Azerbaijan mulls imposing lockdown on weekends
By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijan might impose a nationwide lockdown during weekends over the spread of COVID-19 in the country, local media reported.
The head of associations for the management of medical territorial units (TABIB), Ramin Bayramli, made a relevant proposal during the briefing of the coronavirus task force under the Cabinet of Ministers on June 3.
"Given the daily increase in the number of infected people, we have proposed to completely ban citizens from going out to the streets at weekends. This decision has been taken in view of the fact that the daily number of coronavirus-infected people has exceeded 200 people recently,” Bayramli stated.
Bayramli noted that the number of recovered patients outnumber that of infected people due to residents’ failure to comply by quarantine requirements.
It is planned to ban citizens from leaving their homes on Saturday and Sundays in Baku, Sumgait, Ganja and Absheron regions, he said.
"The period of restrictions may last for a month, and in case of deterioration of the situation for two months. It is assumed that on weekends the work of all commercial facilities, public transport will be completely suspended and the use of personal transport will be prohibited," said Bayramli.
Moreover, he noted that during the weekends, residents will be required to obtain SMS permits to leave their homes.
He stressed that the terms of the new SMS permit system will be stricter than the previous one imposed on April 4.
“Citizens will be allowed to go out only in connection with their health condition. It is also planned to completely ban public and private transport," he added.
Furthermore, he stated that Prime Minister Ali Asadov will inform the public about the restrictions in details.
"As for the fines, they will remain in force regardless of the restrictions. Any decision, restrictions in any direction will have nothing to do with the fines. All quarantine violators will be fined," Bayramli said.
Ramin Bayramli also noted that after softening the quarantine regime, the operational headquarters did not expect such a sharp surge in the number of infections.
Proposal to regulate work hours
Furthermore, Bayramli said that he has submitted a proposal to the Operational Headquarter under the Cabinet of Ministers to regulate the number of employees coming to work in the morning and evening, to eliminate the density of passenger traffic in public transport.
"We want to appeal to the enterprises to divide their employees into three groups to ensure that they arrive at work at different times. There are relevant proposals. If they are accepted, additional information will be provided tomorrow," Ramin Bayramli said.
Borders to remain closed
In the meantime, Azerbaijan’s borders will remain closed until June 15, press secretary of the Cabinet of Minister Ibrahim Mammadov said while addressing the briefing.
"So far, experts have been making observations. If the situation develops under the current scenario, the opening of borders is not expected. It will be possible to talk about the decision of border opening at the next stage in accordance with the results of observations of experts," he said.
Azerbaijan first introduced special quarantine regime on March 24 and the fourth stage of quarantine regime easing came into force on May 31.
As of June 4, Azerbaijan has registered 6.260 COVID-19 cases and 76 coronavirus- related deaths. The total number of recovered patients is 3.665.
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