On Saturday, the President of Turkmenistan, Gurban Guli Berdymukhamedov, confirmed no new infections of the Coronavirus in his country. In contrast, a new hospital for infectious diseases was opened.
Berdy Mammadov welcomed what he considered a “great achievement” for his country in avoiding the emerging coronavirus in statements reported by the official newspaper, “Neural Turkmenistan.”
“Thanks to the preventive measures taken, no cases of the new Coronavirus have been recorded in the country until the present time,” Berdymukhamedov said.
Turkmenistan and North Korea are among fewer than 12 countries that have reported no virus cases so far, while the other countries are islands in the Pacific Ocean.
The Solomon Islands, the Marshall Islands, and Vanuatu announced their first cases of the virus in the past few weeks, but they avoided infection among the population.
Berdymukhamedov’s statements about the virus’s no cases were his first since a visit to a World Health Organization delegation in July, which prompted the government to impose a general lockdown.
And the media affiliated with the opposition living in Europe reported large numbers of cases of the corona. Still, their websites are blocked, while human rights organizations say that the country does not have press freedom or work for the opposition.
Meanwhile, in charge of emergencies in Europe, Catherine Smallwood recommended the Health Organization during her visit to the government to adopt measures “as if COVID-19 is already spreading”, but she refrained from publicly calling into question the government’s boasting of the country’s virus-free.
Before the visit, Turkmenistan held many events in which thousands of people took part, commemorating important events with them, such as “Horse Day” in late April and “International Cycling Day” in June.
The new hospital, which was opened by Berdymukhamedov, has 200 beds and treats cases of “viral hepatitis, infectious diseases of the upper respiratory tract … and diseases transmitted by airborne droplets,” according to Neutral Turkmenistan.
According to the report, the hospital’s equipment includes mechanical ventilators from the Swedish medical technology group’s Yitingh Group.
Turkmenistan’s government closed the country’s borders to foreigners until next year and closed places of worship, restaurants, and most shops until the first of December.
It banned local trains and intercity buses from operating until January 1.
In July, the Ministry of Health in Turkmenistan advised citizens to wear protective masks due to the “high density of dust” and “pathogens” in the air.