TURKMENISTAN - Banning the Word Coronavirus

Arno Froese

The Central Asian country of Turkmenistan claims it has no coronavirus cases. But if you happen to utter the word “coronavirus” while waiting, say, for the bus in the white-marbled capital Ashgabat, there’s a good chance you’ll be arrested.

Citing reports from Chronicles of Turkmenistan, which Reporters Without Borders describes as a rare independent media outlet in this notoriously secretive and restrictive country, the press freedom organization says Berdymukhamedov’s government has forbidden state-controlled media from writing or uttering the word and has ordered its removal from health brochures distributed at hospitals, schools and workplaces.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty correspondents in Ashgabat report that plainclothes police officers are also arresting people who wear face masks or discuss the pandemic in public.

Turkmenistan’s neighbor to the south, Iran, is one of the countries worst hit by the coronavirus. Other neighboring countries in Central Asia have hundreds of confirmed cases.

-www.npr.org, 31 March 2020

Arno's commentary

As we have repeatedly pointed out, the coronavirus outbreak is further solidifying globalism, in part because countries rely on expertise and supplies from each other—especially in this case, because a global pandemic must by definition be fought uniformly across the world. However, there are a few countries that insist on going it alone and ignoring or—in the case of Turkmenistan—denying the issue entirely. While this may seem to work in the short-term (as of this writing, Turkmenistan still reports zero cases), it will end up being a clear demonstration and lesson against this strategy, as the disease will undoubtedly spread throughout the country in the near future, just as it has in its ravished neighbor to the south, Iran.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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