It would have been perfectly understandable and fully acceptable to make any of the two choices – 1. To hold the event through the video link; or 2. To exchange the signed documents through the courier service and make an announcement through the media.
Turkmenistan went ahead and hosted the event in a physical setting – with plenty of caution.
The ceremony for signing of the cooperation programme between the United Nations and Turkmenistan for the period 2021-2025 was held at the Yyldyz Hotel, Ashgabat, on 14 March 2020.
While most of the world is universally discouraging the gatherings of people, Turkmenistan is following a rational approach to prevent the intrusion by coronavirus (Covid-19).
There is the entire spectrum of measures – on one hand, a separate airport has been designated for the international flights arriving in Turkmenistan so that the suspected cases of infection can be quarantined, and on the other hand the life is going on, with due care.
So far, no cases of coronavirus infection have been reported in Turkmenistan.
The event of Saturday was sizeable – the main hall of the Yyldyz Hotel was rigged in full configuration and it was packed to capacity. In fact, there was only standing room for quite a few participants.
The ministry of healthcare and medical industry had set up their tables at the entrance to the lounge. The medical staff was offering hand sanitization solution and nose care gel. Bottled water was available for anyone who cared to take it.
Together with this, the hall was fumigated with the smoke of the dried stalks of Peganum Harmala (Yuzarlik in Turkmen).
It is a plant known to the Turkmens since ancient times and has an unbelievable range of benefits. In addition to the entry in the encyclopedic work of President Berdimuhamedov on the medicinal plants of Turkmenistan, many scholars have studies the properties of Harmala.
Sepideh Miraj, an Iranian scholar has compiled a research paper based on 85 scientific articles. Here are some of the properties she attributes to Paganum Harmala:
- Anti Candidiasis
- Anti cholinesterase
- Anti tumor angiogenesis
- Anti Cytotoxicity
- Anti Hepatoma cancer
- Hepatoprotective prevention
- Anti Hypoglycemic
- Anti Pesticide effect
- Anti Theileriosis
- Antinociceptive effects
- Anti Haemosporidian infections in cattle
- Anti Haemosporidian infections
- Abortificient potential effect
She notes, “Peganum has different properties and combinations and numerous medicinal properties of its extract, essential oils, its stems and leaves require more research about the other beneficial and unknown properties of this plant.”
The effectiveness of fumigation by Harmala smoke is proven by science and it fits perfectly with the other science-based solutions to deal with the coronavirus threat. /// nCa, 16 March 2020