Turkmenistan has reaffirmed its readiness for dialogue for international cooperation to fight the novel coronavirus outbreak, that country’s top diplomat said Friday. 

Speaking at an international briefing in the capital of Ashgabat, Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov, who is also the Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, emphasized the application of Turkmenistan’s preliminary plan for acute infectious diseases and emergency measures.

He stressed the central Asian country continues “constructive work” with the international community to battle the pandemic.

Meredov said beginning June 1, Turkmenistan started the construction of a quarantine center along its border with Uzbekistan and it plans to construct similar centers on the frontiers with Iran and Kazakhstan.

He went on to say that Turkmenistan inked a protocol May 30 on opening transportation with Iran, noting information on border openings will be provided “in the closest days.”

Attending the briefing were representatives of international organizations, members of the national press, accredited journalists of foreign media outlets and bureaucrats of government institutions and academicians. 

Plan for emergency actions

The Minister of Healthcare and Medical Industry Nurmuhammet Amannepesov said modernization of the health sector continues as he highlighted “comprehensive protective measures” across Turkmenistan.

He presented the ministry’s global strategic and preparedness plan for emergency actions on possible coronavirus threats, which included measures to combat the virus, as well as response goals and distribution of power to mitigate the infection.

Amannepesov underlined that Turkmenistan has “fruitful cooperation” with international agencies, including the UN, on the health care matters.

“The WHO [World Health Organization] office in Turkmenistan has cooperated with the government since the first day of spread of virus globally,” he said.

Amannepesov noted that the country has a “sufficient” number of tests and equipment in laboratories, adding that protective measure are being implemented at check points throughout Turkmenistan.

He said the epidemiological situation of other countries are taken into consideration on the relaxation of COVID-19 measures in Turkmenistan. 

Exchange of thoughts

The briefing, which hosted heads of foreign diplomatic missions, was available for mass media representatives via a video link.

Representatives from international organizations and agencies, such as Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), United Nations Development Program (UNDP), World Health Organization (WHO), and the UN Resident Coordinator shared thoughts on cooperation with Turkmenistan and battling the pandemic.

Separately, the ambassadors of Turkey, China, Italy, Japan, the UK and the EU envoy to Turkmenistan expressed ideas on mutual cooperation to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Ankara’s envoy to Ashgabat, Togan Oral, reiterated Turkey’s “full support” for actions by Turkmenistan against the infection.

He said Turkey notices that Turkmenistan is actively working to continue the flow of transportation in the country.

Oral said the national flag carrier of his country, Turkish Airlines, would resume international flights to Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest metropolis, and Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, on June 15,

Flights to Uzbekistan capital in Tashkent, and the Tajikistan capital of Dushanbe would resume June 20.

After a two-month hiatus due to the coronavirus outbreak, Turkish Airlines recently started to gradually resume domestic and international flights.

Since first appearing in China last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 188 countries and regions.

The US, Brazil, Russia, and several European countries are currently the hardest hit in the world.

The pandemic has killed nearly 394,000 people worldwide, with more than 6.7 million confirmed cases and almost 2.9 million recoveries, according to figures compiled by US-based Johns Hopkins University.

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