By Aisha Jabbarova
Azerbaijan is ready to share its experience in fight against COVID-19 with other countries, Presidential Aide Hikmat Hajiyev has said.
Addressing the international webinar on "Geopolitics of the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccination” held on February 15, Hajiyev said that Azerbaijan not only actively fights against the coronavirus inside the country, but also makes an important contribution to this sphere at the global level.
Speaking about Azerbaijan’s efforts to fight COVID-19 in international level, Hajiyev reminded that President Ilham Aliyev put forward the initiative to convene a special session on COVID-19 of the UN General Assembly last year and this initiative was supported by the international community.
“Today Azerbaijan continues to support this sphere at the global level,” assistant of the president said.
Furthermore, the senior official said that Azerbaijan has sought to adapt to new reality since the outbreak of pandemic by adopting recommendations of WHO that served as the country’s important partner during this period.
Hajiyev also spoke about lack of joint global and international response to the pandemic when COVID started.
“There of course were local responses but not international ones. Unfortunately there were no UN-wide discussions initiatives and seeing the lack of these initiatives we initiated several meeting to join forces within the NAM.”
He noted that vaccination process, which can be considered as a next stage of fight against COVID-19, has started in Azerbaijan adding that he himself has been vaccinated and feels fine.
He reminded that at the initial stage, people from the risk group are being vaccinated and the world experience is being taken into account during this process.
Touching upon the global vaccination process, Hajiyev reminded that some wealthy countries buy vaccines by twofold more than required.
“Unfortunately, such actions limit the ability of poor countries to purchase vaccines. It is also necessary to ensure access to the vaccine for poor countries. We can overcome this scourge by strengthening cooperation among all UN countries," he said.
Azerbaijan started vaccinating its citizens against COVID-19, using a vaccine developed by China's Sinovac, as of January 18. At the first stage, the vaccination process started with medical workers. The next stage of COVID-19 vaccination for citizens over 65 years old started on February 8. In addition, on February 12, the country started vaccinating police officers.
Azerbaijan has ordered 4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine. The government issues COVID-19 passports for citizens who have been vaccinated.
It should be noted that Azerbaijan allocated over AZN 1.9 billion ($1.1bn) from its state budget to fight the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
The country confirmed its first COVID-19 case on February 28. The country introduced a special quarantine regime on March 25 and has taken a number of measures to fight COVID-19 in the country.