DUSHANBE -- Tajik President Emomali Rahmon has declared the country coronavirus-free, claiming there have been no new cases this month.
Rahmon made the claim in a January 26 address to parliament even though the Health Ministry said earlier this month that several new cases were registered in the Central Asian country since the New Year.
"Tajikistan today is without COVID-19," Rahmon said, adding that the "absence of coronavirus" within Tajikistan's borders did not mean that citizens can now neglect regulations such as wearing masks and social distancing.
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He also said that individuals arriving in Tajikistan from other countries must be placed in quarantine.
Tajik authorities have said that mosques in the country will reopen as of February 1 as long as they meet sanitary requirements.
Many in Tajikistan have questioned the need to keep the regulations in place, since they aren't being adhered to or enforced in areas such as markets and on public transportation.
The number of registered coronavirus cases in Tajikistan is 13,308, with 90 deaths.
However, an investigative report by RFE/RL last summer revealed that the actual number of lethal cases of COVID-19 in the country might be several times higher, including dozens of physicians and nurses who treated COVID-19 patients.