By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijani presidential aide Hikmat Hajiyev has hailed Azerbaijan’s fight against COVID-19, saying that the situation around the pandemic is under control.
“Most of the actions taken by Azerbaijan have been preventive, rather than post-factum and the measures, including quarantine, have been effective. The epidemiological situation is largely under control,” Hajiyev told EURACTIV.
Hajiyev said that the country has 24 testing laboratories and some 7,000 tests are conducted on a daily basis.
Regarding the socio-economic difficulties resulting from COVID-19, Hajiyev reminded that the government had mobilized an economic package of almost 3 billion manat (€1.62 billion) to alleviate the situation of the public and private sector.
He stated that compared to other countries Azerbaijan has low mortality rate from coronavirus.
Furthermore, Hajiyev said that Azerbaijan takes leading positions in combating the COVID-19 virus.
“Upon President Ilham Aliyev’s initiative, two prestigious summit meetings were held in a very short period of time - online meetings of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-speaking States and the Non-Aligned Movement on April 10 and May 4 respectively. All these are Azerbaijan’s contribution to global solidarity and cooperation,” he said in address to the briefing of the Task Forces under the Cabinet of Ministers on May 12.
He reminded that in a letter to Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, WHO chief Tedros Ghebreyesus called the measures taken by Azerbaijan exemplary.
The presidential aide also spoke about Azerbaijan’s humanitarian diplomacy amid COVID-19, reminding that Azerbaijan has provided material and humanitarian assistance to a number of countries in the fight against coronavirus, and this assistance continues.
Over the past period, humanitarian aid has been provided to China, Iran, Italy, Hungary, Uzbekistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Moldova. Moreover, Azerbaijan has allocated $10 million to the World Health Organization, Hajiyev said.
Repatriation of citizens
Hikmat Hajiyev noted that all measures are being taken to repatriate citizens from abroad, adding that this process will be done in accordance with a special schedule.
"Azerbaijani citizens staying abroad will be airlifted via special charter flights from May 18 through May 31… These flights will be carried out both from the CIS countries and from the European countries. In general, about 20,000 Azerbaijani citizens have returned so far,” Hajiyev said.
He noted that the citizens registered on the portal “I am going home” were airlifted by plane from Moscow to Azerbaijan, 94 citizens of Azerbaijan were repartirated from Iran on May 5. Furthermore, on May 7, 212 citizens were airlifted to Azerbaijan by two charter flights from Istanbul, 50 citizens from Tashkent and 52 citizens from Riga on May 8. On May 12, Azerbaijani students were airlifted to Azerbaijan by charter flight from Moscow, as well as 124 people from Minsk. On May 14, 198 people will be airlifted from Kiev to Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan first introduced special quarantine regime on March 24 and since April 5, residents are required to obtain SMS permits to leave their homes.
Azerbaijan has registered 2,758 COVID-19 cases and 35 coronavirus- related deaths so far. The total number of recovered patients is 1,789.
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