Turkmenistan, in partnership with UN agencies, has prepared a plan for the preparedness and response to coronavirus infection, the main purpose of which is to prevent the virus from entering the country and, if it appears in the country, to prevent further transmission of the infection. The draft document was considered today at a meeting of the interagency working group held at the UN Office in Ashgabat.
The plan defines the procedure and mechanisms for Turkmenistan’s cooperation with WHO and other organizations in response to COVID-19. It is aimed at preventing the importation of infection into the country by taking effective measures and organizing interagency coordination with the participation of UN agencies in Turkmenistan and other international partners.
– Addressing all world leaders, the UN Secretary General outlined three main areas on which the international community should focus its efforts. And the first one is to stop the spread of the virus as soon as possible,” said Elena Panova, UN Resident Coordinator in Turkmenistan at the meeting. She noted that the developed plan is a “living document”, which can be changed or supplemented as necessary.
The document also defines the distribution of powers and responsibilities that will ensure coherence and effectiveness in emergency situations. From the Turkmen side, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defense of Turkmenistan (the Main Department of Civil Defense and Rescue Operations), the State Veterinary Service of the Ministry of Agriculture, the State Border Service, the State Migration Service, the State Customs Service, Turkmen Airlines, television and the National Red Crescent Society will be involved in the implementation of the plan.
“It is necessary to create a coordination mechanism, namely, the organization of joint meetings to discuss the current situation in the country – at least once a week at the working level,” Panova suggested.
On March 11, 2020, the head of WHO, Tedros Adhan Ghebreyesus, stated that the situation with the spread of COVID-19 can be described as a pandemic.
However, the pathways for the development of the outbreak are still unclear, and it was therefore recommended that all countries in the WHO European Region be prepared for cases of illness brought in from the outside and the likely subsequent transmission of the infection.
To date, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Turkmenistan. In January 2020, the Comprehensive Plan of Measures to Prevent the Importation of COVID-19 into Turkmenistan was approved, and activities on these issues of the state emergency anti-epidemic commission were intensified.