Azerbaijan tightens quarantine regime amid surge in COVID-19 cases
By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijan has extended until January 31 nationwide quarantine regime in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the Operational Headquarters under the Cabinet of Ministers has reported.
Due to the heightened infection cases, the authorities have also tightened the quarantine regime until January 18.
A strict special quarantine regime will be in force throughout the country from December 14 midnight till January 18 midnight and will involve SMS permit system for the movement of the citizens and the closure of most work places.
Under the new lockdown rules, the entrance and exit to Baku, Sumgait, Mingechevir, Shirvan, Absheron district, as well as Lankaran, Masalli, Jalilabad, Sheki, Zagatala, Guba, Khachmaz, Yevlakh, Barda, Bilasuvar and Ismailli will be closed.
Work and services in all spheres, except those defined by the corresponding decision of the Cabinet of Minister, will be suspended. All retail outlets, public catering enterprises, including restaurants, cafes and tea shops are allowed only to provide customers with delivery and online services.
Residents of Baku, Sumgait, Ganja, Mingachevir, Shirvan and Absheron regions, as well as in Lankaran, Masalli, Jalilabad, Sheki, Zagatala, Guba, Khachmaz, Yevlakh, Barda, Bilasuvar and Ismailli region centers will have to obtain SMS permit for leaving their homes, by registering on the portal "icaze.e-gov.az" on the basis of a service card of a certificate of employment will be in force.
People are allowed to leave their homes for three reasons: To visit the doctor (permission for 3 hours within the district and city), to visit a pharmacy, shop, bank, or post office (permission is issued once a day for 3 hours), or to attend the funeral of a relative (permission must be obtained through the Call Center 102 of the Duty Subdivision Management Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs).
Moreover, those having tickets for international and domestic flights are allowed to leave their place of residence on the basis of their tickets, and those entering the country across the state border are allowed to enter their place of residence on the basis of a stamp in their passport.
Passenger traffic in the Baku Metro will continue to be restricted until January 31, while the work of all public transport will remain suspended on weekends until January 31.
Additionally, one-time financial aid in the amount of AZN 190 will be paid to about 600,000 low-income citizens due to the strict quarantine regime between December 14 and January 18.
Recipient of the aid will be the same people identified during the previous tightened quarantine regime. At the same time, it is planned to provide assistance to entrepreneurs working in the affected areas.
Azerbaijan confirmed its first COVID-19 case on February 28 and introduced a special quarantine regime on March 25.
As of December 8, Azerbaijan, the nation of 10 million, has registered 154,152 COVID-19 cases and 1,713 coronavirus-related deaths.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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