On April 8, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov held a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers on the results of work for three months, the state information agency TDH reports .
After the report of the Deputy Prime Minister for Science and Education, Health and Sports Sapardurdy Toylyev , the head of state said that "with the onset of summer, the climate in the Aral Sea region poses a particular threat to us due to the negative impact on the health of people living in the Aral Sea region and adjacent territories" .
In this regard, the Deputy Prime Minister was ordered to work "to prevent the adverse impact of this factor", including the construction of scientific centers and hospitals in the country, and monthly report on the relevant measures taken at Cabinet meetings.
The problem of the Aral began to worry ex-president Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov in 2020, when he stated that "natural factors can contribute to the transfer of various infections over long distances by dusty air currents that form in the Aral zone."
The mask regime and other preventive measures were introduced in Turkmenistan allegedly due to the negative impact of the dust that it brings from the Aral Sea zone.
Periodically, state or pro-government Turkmen media report that viruses can settle on dust particles and thus be transported hundreds of kilometers through the air. To combat this phenomenon, the epidemiologists of Turkmenistan decided to spray disinfectant solutions from aircraft (Agricultural An-2).
A year ago, on April 9, 2021, Berdimuhamedov Sr. said that “the air environment formed in the ecological disaster zone causes considerable harm, negatively affecting the climate and health of people living in the Aral Sea region and even far from it. Dust with salt rises from the dried shores of the Aral Sea, and harmful bacteria scatter thousands of kilometers away, which threatens people's health.”
At the same time, the Turkmen authorities continue to insist that not a single case of COVID-19 infection has been registered in the country.
In other cases, it is reported that particulate matter itself can cause damage to the lungs; Coronavirus is not mentioned.
Since July 2020, all TV newscasts in Turkmenistan have ended with recommendations for viewers to wear masks to protect themselves from dust particles in the air.
In September 2020, the President visited the construction site of a new sanatorium in the village of Bagabat and ordered the construction of a Scientific and Clinical Center for Virology, Bacteriology and Epidemiology here, where the negative impact of the consequences of the Aral crisis on the natural environment of the region and the health of the population will also be studied.
In January 2021, he was presented with a project for the construction of the International Scientific and Clinical Center for Physiology, where, among other things, it is planned to study the negative impact of the Aral zone on human health.
A rapid decline in the water level in the Aral Sea was noticed in the 70s of the last century, and since then the problem has only worsened. However, before the start of the global coronavirus pandemic in Turkmenistan, this environmental disaster was not talked about and, in connection with this, the residents of the country were not required to wear masks.
Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan