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.
Tajikistan initially blocked the entry of nationals of 35 countries, including the United Kingdom, United States, and Canada.On March 3, 2020, Tajikistan reduced the ban to five countries: China, Iran, Afghanistan, South Korea, and Italy.On March 4, some mosques in the capital city Dushanbe asked worshipers not to attend Friday prayers.A rush to stockpile food led to price hikes and shortages of flour and other staples. On March 5, the Health and Social Welfare Ministry said that there is enough food in Tajikistan to feed the country’s population for two years. President Emomali Rahmon assured Tajiks there was no need to panic-buy food, but stockpiling continued. Tajikistan asked people to avoid public gatherings and mosque attendance.As of March 10, 1,583 Tajik citizens who arrived from China, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Iran and Afghanistan after February 1 had been put in quarantine.
On March 26 and 27, meetings concerning preparations for preventing a possible coronavirus outbreak were held. As of March 27, 5,919 Tajik citizens who arrived from abroad after February 1 had been put in quarantine, and 2,050 had already been discharged. No cases of coronavirus were confirmed in the country.As of March 30, 6,159 Tajik citizens who arrived from abroad after February 1 had been put in quarantine, and 2,146 had already been discharged leaving 4,013 in quarantine. No cases of coronavirus were confirmed in the country. In late March, President Emomali Rahmon was photographed participating in large public gatherings.
On April 23, Tajikistan closed schools for two weeks to prevent the spread of coronavirus and temporarily banned export of grains and pulses, a measure aimed at conserving domestic supplies. There were no reported coronavirus cases in Tajikistan. At the time, Tajikistan’s borders and mosques were closed. As of April 27, 4,100 tests for coronavirus had been conducted in Tajikistan. Galina Perfilyeva, the WHO representative in Dushanbe, who had initially confirmed the Tajikistan government position that the country remained free of the coronavirus, said “It’s impossible to conclusively say that there is no coronavirus infection in Tajikistan.”
Tajikistan was one of few countries to continue professional sporting matches during the pandemic; they have been cancelled in many countries.However, on 27 April the 2020 Tajikistan Higher League was suspended until 10 May. On 30 April, the Ministry of Health reported 15 confirmed coronavirus cases as of 29 April: 10 in Khujand and 5 in Dushanbe.Previously, questions about Tajikistan’s lack of reported coronavirus cases were raised in the media.
At the formal request of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population of the Republic of Tajikistan (MHSPPRT) and with financial support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Branch of the German Caritas Association in Tajikistan (Caritas Germany) provided nearly €33,500 worth of humanitarian aid to 16 cities and districts in Tajikistan.Donations, which included 2,000 protective suits; 810 hygiene kits; and 400 packages of foodstuffs, were aimed at strengthening preventive measures against COVID-19.On May 7, the presidential press office of Tajikistan announced a phone conversation between Emomali Rahmon and Hassan Rouhani, the president of Iran about the pandemic and the Iranian president expressed preparations of Iran for helping Tajikistan with the pandemic, including sending equipment, health professionals and pharmaceuticals.
The President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, took the decision earlier this week to provide humanitarian assistance to its two neighbours. This includes 5,000 tons of Kazakhstan’s flour for each country worth more than $3 million.The decision was made following the official requests of the Kyrgyz and Tajik sides for food supplies.On April 9, Uzbekistan provided humanitarian aid to Tajikistan totalling about $2.5 million, eighteen train cars carrying 1,000 tons of wheat flour and medical protective equipment, including disinfectants, medical gowns, disposable medical gloves, medical eyeglasses, face masks and disposable medical shoe covers, reportedly arrived in Dushanbe.