The Health Ministry appeals for calm

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The Ministry of Health and Social Protection has called on the population not to panic. At the same time, it recommends that certain protective measures be taken: for example, no cuddling, no kissing and no handshake.

The press center of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection has released a statement calling on the population not to panic amid spread of coronavirus in some countries.

Media outlets are advised to distribute only reliable and verified information.

The Health Ministry says there have been no confirmed cases of the illness in Tajikistan so far. The ministry stresses that coronavirus prevention measures are being toughened in the country.

The Ministry of Health says the temporary closure of mosques and restrictions on holding public festivities for the holiday of Navrouz are aimed at, first of all, preventing the spread of coronavirus to Tajikistan.

The ministry also asks the population to strictly observe the rules of hygiene and recommends that certain protective measures be taken: for example, no cuddling, no kissing and no handshake.

The Health Ministry notes that only nationals of five countries China, South Korea, Iran, Italy and Afghanistan are being quarantined.

Yesterday, the Minister of Health and Social Security Nasim Olimzoda met with representatives of a number of diplomatic missions active in the country. Representatives of Embassies of Russia, France, Afghanistan, Germany, Saudi Arabia, China, India, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Qatar, Turkmenistan, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, the United States and South Korea as well as the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) Tajikistan, the European Union Delegation to Tajikistan, the OSCE Programme Office in Dushanbe and others attended the meeting.

According to data from the Health Ministry, in all, 1500 air passengers arriving from China, South Korea, Italy, Afghanistan and Iran have been quarantined. As of March 4, 320 people reportedly remain in in the quarantine zones.

Meanwhile, Eurasianet says that even though Tajikistan is not yet known to have any confirmed cases of COVID 19, as of March 4, a sense of panic is beginning to spread, leading to the closure of mosques and a run on grocery stores. Many staple items such as flour, oil and sugar are reportedly in short supply or totally sold out at bazaars and stores in Dushanbe, as people stock up. A 50 kilogram sack of flour used to cost around 220 somoni ($23), it is now selling for 380 somoni.

A resident of the southern city of Kulob told Eurasianet that riot police were on guard at the bazaar there and stopping shoppers from buying more than two sacks of flour at a time.

Source: Asia Plus