Azerbaijan eases quarantine regime over COVID-19
By Ofeliya Afandiyeva
As of April 27, Azerbaijan has lifted some of the restrictions imposed in the country as part of the special quarantine regime over COVID-19.
The Operational Headquarter under the Cabinet of Ministers said on April 24 that the decision to relax the quarantine regime was made after careful analysis of the sanitary-epidemiological situation, the dynamics and geography of the spread of COVID-19, the density of people in quarantine zones and the incidence of the virus among them.
Thus, as of 27 April, reception of citizens at “ASAN service centers have resumed.
Activities have also been resumed in the following workplaces and service areas: individual teaching and tutoring services (excluding group classes); sale of books; sale of newspapers; sale of stationery; printing and copying activities; photo shops and studios; cleaning services in individual apartments; tailor’s services; sale of cosmetics and perfumes; sale of clothes; sale of shoes and leather goods; sale of gold and other jewelry and pawnshop activities; sale and repair of mobile devices, spare parts and accessories; sale and repair of computer equipment; sale of electronics and home appliances; sale of furniture; sale of automobiles; sale of chemical products; sale of flowers and plants; sale of agricultural machinery, spare parts and equipment; sale of fertilizers and agrochemical products.
Restrictions on the activities in the above-mentioned areas located within shopping centers and malls remain in force.
The movement of persons engaged in activity areas for which restrictions have been lifted shall be allowed after their employer enters information about them into the “icaze.e-gov.az” portal using electronic signature.
The activities of relevant agencies and service areas during the pandemic shall be carried out in accordance with the rules of social and sanitary-epidemiological conduct. The said rules will be prepared by the Task Force under the Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan and disclosed to the public.
In addition, the duration of permits to leave the place of residence on the basis of an SMS message sent to 8103 have been extended from two to three hours.
Citizens must appeal to obtain the permit in the following cases:
● "1" - due to the need for receiving emergency medical care or treatment according to the schedule (permit in the city and the district is issued for 3 hours; in case of need for movement between the districts and cities, the distance between the place of residence and the place to go, and also the duration of the treatment procedure shall be taken into account); the duration of the return is determined by a certificate issued by a doctor, which, if necessary, must be shown to the police officers.
● "2" – in order to leave home due to the need to use services in areas, activities of which are permitted (the permit is issued to leave home for 3 hours once a day).
● "3" - to leave the house due to the participation in a close relative’s funeral.
The Task force stated that the special quarantine regime may be tightened again if necessary depending on the dynamics of the COVID-19 infection.
“In the current situation related to COVID-19, we urge everyone to follow the rules of personal hygiene, take measures of medical prophylaxis, leave home only in case of a serious need, have minimal contact with other people in public places and comply with the existing preventive measures. Since the fight against COVID-19 is a long-term process, it is recommended that preventive measures against the disease become part of everyone's lifestyle, the task force noted,” the Cabinet of Ministers appealed to the residents.
In the meantime, the Main State Traffic Police Department of the Ministry of Interior (MSTP), reported on April 28 that 967 people traveling by road, were brought to administrative responsibility under Article 211 for violation of the quarantine regime during in the period between April 27 to April 28.
”In general, from 01.04.2020 until today, 4,2371 road users were brought to administrative responsibility for violation of the quarantine regime in the country, including Baku,” MSTP added.
So far, Azerbaijan has registered 1,678 coronavirus-positive patients, of whom 1,162 have recovered. The country’s coronavirus death toll is 22 and 494 people are being treated in special hospitals.
The condition of 17 patients out of these 494 is assessed as severe, 26 people are in moderately severe condition, and the rest feel normal.
Some 128,807 tests have been carried out in the country so far.
Azerbaijan first introduced special quarantine regime on March 24, which banned gatherings of more than 10 people as well as all intercity and inter-district transportation. On April 5, the country further tightened the quarantine regime to stop the spread of the virus. The new restrictions effective till April 20, required residents to give advance notice before leaving their place of residence via free SMS.
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