The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis is escalating in the country, forcing the authorities to drop denials   

The Standing Committee on COVID-19 Response of Tajikistan met in Dushanbe yesterday and official confirmed that cases of contracting COVID-19 have been reported in some medial facilities of the country, according to the press center of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population (MoHSPP).

The authorities blame the public for the fresh outbreak of COVID-19, noting that citizens returning from abroad have not complied with the term of self-isolation and people have not complied with mask-wearing requirements.

The authorities did not, however, report how many new cases had been detected.

The Standing Committee on COVID-19 Response has adopted decisions to intensify coordination of activities of relevant ministries and agencies on controlling the observance by the population of the rules of personal and public hygiene, controlling service and cultural centers, and taking strict preventive and anti-epidemic measures.  

Meanwhile, confirmation that Tajikistan is seeking a fresh outbreak of COVID-18 was coming from many places.

A source at the Diamed clinic in Dushanbe told Asia-Plus news agency on June 8 on the basis of anonymity that it has been detecting dozens of positive COVID-19 tests daily.

Other private clinics have also seen similar developments.

Many people have taken to social media to reveal their test results.

A MoHSPP, however, was flatly denying these claims until last week.    

Instead of falling in line with international health expert advice on avoiding mass public events, Tajik authorities last year pushed ahead with a huge party to mark the Navrouz spring holiday on March 21.  The government confirmed the presence of COVID-19 infection in the country only in late April, on the eve of a visit of an expert mission organized by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The last time that the Tajik health authorities confirmed any cases of COVID-19 was on January 11.  

On January 25, in statement delivered at a joint meeting of both chambers of parliament, President Emomali Rahmon declared victory over the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.  Thereafter, the health authorities ceased to report COVID-19 cases altogether.

As of June 20, the government said 13,218 people in total have been found to have the coronavirus virus, and that 99.3 percent (13,308 people) of that total number have since been cured.  Only 90 people reportedly died from COVID-19 in Tajikistan.