DESPARDES — Turkmenistan has adopted a special approach to wiping out the coronavirus — by completely banning any mention of the word, according to reports.
The Central Asian nation is ordering citizens to stop saying the name of the deadly illness that’s sweeping the globe — and even empowered police to detain anyone letting it pass their lips in public, the Independent says, citing local media.
Undercover “special” agents even eavesdrop on public conversations to stamp out any mention of the name, the UK paper says, noting reports on Radio Azatlyk.
The best residents can do is talk euphemistically about the coronavirus. Any safety measures enforced by the government only refer to protecting against “illness” and “acute respiratory diseases,” Radio Free Europe says.
It has left Turkmenistan one of the few nations reporting no confirmed cases of the virus — claims treated with suspicion by health experts outside the country.
It is bordered to the south by Iran, one of the epicenters of the global pandemic that by Tuesday had reported more than 44,600 infections and nearly 3,000 deaths, according to John Hopkins University data. Other bordering nations — including Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan — have also registered hundreds of cases.
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