Russia lifts entry restrictions for Tajik children based on polio outbreak in Tajikistan

July 6, 2010 - Avaz Yuldoshev



Russia on July 5 lifted the entry restrictions for Tajik children under the age of six based on the polio outbreak in Tajikistan, according to the Russian sanitary control agency’s website.


The polio situation in Tajikistan has been stabilized and the polio immunization campaign for children under the age of 15, during which more than 3 million people have been vaccinated, has practically been completed in Tajikistan, the website said.


“According to the World Health Organization, no cases of acute flaccid paralysis, the most common sign of polio, have been registered in Tajikistan since June 12, 2010,” said the Russian sanitary control agency, “In this connection, I consider it possible to lift the entry restrictions for Tajik children under the age of 6 starting July 5.”


The reemergence of an old disease in Tajikistan has led to an outbreak of a "polio war" between Moscow and Dushanbe in early May this year.  Russia’s chief sanitary inspector Gennady Onishchenko began to making alarming statements and on May 7, he imposed a ban on Tajik children under the age of 6, the most likely group to contract the virus, from entering Russia because of the polio outbreak in Tajikistan.  Onishchenko also banned the import of dried fruit from Tajikistan.


Two deaths resulting from polio have been officially confirmed in Tajikistan, although Russian officials have placed the number as high as 12.


Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service reported n May 29 at least three citizens of Tajikistan, termed "carriers" of polio by Russian health officials, have been deported to Tajikistan since May 26.