Or not less than, that is what the central Asian nation’s secretive, authoritarian authorities claims.
But unbiased organizations and journalists and activists exterior Turkmenistan say there’s proof the nation is battling a 3rd wave which is overwhelming hospitals and killing dozens of individuals — and warn the President is enjoying down the specter of the lethal virus in a bid to take care of his public picture.
Myatiev stated he has verified all of the recorded deaths with well being information and X-rays, revealing extreme lung injury and medical therapy per coronavirus victims.
“Instead of accepting it and cooperating with the international community, Turkmenistan decided to stick its head in the sand,” stated Myatiev.
The Turkmenistan authorities didn’t reply to CNN’s requests for remark.
How it unfolded
As Covid-19 unfold around the globe in the beginning of 2020, Turkmenistan insisted it had no instances, at the same time as bordering nations reported skyrocketing outbreaks.
“You look at what’s happening at other countries in the region and how different could Turkmenistan possibly be?” stated Rachel Denber, deputy Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
“It was at least 40 degrees Celsius outside (104 degrees Fahrenheit) — not a usual flu season,” he stated.
By then, the scenario was uncontrolled, in keeping with Myatiev. The authorities suggested residents to take weird public well being measures, equivalent to consuming a selected sort of spicy soup.
As not too long ago as Tuesday, President Berdymukhamedov stated the efforts of the worldwide neighborhood in addressing the Covid-19 pandemic had been “insufficient,” though he didn’t point out the scenario inside his personal nation.
“The pandemic has exposed serious systemic failings in the international response to this challenge,” he stated.
‘Turkmenistan is burning’
Despite Berdymukhamedov’s claims that his nation his Covid-free, the fact inside Turkmenistan is starkly completely different, in keeping with unbiased journalists and activists.
Diana Serebryannik, director of Europe-based exiles group Rights and Freedoms of Turkmenistan Citizens, stated her group had heard from contacts within the nation that hospitals there are presently struggling to cope with the inflow of instances.
Serebryannik stated Turkmen docs from her group who had been now dwelling abroad had been in contact with their former colleagues within the nation, permitting them to search out out the actual scenario and supply recommendation.
She stated docs inside Turkmenistan had instructed her each oxygen and ventilators had been laborious to return by within the nation, therapy was costly and deaths from the virus might be within the 1000’s.
“Turkmenistan is burning, it’s burning with Covid … Sometimes they do not even accept patients to the hospital, they just send them home,” she stated.
According to Serebryannik, the official explanation for loss of life in these instances is just not listed as Covid-19 and even pneumonia — as a substitute medical certificates file a separate situation, equivalent to a coronary heart assault, she stated.
The journal of Asian Affairs stated Uchkun died on July 7. His official explanation for loss of life was coronary heart failure.
Undermining the rosy image
Multiple authoritarian governments around the globe have introduced their Covid-19 outbreaks and obtained worldwide help, together with China, the earliest nation affected.
So why is Turkmenistan so insistent that it has nonetheless not seen a single case?
Both Myatiev and Serebryannik stated it was right down to President Berdymukhamedov who, as a dentist by career and former well being minister, had positioned nice emphasis on successfully governing the well-being of his folks — not less than in precept.
Serebryannik stated Berdymukhamedov, 64, wished to seem like a savior to the nation, and a powerful world chief, by retaining Covid-19 out.
“Turkmenistan is a country where everything in the garden looks rosy … you have those marble, state of the art (health facilities) equipped with German, French, Japanese, whatever, equipment,” journalist Myatiev stated.
Admitting the presence of a lethal virus would undermine the idealized picture the President has created and go away Berdymukhamedov open to criticism — and doubtlessly to being held to account.
“It would be someone’s failure, someone would have to bear responsibility for that and who has the ultimate word for that? The President,” Myatiev stated.
There has been no indication but that Turkmenistan is making ready to reverse its place and admit to having Covid-19 instances contained in the nation, however Serebryannik stated she believed the federal government must ultimately.
She stated there had simply been “too much death.”
Human Rights Watch’s Denber stated worldwide organizations interacting with Turkmenistan, together with WHO, had an obligation to be trustworthy with the world in regards to the scenario contained in the nation.
“At a certain point you have to say at what cost are you protecting that presence (in the country)? Are the measures you’re taking to protect your relationship … undermining your core mission?” she stated.
Denber stated in a worldwide pandemic, with many outbreaks linked throughout worldwide borders, nations had an obligation to supply correct testing and proper public info.
“We’re all interconnected,” she stated. “When one of us fails, we all fail.”