By Ofeliya Afandiyeva
Azerbaijan and Turkey have agreed to temporarily close the border and suspend air and land travel in a bid to fight the spread of novel COVID-19 pandemic, the official website of the Azerbaijani president reported on March 14.
Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made the relevant decision during a telephone conversation on March 14. The ban entered into force at midnight on March 15.
The heads of the two states exchanged information on the measures taken by the two countries to combat coronavirus infection.
Furthermore, they hailed the successful development of brotherly and friendly relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey.
Earlier, Azerbaijan closed its borders with southern neighbour Iran that has been one of the epicenters of coronavirus.
In addition, operations of all means of transport between Azerbaijan and Georgia were suspended at midnight on March 14. Temporary restrictions on buses travelling to Georgia have also been introduced. Currently, a corridor for return of the citizens of their countries has been created at the border.
Thus, Azerbaijan’s only open border is with Russia.
It should be noted that the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry issued a travel warning to its citizens on March 15.
“Taking into account that COVID-19 infection is widespread in the world and urgent measures are being taken in this regard on a global scale, including the declared state of emergency in some countries, we strongly recommend the Azerbaijani citizens to refrain from foreign visits and carry out these visits only in cases of urgent need,” the ministry said.
The ministry also said that mutual visits between Azerbaijan and other countries with air and land routes are temporarily suspended. “Information on the mechanisms of our citizens’ who are abroad and want to return to Azerbaijan will be brought to their attention. Our citizens returning from the countries where COVID-19 infection is spread will be examined and, if necessary, will be kept in quarantine for 14-28 days.”
In addition, Azerbaijani Airlines temporarily suspended flights to a number of cities starting from March 15, as the World Health Organization (WHO) declared coronavirus pandemic.
Note that, the Operational Headquarters under the Azerbaijani Cabinet of Ministers is conducting the measures on social isolation that have been applied in the country from 00:00 (GMT+4) on March 14.
Azerbaijan has 19 coronavirus cases according to the latest data by WHO. Six people have recovered form the disease, according to the Operational Headquarters under the Azerbaijani Ministry of Health.
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