The Republic of Azerbaijan is a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia, with a population of more than 10 million people. Like all countries around the world, the Azerbaijani State fighting with COVID-19 to ensure the health and security of Azerbaijanis. But the Caucasian country chooses a very effective way of dealing with corona virus. As a result, Azerbaijan has very low mortality rate from coronavirus compared to other countries and the epidemiological situation is largely under control. As on June 3, Azerbaijan has registered 6260 cases and 76 deaths so far. The total number of recovered patients is 3665.
The Government of Azerbaijan has implemented strict rules requiring people to stay inside, also a prohibition on public gatherings of more than 10 individuals. Movement of the people in the capital Baku and other major cities used to be allowed through a special SMS permission system till May 18. To prevent mass infection, Azerbaijan currently closed all borders with Russia, Georgia and its exclave with Turkey. Flights into and out of Azerbaijan are no longer available.
On March 28, President Ilham Aliyev and first Lady Mehriban Aliyeva have attended the inaguration of “Yeni Klinika”, a 575 bed medical institution that employs more than 1500 doctors & medical personnel.After that, Azerbaijani state opened a face mask and protective coveralls plant, which have daily production capacity of 140,000 disposable masks and 6,000 disposable protective coveralls. The government planned to build 10 such hospitals and four will reportedly open by mid-June. Today Over 20 state-owned hospitals serving COVID-19 patients in Azerbaijan. 24 testing laboratories and some 7,000 tests are conducted on a daily basis.
Regarding the socio-economic difficulties resulting from COVID-19, the government had mobilized an economic package of almost 3 billion manat ($1.76 billion). President Ilham Aliyev donated his annual salary to the Corona virus Response Fund. In another Order, the head of state allocated 20 million manats from the President`s Contingency Fund to fight COVID-19. First lady Mehriban Aliyeva also donated her annual salary to the Fund to Support Fight against Coronavirus.
Most of the actions taken by the Republic of Azerbaijan have been preventive, rather than post-factum. As a result steps taken by the Azerbaijani State welcomed by the World Health Organization. Recently WHO chief Tedros Ghebreyesus send a letter to Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev, called the measures taken by Azerbaijan exemplary. President Ilham Aliyev said to the press, ‘The Caspian country has succeeded in the first stage of this battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.” Azerbaijan has allocated $10 million to the World Health Organization & already donated $5 million to support its efforts to fight the pandemics. The country also earmarks an additional 5 million US dollars to support the member countries of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).
The Azerbaijani State also implemented relevant measures to strengthen social protection and improve living standards. The State provided a financial support as a lump-sum payment of 190 mantas - 66.5 million mantas in total to low-income people. All relevant steps were taken by the Azerbaijani State for the evacuation of compatriots who sought help to return back home. The State Committee on Work with Diaspora used every possible mean to provide educational, informational, financial & evacuation support to Azerbaijanis abroad.
11 Coordination Councils covering 27 countries and 11 Azerbaijani Houses in various countries operated 24 hours a day. Azerbaijani citizens who were abroad and could not return to the country due to corona virus received all the necessary support. The Azerbaijani State regularly and systematically communicated with compatriots living abroad through the diplomatic missions.
A support campaign was held for Azerbaijanis living abroad and facing temporary difficulties due to the corona virus pandemic. Within the framework of this campaign and with the support of Azerbaijani Diaspora the low-income families inIgdir, Turkey, Moscow, Russia were provided with food, legal and financial assistance, medical supplies.
During the COVID-19 lockdown over 5,100 Azerbaijani citizens from 47 countries have appealed to the Azerbaijani State in connection with corona virus. The State Committee's hotline received all appeals within 24 hours and directed them accordingly.
Writer: Marzia Hashmi Momo
BDST: 1405 HRS, JUN 09, 2020