Turkmenistan discusses measures against acute diseases

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ANKARA 

Turkmenistan on Friday discussed the precautions and measures taken by the country against the acute infectious diseases, including COVID-19.

“Turkmenistan has gained experience as a result of joint work with the World Health Organization and other international organizations on prevention of infectious diseases,” Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov, who is also the deputy chairman of the Cabinet, told an international briefing hosted by the Foreign Ministry in the capital city of Ashgabat.

Meredov stressed that Turkmenistan is among those few countries which have not encountered the coronavirus, adding that this is also possible due to the country’s “advanced health care system” which has been developing for a quarter century.

He said that Turkmenistan is ready to receive a WHO delegation and the visit is planned to take place early July with the necessary agreement reached.

The experience gained by the central Asian country by joint work with international agencies on prevention of respiratory diseases helped the country come up with the “preparedness and response plan” for the pandemic, he said.

“The active position of international organizations in our country lets us to strengthen our cooperation not only on words, but also in actions.”

He also said that consolidating the joint efforts on countering the spread of infection is very crucial.

The government of Turkmenistan is ready to find out further ways of cooperation with international organizations, as well as share its experience and provide concrete proposals in strengthening the international cooperation in countering infectious diseases, Meredov said.

Representatives from international organizations and agencies, including the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), WHO, UNICEF the UN Resident Coordinator in Turkmenistan Elena Panova shared thoughts on cooperation with Turkmenistan and battling the pandemic, and provided detailed information about the upcoming events to be conducted in the country in the coming days.

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

The briefing was also made available through a video link for international health care professionals and press members.

– Turkmenistan-EU cooperation

Speaking on the bilateral cooperation format, Meredov recalled that the successive session on human rights between Turkmenistan and the EU took place online on June 18.

“Once again, we are convinced that this kind of partnership on human rights is very effective and useful,” he said.

During the online meeting, the parties discussed the promotion of economic, social and cultural rights of people under international and local documents.

Underlining the importance of humanitarian works, Meredov said the implementation of human rights on health care gains special meaning nowadays.

“It is clear that the spread of coronavirus has important outcomes in the global economic system,” he added.

The top diplomat also stressed that Turkmenistan fully shares the view that the health policies in these days should be taken into account not only in terms of the medical aspect of the pandemic but also the human rights while responding to the pandemic.

Based on this principle, he said, Turkmenistan has “timely developed and adopted” relevant plans and programs with the support of primarily UN agencies, adding that such works currently continue and the draft plan on minimizing socio-economic impact of pandemic on national level is being prepared.

The agreements on consolidation of efforts on battling COVID-19, implementation of the EU strategy for Central Asia, and the roadmaps developed on its basis will enable Turkmenistan to have “concrete outcomes” and not loose the interaction in 2021, he said.

Also addressing the briefing was Nurmuhammet Amannepesov, the minister of health and medical industry.

Speaking about comprehensive preventive measures for epidemiological surveillance and seasonal disease control, Amannepesov said that the institutions and services of the ministry and relevant institutions are undertaking “large-scale preventive measures” to protect the country from the import and spread of the infection.

He also said that Turkmenistan is “actively interacting” with leading global clinical centers and doctors to exchange knowledge and experience in the fight against the spread of dangerous infectious and non-communicable diseases.

It was also announced in the briefing that the 19th meeting of EU-Turkmenistan Joint Committee is scheduled for June 25.

After originating in China last December, COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, has spread to 188 countries and regions, with the US, Brazil and Russia currently the worst hit.

The pandemic has killed over 454,000 people worldwide, with the total number of infections more than 8.5 million, while over 4.18 million people have recovered from the disease, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

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