The Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population says the head of the Department for Supervision over the Internal Affairs Agencies at the Dushanbe Prosecutor’s Office, Jaloliddin Pirov, died of pneumonia and H1N1, or swine flu.  

According to the Health Ministry, Pirov was taken to the Dushanbe children’s infectious diseases hospital on April 15.  One day later, his health worsened and he was transferred to the city infectious diseases hospital, where he was diagnosed with pneumonia, H1N1 and Class 3 (high-risk) obesity.  Pirov reportedly died in the morning of April 19.

In a statement released after his death, the Health Ministry cited H1N1 as the cause of death and ruled out a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as a cause.

The ministry also noted in its statement that Jaloliddin Pirov had tested for the coronavirus and the result was negative.  “Although the test result was negative, Pirov’s relatives have been quarantined as a precaution.  Their health conditions are normal,” says the statement.  

Recall, Pirov’s body was brought to his relatives for farewell in coffin by medical personnel in special protective equipment. The same health workers also performed the burial at the funeral, according to Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service, known locally as Radio Ozodi

Meanwhile, the wife of a patient who shared a room with Pirov told Radio Ozodi that her husband was hospitalized after complaining of shortness of breath and a persistent cough.

The Health Ministry said on April 16 that local laboratories have conducted 2,317 tests – 440 of them were repeat tests – and that they all turned out negative.

Officials point to their quick reaction to the global coronavirus emergency as a deciding factor in keeping coronavirus at bay. Travel to and from China was suspended in early January. The civilian aviation body on March 19 ruled that all international air traffic would be suspended immediately as another protective measure.

Authorities have also been placing arriving travelers considered to pose a potential infection risk in quarantine since January.  According to official data from the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population, 7,871 people were reportedly quarantined after arriving from abroad between February 1 and April 17; 6,348 of them have already been released and none of those released had the coronavirus.  

The government has pursued few of the lockdown measures or social distancing guidelines in place across many other parts of the world.

Children are going to school and the public piled into crowded transportation.

In neighboring Kyrgyzstan, authorities have suspended the draft for obligatory military service this spring, but not Tajikistan.