An Azerbaijani doctor is seen in the red line of a local hospital treating coronavirus infected patients in the capital city of Baku.

Source: Getty Images

Caption: An Azerbaijani doctor is seen in the red line of a local hospital treating coronavirus infected patients in the capital city of Baku.

Azerbaijan's weekend lockdown failed to decrease infection rate

The Management Union of Medical Territorial Units in Azerbaijan (TABIB) has stated that the weekend lockdown recently initiated by the government to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus was not helpful, as the infection rate continues to grow.

"I regret to say that we were not able to achieve the desired goal over the last two weekend lockdowns. We were not able to gain the wanted result, and instead the opposite happened,” Yagut Garayeva, head of the public insitute’s department for disease prevention and control, said at a press conference held by the Operational Headquarters under the Cabinet of Ministers on 20 June.

Garayeva added that any citizen might be a source of infection and therefore, a reduction of social activity and gatherings is urgently needed.

TABIB’s remarks came a day after a special quarantine regime was extended with the approval of Prime Minister Ali Asadov on 19 June. Under the prime minister’s decision, some cities and regions were also included into a "strict" quarantine regime that will last until 6 a.m. of the 5 July.

This "strict" quarantine regime has been applied to the larger cities: Baku, Ganja, Sumgayit, Lankaran, Yevlakh, Jalilabad, Masalli and the Absheron peninsula.

The previous procedure of obtaining permission via SMS to leave one's household has been restored as part of this "strict" quarantine regime.

Large shopping centers, catering facilities, museums and exhibition halls located in these cities will be closed for two weeks.

The prohibition also apply to beauty salons and cosmetic services (including the services in the client's household or elsewhere in these cities).

Grocery stores and pharmacies will remain open.

The first coronavirus infection case was registered in Azerbaijan on 28 February. The special quarantine regime, which came into force on 24 March, was extended until 31 May. Since 4 May, restrictions were eased, but some restrictions were to remain in place until 15 June.

During this period there was a sharp increase in the infection rate, and the number of cases exceeded 11,000. Weekend lockdowns were imposed beginning at the end of May to stem the swell.

The country has nevertheless seen a steep resurgence since the beginning of June, with infections rising nearly 64 per cent in the last twenty days.

On Sunday, another 491 people were infected with coronavirus in Azerbaijan, raising the total number to 12,729.

So far, 6,799 of them have been treated and released from the hospitals.

The Operational Headquarters under the Cabinet of Ministers said that six people who tested positive for COVID-19 died, raising the death toll to 154 in the country.

The restrictions as part of the special quarantine regime in Azerbaijan have now extended until 1 August.

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