Since the outbreak of the “Corona” epidemic, early last year, Turkmenistan has not witnessed any infection, or at least this is what the government claims in the Central Asian country; According to “Erm News”.
Turkmenistan, a former Soviet republic of nearly 6 million people, is one of at least 5 countries that have not reported any cases of the “Covid-19” virus, according to data from the American “Johns Hopkins University” and the World Health Organization.
And the American network, “CNN”, indicated in a report, today, Saturday, that the other countries that have not reported infections with the virus are 3 isolated islands in the Pacific Ocean, and North Korea.
Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, who has ruled the country since 2006, dismissed reports of coronavirus infections in the country as “fake”, saying in a speech at the United Nations last Tuesday that the response to the epidemic should not be “politicised.”
But independent organizations, journalists, and activists outside Turkmenistan say there is evidence the country is fighting a third wave that floods hospitals, killing dozens, and warn that the president is downplaying the threat of the deadly virus in an effort to preserve the popularity of his image.
Ruslan Myatiev, an exile from Turkmenistan and editor-in-chief of the Netherlands-based independent news organization Turkmen News, said he personally collected the names of more than 60 people he claimed had died of COVID-19 inside the country, including teachers, artists and doctors.
Myatiev stated that he checked all deaths recorded in health records and x-rays, which he said revealed severe lung damage, and medical treatment consistent with the victims of “Corona.”
“The problem is that instead of accepting it and cooperating with the international community, the authorities in Turkmenistan decided to put their head in the sand,” he added.
And CNN pointed out in its report that with the spread of the “Corona” virus around the world, and at the beginning of the year 2020, Turkmenistan insisted that there were no cases of it, even while neighboring countries reported the outbreak quickly.
She noted that Iran, with which Turkmenistan shares a long land border, has reported one of the largest outbreaks of the “Corona” virus in the world with nearly 5.5 million total cases, according to the World Health Organization.
“We look at what is happening during this pandemic in other countries in the same region, and we ask: How could Turkmenistan be different?!” said Rachel Dunbar, deputy director of the Europe and Central Asia division at Human Rights Watch.
According to the websites of the British and Australian foreign ministries, all flights to Turkmenistan are currently suspended, and only Turkmen nationals are allowed to enter the country.
Myatiev said that his sources in Turkmenistan began contacting him about suspicious cases, since May of the year 2020, that is, around the same time that “Covid” spread around the world, adding that the first messages he received talked about “pulmonary disease.” Weird flu-like” affects a lot of people.
“It was at least 40 degrees Celsius outside,” he added. “Of course, this is not a normal flu season.”