AKIPRESS.COM - No cases of the coronavirus have been officially registered in Turkmenistan, although the country shares common border with Iran, where the coronavirus outbreak has claimed over 140 lives, turkmen.news reports.
Three foreign citizens, two of them diplomats from an Arab country, were refused entry to Turkmenistan on March 6 when they arrived on a flight from the Kazakh city of Almaty. The flight landed in Turkmenabat in eastern Turkmenistan, rather than the capital Ashgabat, in accordance with the new regulations.
The three travelers, who all had permission to visit Turkmenistan, were taken to Ashgabat and put on a Turkmenistan Airlines flight to Istanbul. They were given no coherent explanations for their deportation, and were told only that measures were being taken to prevent the coronavirus reaching Turkmenistan. The two diplomats were to have been met at the airport by staff from the embassy in Ashgabat, but they did not pass through the immigration checks.
According to a report from the French embassy in Ashgabat, since February 23 Turkmenistan has been refusing entry to citizens of countries with cases of the coronavirus. There are no exceptions, not even for the holders of valid visas.
On March 5, the Foreign Ministry briefed foreign diplomats and representatives of international organizations on steps taken by the Turkmen authorities to prevent the virus reaching the country.