Azerbaijan extends lockdown, imposes two-day curfew over COVID-19
By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijan has extended until July 1 the special quarantine regime in the country, the coronavirus task force under the Cabinet of Ministers said in a briefing on June 9.
The task force also announced that a two-day nationwide quarantine regime will be imposed in Baku, Ganja, Lankaran, Sumgayit, Absheron, Yevlakh, Ismailli, Kurdamir and Salyan regions from 00:00 on June 14 to 06:00 on June 16.
The decision to impose strict lockdown was made taking into account the number of infected people and the dynamics of the disease in the country.
Under the new lockdown rule, citizens are banned to leave their place of residents unless there is immediate danger of life and health (emergency care will be provided by ambulance crews) and in order to attend the funeral of a close relative.
Work in all spheres of service and trade as well as the movement of vehicles will be suspended except for special vehicles of special purpose, emergency recovery, ambulance and authorized bodies (institutions) and the movement of official vehicles of organizations.
The difference between upcoming lockdown and the one that was in force on June 6-7 is that now dog owners are allowed to walk pets during lockdown without the need of obtaining a permit. Moreover, this time residents with a work permit are allowed to go to work by using their private cars, whereas during the previous lockdown they could only go there by service car, bicycle or by foot.
It was noted during the briefing that in accordance with the current sanitary-epidemiological situation, people over 65 are strongly advised not to leave their places of residence and location without an emergency.
Furthermore, it was stated that unlike the weekend lockdown imposed on June 6-7, there will be no shortened working day in state structures this Friday, and some institutions will be working on Saturday on their normal working basis.
The head of associations for the management of medical territorial units (TABIB) Ramin Bayramli said at the briefing that the increase in number of coronavirus infected people, especially among the youth, is a cause for concern.
"The number of patients in serious condition has also increased. From May 18 to 24, 848 new cases of infection were detected. In the following week, 1,372 new cases of coronavirus infection were registered. At that time, the number of infections exceeded the number of cured cases," Bayramli said.
According to him, cases of coronavirus infection have also been registered in government bodies (institutions).
“Nineteen employees of the Presidential Administration, seven employees of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection and five employees of the Ministry of Emergency Situations were infected with the coronavirus,” he stated.
It was also noted during the briefing that it may be decided to treat asymptomatic patients with coronavirus at home.
"So far, all coronavirus patients have been treated in hospitals. Lately, more information will be provided in connection with the treatment of asymptomatic patients at home. We are concerned that such patients may get out of control and infect other people. That's why they will have to sign a special receipt," Bayramli said.
Additionally, press secretary of the Cabinet of Ministers Ibrahim Mammadov said during the briefing that around AZN 113 million ($66M) have been collected in Azerbaijan’s Fund to Support Fight against Coronavirus.
"In case of necessity, the funds may be spent under supervision of the Council for Public Control of Azerbaijan’s Fund to Support Fight against Coronavirus. But so far, there is no need for that. The government covers all expenses. Therefore, these funds remain untouched,” Mammadov added.
Furthermore, Ramin Bayramli stressed that if people do not show solidarity in the fight against infection, and ignore using medical protection means in public places, as well as maintaining social distance, it could lead to even more serious consequences.
Azerbaijan first introduced special quarantine regime on March 24 and the fourth stage of quarantine regime easing came into force on May 31.
On June 4, Azerbaijani Cabinet of Ministers announced the decision to impose a weekend lockdown on June 6-7, saying that weekend lockdowns may last for up to two months.
The movement of people working in authorized work, service and transport areas will be allowed by the employer after entering information about these persons on the portal "icaze.e-gov.az" using an electronic signature.
In order to leave the place of residence or location on the basis specified in decision, each person must get permission by calling "102" of the Duty Part Management Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
As of June 10, Azerbaijan has registered 8,191 COVID-19 cases and 98 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of recovered patients is 4,606.
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