Mon, 25 May 2020

Tajikistan "Still Free of Coronavirus"
02 Apr 2020, 16:32 GMT+10

Dushanbe continues to maintain that there are no cases of coronavirus infection in Tajikistan, despite the virus having already spread to neighbouring Central Asian republics.

Unlike elsewhere in the world, the authorities have not imposed a quarantine, schools and universities remain open and there are no restrictions on public events or celebrations.

The authorities' stance has been criticised both domestically and abroad, especially considering that until recently Tajikistan received some 20 flights with around 6,500 passengers daily. About 30 border checkpoints functioned, with hundreds passing through them unchecked. Although collective prayers were suspended for a while, mosques have now opened again.

In March, the World Health Organisation (WHO) appealed to the authorities to cancel upcoming public celebrations of the spring holiday of Navruz. However, the authorities ignored this plea and celebrations continued across the country.

One event in a stadium in the city of Khujand attracted 12,000 people and was addressed by President Emomali Rahmon himself, who made clear that there was no reason for public panic.

Tajikistan "Still Free of Coronavirus" By IWPR Central Asia, IWPR

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