Mask mandate lifted: Azerbaijan en route to beat pandemic
The Cabinet of Ministers has recently announced that the mask mandate will be lifted beginning in May.
Citizens have been required to wear masks indoors, on public transportation, and in schools since the beginning of the pandemic. However, the timely measures implemented by the state yielded a positive outcome. Doctors and medical experts have stated numerous times since the invention of vaccines that the high rate of vaccination will undoubtedly lead to the relaxation of restrictions. And that is exactly what occurred.
Today, despite the fact that coronavirus has not yet declined in the world, and the number of infected people in different countries is growing every day, minimal indicators of the spread of the virus are observed in Azerbaijan. Many think that Azerbaijan might be one of the first countries to fight coronavirus completely.
Azerbaijan is an example of a country that contributes to the fight against COVID-19 at the national, regional, and global levels. Since the first day of the pandemic, Azerbaijan's top political leadership has demonstrated a flexible policy in preventing the virus's spread and in the process of obtaining vaccines. The protection of public health is an essential component of state policy. Initially, talks with vaccine manufacturers were held. These negotiations have demonstrated that certain forces are taking advantage of international relations in the vaccination process. President Ilham Aliyev has taken a firm and principled stance on this issue. It should be noted that Azerbaijan's successful anti-COVID policy was also highly regarded by WHO.
It should be noted that Aliyev has also highlighted that Azerbaijan had always supported the WHO’s measures to fight COVID-19.
“The government had taken necessary measures to eliminate the socioeconomic implications caused by the pandemic in Azerbaijan and now the situation in this area is stable,” he said.
The WHO Office with the financial support of the EU has launched a three-year project "Support for COVID-19 vaccination" in order to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in Azerbaijan and strengthen immunization programs, since June 2021.
But that doesn't mean we should abandon the use of masks entirely. The lifting of this ban should not reassure people; on the contrary, we must be cautious at all times and in all places. We must accept responsibility for our own and others' health.
From now on, we must follow existing rules as the pandemic continues and the threat of infection remains. The risk of new dangerous strains forming and spreading remains. There is still an increase in the number of infections and deaths in a number of countries. As a result, it is necessary to maintain vigilance. The virus must not be allowed to resurface. As a result, the use of protective masks in public places remains important.
On February 28, 2020, the country confirmed its first COVID-19 case. On March 25, Azerbaijan implemented a special quarantine regime and implemented a number of measures to combat COVID-19 in the country.
The nationwide vaccination is free and voluntary, and it is in accordance with the "Vaccination Strategy Against COVID-19 in Azerbaijan for 2021-2022."
The country began vaccinating citizens with China's Sinovac on January 18, AstraZeneca's Vaxzevria vaccine on May 3, Russia's Sputnik V on May 18, and Pfizer from the United States on June 7. From May 10, the country began offering COVID-19 vaccination to citizens over the age of 18.
Simultaneously, on August 9, Azerbaijan began issuing vaccination exemption certificates to citizens who have contraindications to coronavirus vaccines approved for use in the country.
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