April 22, 2020 / 1:57 PM / a month ago

'We're not hiding anything,' says coronavirus-free Turkmenistan

FILE PHOTO: Rashid Meredov, foreign minister of Turkmenistan, addresses the 69th United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York September 24, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

ASHGABAT (Reuters) - Turkmenistan, one of the few nations in the world that has reported no cases of the new coronavirus, insisted on Wednesday its official data was true and it was not hiding anything.

“If there was a single confirmed coronavirus case we would have immediately informed ... the World Healthcare Organization in line with our obligations,” Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov told a briefing.

“We are not hiding anything,” he added, speaking alongside United Nations officials.

Healthcare Minister Nurmukhammed Amannepesov told the same briefing the Central Asian nation had 30,000 test kits at its disposal and was ordering 40,000 more from Russia, Turkey and Germany.

He said 151 people remained in quarantine zones, most of them Turkmen citizens working as long-haul truck drivers and ship crew members.

Turkmenistan has reopened most of its border crossing points and was preparing to reopen the remaining ones, on the Iranian border, he said, after suspending all freight traffic at the end of last month.

Reporting by Marat Gurt; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Mark Potter

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