Dushanbe | Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon said on Tuesday that the novel coronavirus epidemic was over in Tajikistan, a small and very poor country in Central Asia.
This authoritarian Soviet republic neighboring Afghanistan has only recorded a dozen new cases of coronavirus and no deaths since the start of the year, according to official statistics.
The official toll, which has remained unchanged for more than two weeks, reported 13,308 infections since April, including 90 deaths and 13,218 recoveries. The country of 9.5 million people currently has no active cases.
“We can confidently say that there is no more coronavirus in Tajikistan,” said Mr. Rakhmon, 68, who was addressing parliament.
“We must not relax and forget the rules of personal and public hygiene,” he warned, however.
He also indicated that all travelers arriving in Tajikistan will be “placed in quarantine under the supervision of family doctors at home for a period of 14 days”.
Tajikistan, because of its poverty, has a very large diaspora in Russia and Kazakhstan.
Authorities have also scheduled the mosques to reopen next week, after about nine months of closure.
The Tajik government did not report its first cases of COVID-19 until April 30, 2020, just before a delegation from the World Health Organization (WHO) came to carry out an inspection, while Tajikistan claimed to be spared from the disease that was spreading everywhere else in the world.
Turkmenistan, another authoritarian country in Central Asia, has never admitted a single case of infection with the novel coronavirus, even after the introduction of containment measures and the announcement by the UK ambassador to Ashkhabad that he was infected with COVID-19.