinese citizens obtaining visas. Kazakhstan’s deputy foreign minister, Shukhrat Nuryshev, told reporters that the state would stop issuing electronic visas to Chinese citizens on arrival and would require medical certificates for those looking to get visas. Nuryshev also said there were no plans to close the border with China completely. According to him, Nur-Sultan had requested that Beijing allow 98 Kazakh students in Wuhan to leave. Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, has been on lockdown since January 23. Various other countries have made plans to evacuate their citizens.

Kyrgyzstan, which also shares a border with China, has taken measures to screen people returning from China and the Health Ministry set up a hotline for citizens to get more information. The Foreign Ministry recommended that Kyrgyz not travel to China and provided a bevy of phone numbers, for hotlines and consuls in China, should Kyrgyz run into trouble.

According to official figures, there are 14 Kyrgyz students in Wuhan, and 4,600 elsewhere in China. On Tuesday, RFE/RL reported that six Kyrgyz students attending Xinjiang University in Urumqi arrived in Bishkek and are being kept in quarantine.

Tajikistan, the only other Central Asian state sharing a border with China, refuted rumors that the virus had spread to the country.

Uzbekistan, like Turkmenistan, which does not share a border with China, has introduced screening measures, especially for flights from China. There are more than 30 Uzbek students in Wuhan, according to local media reports; Uzbek officials have said they are working on bringing the students back.

Nury AMANOV