Detection of a new subvariant of COVID-19, known as “Arcturus,” does not require the introduction of epidemic restrictions in Tajikistan, a high-ranking official at the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population (MoHSPP), Navrouz Jafarov, told Asia-Plus in an interview Tuesday afternoon.

According to him, no new cases of COVID-19 have been reported Tajikistan, “because the majority residents of the country has got four COVID-19 vaccine shots, and the survey has shown that Tajikistanis’ immunity is resistant to any virus.”   

“During immunization, we conducted a study twice.  The first study was conducted last year, and the second one has been conducted this year,” said Jafarov.  “In March of this year, we received the result.  As it turned out, Tajikistanis’ immunity today is resistant to any types of COVID and to the new strain.” 

According to him, immunity has developed in 91% of the country’s population.  “This year, immunity has dropped to 87 percent, this year, that is, only by 4.0 percent.   So, it means that the immune system is strong.”  

The COVID-19 pandemic in Tajikistan is part of the worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).  The virus was confirmed to have spread to Tajikistan when its index cases, in Dushanbe and Khujand, were confirmed on 30 April 2020.

By January 13, 2021, government reported that all cases had either recovered or died, leaving the country free of COVID-19 for the first time since April 2020.  However, after five months and twelve days, Tajikistan recorded 63 new COVID-19 cases.

The MoHSPP said on February 25 last year that a total number of the officially confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection in Tajikistan has amounted to 17,388 since April 30, 2020, when its index cases were confirmed in the country.

For the last time, three officially confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) were reported in Tajikistan on February 18, 2022.

A total number of those who have been cured in Tajikistan since April 30, 2020 has reportedly amounted to 17,252 (99.2 percent).

The number of the officially confirmed coronavirus-linked deaths in Tajikistan has been 124.

On March 7, 2022, Tajik authorities lifted almost all coronavirus restrictions, including mandatory mask wearing in public places and a temporary ban of traditional ceremonies and celebrations, including weddings.

According to Tajikistan’s Standing Committee on COVID-19 Response, the decision to lift the restrictions was made "while taking into consideration the normalization of the epidemiological situation in Tajikistan."

The restrictions were imposed in July 2020.  Wedding parties were limited to up to 40 close family members and had to be held inside private homes.

As of March 7, 2022, the number of participants in wedding parties and other traditional celebrations was raised to up to 200 people.

New York Post, citing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), noted on April 24 that a new subvariant of COVID-19 is proliferating in the US and is now responsible for nearly 10% of all new cases.  The CDC estimates that Omicron strain XBB.1.16 — more commonly known as Arcturus — was the cause of 9.6% of new infections this week. That