17 January 2022

Monday, 04:59



The spread of COVID-19 breaks new records around the world and in Azerbaijan



The second wave and the second war. The fight against coronavirus is ongoing even more intensively than ever. After a relative calm in July-September, when unprecedented restrictive measures were introduced in Azerbaijan and most countries of the world, the curve of cases began to creep dangerously upward by mid-late October and soon exceeded the peak spring-summer indicators several times. However, experts predicted such a course of events. An anti-record for the number of coronavirus cases was set in Azerbaijan on October 30 with 1,022 new patients. As of today, this brings the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection to 54,174.

As a result, the government of Azerbaijan extended the period of a special lockdown regime in the country until 06:00 on December 1. The analysis of the current sanitary and epidemiological situation in the country showed that recently a high incidence rate was detected in the city of Lankaran, as well as in the Jalilabad and Masalli districts of Azerbaijan. Therefore, starting from 00:00 on October 29, entry and exit to the city of Lankaran and to the districts of Jalilabad and Masalli were suspended, with the exception of operational and special vehicles, as well as trucks. And in the cities of Baku, Sumgayit, Ganja, Yevlakh, Mingachevir, Sheki, Shirvan and Lankaran, as well as in many districts, before the expiration of the quarantine regime, the operation of public transport was stopped on weekends from 00:00 Saturday till 06:00 Monday. The current special lockdown regime in Azerbaijan expires on November 2 at 06:00. It is planned that distant classes in all educational institutions of the country, which were closed due to the pandemic, will begin on November 2.


Fighting by the law

Due to the spread of COVID-19, the Deputy Director of the Republican Center for Hygiene and Epidemiology of the Ministry of Health, Vagif Abdullayev, provided the media with information about the fight against the virus. The specialist noted that the situation is complicated by the fact that COVID-19, in terms of virological, epidemiological, immunological, clinical, pathogenetic and other aspects, is not fully understood. According to Mr. Abdullayev, measures to combat coronavirus in Azerbaijan are carried out taking into account the requirements of the Law of Azerbaijan On Sanitary and Epidemiological Welfare using the modern methods of organizing complex anti-epidemic measures.

Thus, the initial registration of cases, the provision of information about them to all levels of management, as well as the collection of data are carried out through an electronic system that fully complies with WHO recommendations. As soon as the centers of hygiene and epidemiology operating in the cities and regions of the country receive information about each positive test result, they immediately begin to carry out the necessary research and organize anti-epidemic measures. After identifying the source of the viruses, the patient and persons in contact are isolated. Effective measures are taken to disinfect and eradicate viruses in the epicentre of the disease, as well as in populated areas. The expert noted that the measures taken jointly with the medical services of local executive authorities and all ministries of the country, the State Agency for Compulsory Medical Insurance and the Food Safety Agency in order to prevent the spread of infection in medical and educational institutions, as well as in the service and catering sectors, hotels and tourist sites play an instrumental role in this case. At the same time, Mr. Abdullayev underlined the importance of expanding the powers of the Ministry of Health in cases of administrative offenses during the quarantine regime, as well as the approval of numerous documents to control sanitary-epidemiological and quarantine rules.

What about the vaccine? The head of the department of the Association for Management of Territorial Medical Units of Azerbaijan (TƏBİB), Yagut Garayeva, said that the authorities consider purchasing the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine if it is approved by WHO.

But for now, the citizens of Azerbaijan are most interested to know whether the authorities introduce a system of SMS-permits to leave the house, as it was during the first wave of the outbreak. And what impact could new restrictive measures have on business? The head of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA) Elman Rustamov said that local entrepreneurs will face another round of complications and restrictions associated with their businesses. Rustamov noted that the CBA does not rule out new measures to provide loan support to entrepreneurs and sectors affected by the coronavirus pandemic. He recalled that CBA has extended until the end of 2020 support for entrepreneurs, originally planned until the end of September.


Situation worldwide

According to the updated Worldometer data, as of October 30, the number of cases in the world reached 45,471,123. The number of deaths reached 1,188,203, recovered - 33,061,767. The United States recorded the largest number of cases and deaths: 9,148,462 and 233,565, respectively.

It is followed by India (871,189 infected), Brazil (5,474,840), Russia (1,581,693), France (1,235,132), Spain (1,194,681), Argentina (1,130,533), Colombia (141,935), Great Britain (965,340), Mexico (906,863) and Peru (894,928).

A dangerous situation with coronavirus is observed in Georgia. As of the morning of October 29, the Georgian government website StopCov reported that 37,263 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus since the start of the pandemic in Georgia. The situation has worsened in Georgia since the beginning of September when the daily increase rate of cases was expressed in a four-digit numbers and is approaching two thousand. Nevertheless, the Georgian government does not intend to declare a state of emergency in the country and impose excessive restrictions. Although the country has tightened control over compliance with the already established security measures. The population is urged to wear masks even on the street. In Georgia, as in Azerbaijan, there are still restrictions on international land, sea and air communications, and the borders are closed. In Armenia, the daily increase rate of the COVIDE-19 cases is over 2,000 people with the total number of the infected exceeding 85,000 as of October 29.


Under control

In many countries, the authorities announce new restrictions, such as curfews, closing restaurants, distant work and learning.

French President Emmanuel Macron announced a new self-isolation regime. All entertainment facilities are closed, and mass events are canceled up until December 1. Macron promised support to the closed organisations, that is 10,000 euros per month. The remote work format was introduced wherever possible. Mandatory COVID testing has been introduced for all French people returning from abroad.

Austrian authorities prohibited the gathering of more than six people in closed premises since October 23. Restrictions include restaurants, sports activities, anniversary and wedding parties. Groups of more than 12 people cannot gather on the streets.

In Belgium, all bars are closed and a curfew is effective from midnight to 5:00. The restrictions cover the next month. In Brussels, everyone is required to wear masks. All cultural and sports facilities must be closed. Shops are open until 20:00.

In Norway, all foreign workers must remain in quarantine for ten days since October 31st. No more than five people can gather at private parties in apartments. The number of participants in major events was reduced to 50.

Nightclubs in Switzerland have been closed since October 29. Bars and restaurants will be open until 23:00. It is prohibited to hold mass events (sports and cultural) involving more than 50 people, and the number of participants in family celebrations is limited to ten. At the same time, Switzerland has excluded Russia from the list of ‘quarantined’ countries, but tourist trips to the country are still banned. The list also includes Andorra, Armenia, Belgium and the Czech Republic, as well as some regions of France.

In Israel, new quarantine measures were introduced back in September to be cancelled a month later. People can get together again: indoors - up to 10 people, outdoors - up to 20. Kindergartens resume operation, parks and beaches are open, cafes and restaurants work for takeaways, you can travel more than 1 km from the house.

The UK has introduced a grading system according to the situation in each administrative unit. There are three levels of danger: medium, high, or highest. The most severe restrictions have so far been imposed in Liverpool with pubs closed and local authorities allowed to close gyms and casinos if necessary. Throughout the country, gathering of more than six people is prohibited.

Ireland was the first in the EU to resume the lockdown. You can travel no more than 5 km away from the house, otherwise you face a fine of up to 500 euros. The operation of catering facilities and bars is limited to take-away sales.

In Italy, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte handed over the possibility of introducing strict quarantine measures to the mayors of cities, but he also introduced a number of nationwide restrictions. Bars without seating close at 18:00, restaurants - until midnight. All amateur sports competitions in contact sports have been suspended. Primary schools continue operations, high school students study in several shifts, and universities have completely switched to distant learning. The authorities of Lazio imposed a curfew since October 23. It is also prohibited to go out at night. Similar measures have been introduced in the regions of Lombardy and Campania.

On October 25, the Spanish authorities declared a state of emergency. A nationwide curfew has been imposed, and borders between regions are closed. It is prohibited to gather in groups of more than six people. Prior to that, bars and restaurants in Madrid could work until 22:00. In Catalonia, all bars and restaurants are closed, as they could only provide takeaway services. Fitness clubs and concert venues can work, but the number of visitors should not exceed half.

Quarantine in Argentina was introduced on March 20. Since then, it has been renewed several times. In mid-October, the authorities resumed domestic air travel, as well as bus services. But in order to use transport, you need to have a special permit. Also, passengers must activate a special mobile application on their smartphones.

Most Brazilian states still have restrictions but they are no longer applied. So, for example, in Rio de Janeiro it is forbidden to sunbathe on the beaches, but the coast is filled with vacationers.

It is assumed that the country where the pandemic will end earlier is Sweden. Very soon, the immune layer of the country will reach 60-70% necessary to end the coronavirus pandemic, because Sweden has not introduced aggressive measures to counter the virus so far.

Experts note that there are indeed many identified cases of coronavirus in Sweden, but the number of deaths is minimal. As of October 30, 2020, 121,167 cases of infection were recorded in the country, while the total number of recorded deaths was 5,934 (4.90%).

Now all countries are trying to minimize the economic consequences of restrictive measures. It is important however not to repeat the mistakes made in the spring. One thing is clear: over the past six months, the world has more or less got used to living side by side with COVID-19, reading and hearing about it in news reports every day. Now we make plans for the future putting the virus on the new coordinate system as an element of the already existing new world order.