Coronavirus-free Turkmenistan insists there’s nothing hidden

Turkmenistan, one of the few nations in the world that has reported no cases of the new coronavirus, insisted on Wednesday its official data was true and it was not fudging figures.

“If there was a single confirmed coronavirus case we would have immediately informed … the World Healthcare Organization in line with our obligations,” Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov explained today. “We are not hiding anything”.

Turkmenistan map

Healthcare Minister Nurmukhammed Amannepesov told the same briefing the Central Asian nation had 30,000 test kits at its disposal and was ordering 40,000 more from Russia, Turkey and Germany.

Amannepesov said 151 people remained in quarantine zones, most of them Turkmen citizens working as long-haul truck drivers and ship crew members.

Turkmenistan has reopened most of its border crossing points and was preparing to reopen the remaining ones, on the Iranian border, he said, after suspending all freight traffic at the end of last month.

The country’s football league resumed last weekend, becoming the third former Soviet state to do so.