Malaysia’s Petronas has shut its headquarters in the Turkmenistan capital of Ashgabat after more than 10 of its employees tested positive for Covid-19 infection, according to Turkmen reports.

The company has recorded a further six cases of infection in the Caspian Sea coastal base of Kiyanly after which it announced quarantine measures and closed the base for entry and exit.

Chinese state giant China National Petroleum Corporation has also closed its Ashgabat office and the gas processing plant in Lebap province in the north-east of Turkmenistan. Workers are not allowed to leave the plant until September due to quarantine measures.

Officially Turkmenistan in free of Covid-19 infection, President Gurbangulu Berdymukhammedov has insisted.

The authoritarian leader's government has agree to put some measures in place — such as the wearing of face masks in public places and social distancing — but only as preventative measures.

Also, some shopping areas and bazaars have been closed and in-country train services stopped.