Tuesday, September 29

Turkmenistan fights coronavirus with (more) isolation and herbal remedies

A pandemic, by definition, reaches everybody. There are now reports that the coronavirus has reached Turkmenistan, one of the world’s most isolated and closed states. In recent years, the gas-rich desert state has suffered a protracted economic downturn, leaving observers to wonder how Turkmenistan’s public services will cope with a full-blown humanitarian emergency.

True to form, Turkmen officialdom is keeping quiet about bad news on the horizon. They have barely mentioned the word “coronavirus,” which has not appeared on any government website after one cursory mention on March 5. That same day, citing medical sources in the capital Ashgabat, RFE/RL’s Turkmenistan service wrote that there are probably at least two confirmed coronavirus cases in the country.

According to Chronicles of Turkmenistan, an independent website following political and social developments in the country, Turkmenistan’s few touristic resorts such as the Ahvaz on the Caspian Sea coast, have been closed down in recent days, and since at least February the Ministry of Health has distributed leaflets throughout the capital including information on coronavirus symptoms. Nevertheless, according to Fergana News, an independent news website specializing in Central Asia, the authorities started handing out a new version of these booklets in March which omitted any mention of the name of the new virus.

According to Chronicles of Turkmenistan, an independent website following political and social developments in the country, Turkmenistan’s few touristic resorts such as the Ahvaz on the Caspian Sea coast, have been closed down in recent days, and since at least February the Ministry of Health has distributed leaflets throughout the capital including information on coronavirus symptoms. Nevertheless, according to Fergana News, an independent news website specializing in Central Asia, the authorities started handing out a new version of these booklets in March which omitted any mention of the name of the new virus.

Read the full article at Global Voices