The WHO press center notes that at the moment Turkmenistan has not notified the world health organization about the detection of confirmed cases of COVID-19, but recently the country has implemented measures to prevent the spread of respiratory infections among the population, including at mass events, markets, shops and public transport.
Experts from the WHO regional office for Europe, who visited Turkmenistan as part of a ten-day mission led by Dr. Catherine Smallwood, noted the above measures in their final statement. They recommended that the country further activate key public health measures that are considered the cornerstone of the COVID-19 response: testing suspicious cases, tracking contacts and isolating and treating cases.
On 6 July, following a request from the Government for support in preparedness and response to COVID-19, a team of experts from the WHO regional office for Europe arrived in Turkmenabad, the second largest city in Turkmenistan.
At the end of the mission, a WHO humanitarian cargo arrived in the country - a shipment of protective equipment for medical workers, including protective screens, safety glasses, isolation gowns and surgical masks.
The mission visited hospitals, public health centers, laboratories, and four border checkpoints, including the Turkmenbashi International sea port. Experts noted the good state of infrastructure and equipment of hospitals. At the same time, they did not observe high bed occupancy or a high number of patients with respiratory diseases in any of the institutions.
"The country is fully aware of the threat posed by the virus, and measures are being taken to prepare for a response to the spread of COVID-19," said Dr. Smallwood.
It is recommended to send the country's tests for confirmation in a reference laboratory by the WHO, as is currently done by many countries in the European region.
In accordance with the International health regulations in force since 2005, all countries, without exception, must inform WHO of any unexpected or unusual public health events, regardless of their nature or source.
The group's experts WHO visited Turkmenistan were satisfied, but recommended that certain aspects of the activities be strengthened in order to improve their effectiveness.
Dr. Smallwood noted the importance of proper protection and training for health professionals.
"We recommend strengthening the capacity of the health system throughout the country by activating emergency action plans that will allow the health infrastructure of Turkmenistan to cope in the event of a rapid increase in morbidity," she concluded.
Earlier, we wrote that a WHO humanitarian cargo was delivered to Turkmenistan.
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