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Azerbaijan might extend lockdown in case of surge in COVID-19 infections

16 June 2020 [12:23] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Ayya Lmahamad

Azerbaijan has seen the rise in COVID-19 since the relaxation of nationwide lockdown on May 18. As of June 16, the nation of ten million, has registered 10,324 COVID-19 cases and 122 coronavirus-related deaths. The country introduced weekend lockdown on June 6-7 and another two-day weekend on June 14-15 to curb the spread of the disease.  

The head of working group on infectious diseases under the Azerbaijani Management Union of Medical Territorial Units (TABIB) Vasif Aliyev warned on June 12 that in case of further spike in infection cases, the country may transition from weekend lockdowns to long- term tightened quarantine regime.

Vasif Aliyev said that if citizens fails to comply by social distancing rules, the surge in COVID-19 cases is inevitable.

“If this continues, the two-day tightened quarantine will not work and the infection will increase. The treatment of asymptomatic patients at home, including the transition to a long-term tightened quarantine regime, may become relevant. In Europe and other countries of the world such services were provided to asymptomatic patients,” Aliyev said.

Aliyev noted that the weekend lockdowns will not be helpful if citizens do not wearing face masks during week days.

Furthermore, he said that case of surge in coronavirus cases, asymptomatic patients may have to be treated at home due to shortage of beds in clinics whereas currently all coronavirus patients in Azerbaijan are being treated in hospitals.

“If the disease becomes more widespread in the future and there is a shortage of beds after placing patients in clinics, mildly ill patients will stay at home and district doctors will provide them with outpatient care. The relevant protocols have already been developed and are in the final stage of study,” he added.

“Naturally, the clinical condition of patients who were asymptomatic in the first days may deteriorate later. Therefore, we are in favor of treating asymptomatic patients in hospitals as much as possible to reduce the risk of mortality,” he said.

Furthermore, he touched upon the issue of lack of places in Baku’s pandemic hospitals.

“Taking into account the density of population and expectation of such problems, hospitals of modular type are created. Doctors work 24 hours a day. We are trying to increase the number of places in hospitals and receive patients. In general, the highest percentage of overcrowding is observed in the pandemic hospitals of Baku,” he emphasized.

"We may witness a critical situation not only in Ganja, but also in Baku and other places. Some stay at home, hide the disease, which leads to more serious problems. In this regard, doctors have asked the population in Ganja to stop hiding the presence of the virus. I know many people who hide the infection of family members with coronavirus. And such cases increase the infection rate. If there are many cases of infection, patients with mild form of infection will have to stay home,” Aliyev stressed.

Additionally, he said that the coronavirus test results usually come out after 24 hours, but due to the large number of tests, there may be slight delays.

Aliyev stressed that despite the application of a special quarantine regime, the rules must be followed throughout the week.

“If during the week no masks are used, no social distance is observed, the number of cases of infection will increase again,” he stated.

Likewise, it was stated that if a person does not comply with the requirements of the police during quarantine and poses a threat of infection, he is criminally liable and may be taken to the police station.

As it was already stated the purpose of the special quarantine regime at the end of the week is to minimize contacts and reduce the level of contamination.

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 14-16 a two- day nationwide special quarantine regime were imposed in Baku, Ganja, Lankaran, Sumgayit, Absheron, Yevlakh, Ismailli, Kurdamir and Salyan regions, with the ban for citizens to leave the place of residence.


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