Dr. Hans Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe yesterday had a video conference with Mrs. Anna Popova, Chairperson of the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (Rospotrebnadzor).

Russian media reports say Dr. Kluge asked Mrs. Popova to provide assistance to WHO mission to Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.  

The World Health Organization’s European director, in particular, noted that those two countries claimed not to have any coronavirus infections.  

Kluge reportedly asked Popova to recruit Russian specialists for participation in the work of an expert mission in Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.  

Mr. Kluge noted that he was seriously concerned over the existing situation “especially as the number of atypical pneumonia related deaths has increased in Tajikistan.”  

Recall, Tajikistan has finally admitted it is in the throes of a pneumonia epidemic.  Health officials noted that pneumonia is sweeping through the population.  

The Health Ministry reported on April 27 that 319 people had been diagnosed with pneumonia at one hospital alone, Dushanbe’s City Medical Center No. 1.  Out of that overall number, 136 are health workers.  Officials said at least 11 people had died. 

An expert mission of the World Health Organization was supposed to visit Tajikistan and Turkmenistan this week.

WHO representatives in the Central Asian region admit that there are difficulties in rechecking the dubious results of coronavirus infection tests, but they also refrain from publicly criticizing local authorities.

As expected, the WHO expert mission will hold an open briefing to share its assessments of the situation in the region following a visit to both countries.