Two stages of the briefing on the results of the visit of the WHO regional office for Europe mission to Turkmenistan were held today. The first stage was held in the building of the exhibition center of the chamber of Commerce and industry of Turkmenistan with the participation of heads of diplomatic missions and international organizations accredited in Ashgabat, the national health service, representatives of various ministries and departments of the country.
The second part of the briefing with members of the WHO mission was organized a little later in the building of the UN mission in Turkmenistan, where various international organizations and media had the opportunity to connect to it via a selector. Questions were answered by the chief emergency specialist of the WHO EBR, head of the delegation Catherine Smallwood and Head of the Department for supervision of particularly dangerous diseases of the Ministry of health and medical industry Gurbangul Ovlyagulova.
Answering various questions from journalists, Catherine Smallwood said that the experts visited hospitals and health homes of different levels, there was infrastructure for the prevention of respiratory infections everywhere, and there was no influx of patients. At the moment, no confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been registered in Turkmenistan, the head of the mission said, however, we cannot discount the possibility of its spread. Based on our observations, we have concluded that the country is fully aware of the danger currently posed by the virus and is taking steps to prepare for a response to the spread of COVID-19.
Among the questions was whether the virus can actually be transmitted by air, to which Catherine Smallwood replied that in view of the lack of information we have about the nature of this virus, we cannot rule out such a way of spreading it.
"More detailed information about the work carried out in Turkmenistan will be in our report, which will be published soon," the expert said.
WHO completed its mission in Turkmenistan and as a result, there is no coronavirus in the country. The experts will fly on a special flight proposed by the government of Turkmenistan to complete the mission.
Recall that a delegation of 5 WHO experts on a Bombardier Challenger 605 plane arrived on July 6 at the Turkmenabat international airport from Frankfurt am main to study the situation on coronavirus in the country. During this time, the experts held a series of meetings with high-level officials and public health professionals to work together to assess risks and develop the response systems needed to control COVID-19. The government of Turkmenistan organized visits to medical institutions, public health centers, and laboratories throughout the country for members of the mission. 3 entry points were also monitored, including the sea port in Turkmenbashi.