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Tajik Authorities: the old-aged citizen died of pneumonia, not coronavirus

Officials are claiming that the message about detection of the coronavirus on the North of the country, which alarmed the country, is not true.

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Radio Ozodi’s report about lock down in central hospital in Jabbor Rasulov Distirict due to suspect of the coronavirus case after the death of old-aged patient Khabibullo Shodiev caused a great resonance in Tajikistan’s social media space.

The Central Hospital of the Jabbor Rasulov’s District. Photo: CABAR.asia
The Central Hospital of the Jabbor Rasulov’s District. Photo: CABAR.asia

 The report, which was released on April 5, also claimed that 11 medical workers of this hospital, including the Deputy Chief Physician Alisher Abdukarimov, who was represented on Internet network as the Chief Physician of the hospital, are quarantined.

 At the same time, officials of the Sughd Department of the Ministry of Health called a special press-conference the day after, at which they denied the suspicion over Coronavirus in Tajikistan.

 Maruf Khojiboev (at the center) at a briefing on April 6th. Photo: CABAR.asia
 Maruf Khojiboev (at the center) at a briefing on April 6th. Photo: CABAR.asia

Maruf Khojiboev, Deputy Head of the Department of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Sughd Region, stated that the death of the 60-year-old Khabibullo Shodiev was caused by pneumonia, not by coronavirus.

He also noted, that after Shodiev’s death,13 hospital employees, including the above-mentioned Deputy Head Physician, were transferred to the Khujand Hospital for Infectious Deseases.

“Currently they are in quarantine. They were tested for preventing the possible spread of coronavirus. All the tests yielded negative results. None of those employees turned out to be infected by coronavirus. They are in stable condition”,- said Khojiboev.

  He added that isolation of 13 employees was caused by seasonal flu treatment, which many people have at this period of year, rather than with suspicion of the coronavirus infection.

“We all know that there are seasonal diseases. When one person in the family catches the flu, naturally, people around them can also get infected. According to the program for the prevention of infectious diseases, residents, who apply for the flu treatment are quarantined for therapy”,- said Marufjon Khojiboev.

Khojiboev told there are 1133 people who have returned from abroad and who are currently under lockdown in medical institutions of the region. As of 6 April, 1,547 people were discharged from hospitals after 14 days of quarantine.

The Ministry of Health and Social Protection of Population stated that so far, no cases of coronavirus infection have been registered in Tajikistan.

Deputy Chief Physician announces: “I am healthy!”

Alisher Abdukarimov, Deputy Chief Physician of the Central Hospital of the Jabbor Rasulov District denied the information that he had contracted coronavirus during his interview with CABAR.asia.

“There are all kinds of rumors about me on the Internet. Do not believe them. I am healthy and fine”- said Abdukarimov.

According to him, test results of the staff of his Hospital were sent to Dushanbe, and the expertise detected that none of them were positive for coronavirus.

Alisher Abdukarimov also specified that Khabibullo Shodiev was hospitalized on March 28 with a high temperature of 36-38 °C, with difficulty breathing and pulmonary fever. As result, Shodiev passed away on April 1 in a hospital from pneumonia.

Meanwhile, Rustamjon Buriboev, Deputy Chief Physician of the Khujand Infectious Diseases Hospital told CABAR.asia that 13 health workers of the Central Hospital of the Jabbor Rasulov’s District are in normal condition.

Prevention in a case of Possible Coronavirus Outbreak

According to representatives of the Public Health Service of the Sughd Region, there are six hospitals established in the region to this moment. They were prepared for quarantine. These are the Khujand Infectious Diseases Hospital, the Center for Rehabilitation of Cardiovascular Diseases, the Center for Rehabilitation of Veterans of the Great Patriotic War and Disabled People, the Hospital for Skin and Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Local Hospital named after Haydar Usmonov and Regional Hospital #3 of the Bobojon Gafurov District.

Maternity home in Khujand, which is currently closed, planned  to be primarly used as a hospital or medical facility.

“The infection departments of 11 urban and regional hospitals were also prepared for quarantine, while the urban and regional medical institutions were reconditioned as quarantine institutions,” -told Maruf Khojiboev.

He assured that the Khujand Infectious Diseases Hospital is currently ready for quarantine and prepared for placement of 170 people. It was reported that currently there are 73 people on the quarantine in this hospital.

Khujand Infectious Disease Hospital. Photo: CABAR.asia
Khujand Infectious Disease Hospital. Photo: CABAR.asia

Officials of the Health Department of the Sughd region claim that more than 150 coronavirus tests had been taken to date and showed negative results. Tests were and will be taken in Dushanbe and the results will be announced in the course of one day.

The situation in the Jabbor Rasulov area: 655 quarantined people

Meanwhile law enforcement officials do not allow anyone entering cordon at the building of the Central hospital of Jabbor Rasulov district. They explained that the main reason for this is that hospital is in quarantine.

One of the district’s residents, who named herself Sotikhon, told that her daughter is a nurse in a hospital and is now in quarantine.

“From Saturday my daughter is in quarantine, I bring her food every day. I am not allowed to enter the hospital to meet her. I pass on what I brought to her through the guard”, – said Sotihon.

Bakhtier Sultonzoda. Photo: CABAR.asia
Bakhtier Sultonzoda. Photo: CABAR.asia

Bakhtier Sultonzoda, Head of the social development and public relations department in the district’s administration claimed that the tests showed no signs of coronavirus infection.

According to him, after the death of Khabibullo Shodiev, all who were at that time in the hospital were quarantined.

“As of 6 April, a total of 655 people were quarantined and only 342 of them are staying in the Central Hospital, 166 of them are doctors,” Sultozoda added.

According to him, the situation in the region is currently stable and it is planned that after 14 days the hospital will continue to work in standard mode.

Is pneumonia associated with coronavirus?

Physicians are saying that the main reason for spread of rumors about the coronavirus is ignorance about the differences between pneumonia and coronavirus. Akhrullo Dustmatov a doctor of the highest category in Khujand City Hospital No. 1, told that the acute pneumonia caused by microbial infections.

“All microorganisms can evoke the acute pneumonia. Viruses are also able to cause acute pneumonia. This disease can prove itself from the moment of microorganism occurrence in the body and until the first symptoms of disease became visible within 3-4 days period”.  This disease can show itself ”-said Dustmatov.

According to him, in most cases pneumonia appears after the flu.

Akhrullo Dustmatov. Photo: CABAR.asia
Akhrullo Dustmatov. Photo: CABAR.asia

“In general, acute pneumonia can be of two types: small and partial. Partial pneumonia is more common for patients with concurrent diseases, such as chronic bronchitis, dyspnea, diabetes mellitus. Also it may even occur during pregnancy. Acute pneumonia begins abruptly, and the first symptoms are: fatigue, dry cough, whooping cough, itchy respiratory passages, panting and heartbeat”- added Dustmatov.

 According to him, one of the main symptoms of pneumonia is dyspnea.

“Even the most primitive viruses can cause the flu, which is the main reason for pneumonia.” If not treated, there will be complications in lungs. But in the case of coronavirus human is the source of disease”,-he added.

The doctor also told that one of the main causes of coronavirus infection it is non-compliance with personal hygiene requirements: people are not washing their hands regularly; contacting infected people and staying in places with high risk of infection.

Dustmatov stressed that about half of the patients are sent to pulmonology department with a diagnosis of “pneumonia”.

“We accept more than 1000 patients in this hospital every year, about 50 percent of them suffer from pneumonia. The reason of death of five of the eight deceased patients is pneumonia”, said Dustmatov.

This article was prepared as part of the Giving Voice, Driving Change – from the Borderland to the Steppes Project.


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