By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijan has registered the SARS-CoV-2 Delta strain (B.1.617) in 31 people arriving in the country, the Health Ministry told local media on July 13.
Nine cases of Alpha strain (B.1.1.7) have also been detected in the country.
The ministry said that as part of measures taken to control the epidemiological situation in Azerbaijan, the Genetic Diagnosis Center of the National Hematology and Transfusion Center regularly studies genetic variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, adding that new strains resulting from coronavirus mutations are of great concern worldwide.
Noting that the coronavirus pandemic, along with health problems, also created serious social and economic problems around the world, the ministry underlined that Azerbaijan is at the forefront in terms of the measures taken against COVID-19, the process of organizing and studying the effectiveness of vaccination.
Moreover, the ministry emphasized that analysis of the results' studies conducted in the world and in Azerbaijan has shown that vaccination is the most effective way to protects against new and rapidly spreading variants of the virus.
"The current epidemiological situation in the country is stable thanks to vaccination. We again call on all our citizens to get vaccinated without delay," the ministry underlined.
Azerbaijan confirmed its first COVID-19 case on February 28, 2020.
The vaccination process in the country started on January 18 with the use of China's Sinovac vaccine. Later, Azerbaijan started vaccinating citizens using the Vaxzevria vaccine produced by AstraZeneca on May 3, Russia’s Sputnik V on May 18 and US-produced Pfizer on June 7. The country started offering COVID-19 vaccination to citizens aged over 18 from May 10.
The nationwide vaccination is free and on a voluntary basis and is in line with the “Strategy of vaccination against COVID-19 in Azerbaijan for 2021-2022”.
Azerbaijan has registered 337,456 COVID-19 cases so far. Some 4,159,298 COVID-19 vaccines have been provided to the citizens to this date. The first dose of the vaccine was given to 2,494,551 citizens, and the second one to 1,664,747 citizens.
It should be noted that Azerbaijan ranks second among the CIS countries for the number of vaccinated citizens per capita.
Additionally, the government allocated $1.1bn from the 2020 budget to fight the coronavirus infection.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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