Polish medics to help in coronavirus fight in Tajikistan

Due to the suspension of air traffic, air transport provided by the army is the only way to reach Central Asia, which battles not only against COVID 19 but also against other diseases, and where Polish and WHO doctors are running polio vaccination programmes, Jabłoński said. Paweł Supernak/PAP

The Polish emergency medical team set out on a mission to Tajikistan on Saturday to aid the country in its fight against coronavirus pandemic.

As part of a major humanitarian action organised by the Polish Centre for International Aid (PCPM), an NGO, in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO), a military plane with Polish medics and WHO experts onboard also took 600 kg of protective supplies for Tajikistan, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Paweł Jabłoński said at the Warsaw Chopin airport.

Due to the suspension of air traffic, air transport provided by the army is the only way to reach Central Asia, which battles not only against COVID 19 but also against other diseases, and where Polish and WHO doctors are running polio vaccination programmes, he added.

Tajikistan has asked WHO for foreign assistance amid the pandemic, including support by foreign physicians, laboratory workers and teams coordinating medical aid, PCPM chairman Wojciech Wilk said. A rapid response emergency medical team operated by PCPM is one of 29 such teams in the world certified by WHO, while 70 countries need such help, he added.

The Polish mission consists of 23-strong group of doctors, paramedics, nurses and specialists in humanitarian aid. Fifteen specialists left on Saturday to be joined by eight more within a week. The whole WHO-coordinated aid operation will also involve medics from other countries and will last three weeks.