Corona Virus: When you contract Covid in Turkmenistan, which officially does not have any cases of the disease


  • Abdul Jalil Abdul Rasoulof
  • BBC News

Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov

photo released, Getty Images

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Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov uses the image of a healthy nation as the core of state propaganda

Turkmenistan is among a few countries, such as North Korea, that says it has no cases of coronavirus. But reports say it is going through the third and perhaps the strongest stage of Covid-19.

Sayhat Kurbanov, who is not his real name, tells his story with the infection of the virus in his country. Kurbanov suffered from suffocation, and he longed for air to enter his lungs as if he was in a marathon, and he felt unbearable pain in his chest. They were all symptoms of the Corona virus, but the problem was that it was in Turkmenistan, where there are no official patients infected with this virus.

When Mr. Kurbanov called the ambulance last month, the doctor told him that he had pneumonia and that he should go to the hospital urgently. Kurbanov knows that doctors in his country tell the person with corona that it is a case of pneumonia.

On his way to the hospital, Kurbanov succeeded in contacting the clinic where he took the Corona test swab several days ago. A quiet voice came to him from the other side and told him the result was positive, to ask shouting, “Positive what? Is it Corona”, to get the answer “Yes”.

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