Mass COVID-19 vaccination begins in Azerbaijan

Published in Health
Monday, 18 January 2021 20:24

BAKU, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- Azerbaijan's senior health officials on Monday took their first inoculations of a vaccine made by Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech, marking the beginning of mass vaccination against COVID-19 in the country, according to state-run news agency AZERTAC.

Azerbaijani Health Minister Ogtay Shiraliyev and his deputies, as well as other health officials, were among the first to be vaccinated by what Shahmar Movsumov, an assistant to the president of Azerbaijan, earlier described as "the most safe and effective vaccine" procured by Azerbaijan.
 
Specialists decided that "the best vaccine for Azerbaijan is the vaccine of the Sinovac company" as it has passed clinical tests in many countries, said Shiraliyev, when addressing the local media after his inoculation in Baku. 
 
The first stage of mass vaccination starting on Jan. 18 will cover health and technical workers at the country's medical institutions, law enforcement staff and servicemen, while people aged over 65 will be vaccinated starting from Feb. 1, according to health authorities.
 
Last week, Azerbaijan's Cabinet of Ministers approved the country's national COVID-19 vaccination strategy for 2021-2022, under which people who get the COVID-19 jab will receive a certificate to show they have been vaccinated.
 
Azerbaijan purchased 4 million doses of Sinovac vaccine, the first batch of which has been recently delivered to the country.
 
Although a strict special quarantine regime remains in effect throughout Azerbaijan until April 1, the authorities lifted major restrictions last weekend due to a drop in the number of infections in recent weeks.
 
According to the country's operational headquarters for COVID-19 prevention and control, Azerbaijan reported on Sunday 322 new cases in the last 24 hours, bringing its total to 227,273. 

Statements Made Today by Prime Minister of Georgia at the Executive Government Meeting

Published in Health
Friday, 15 January 2021 14:24

Irrespective of the fact that we all understand the prudence of measures taken so far, we need to make this decision and retain them till February 1. It was stated by Giorgi Gakharia, Prime Minister of Georgia at the Executive Government Meeting today.

As also noted by him, targeted restrictions resulted in a positively declining trend, though 1500 cases a day is still a high indicator for a country like Georgia.

"Almost a year has passed since we all together started a fight against the pandemic and this process continues both domestically and globally. As of today, we have 1177 cases resulting from the targeted restrictions that were imposed to lead to such a positively declining trend over 2 recent months. Nevertheless, we should all understand that in absolute numbers about 1500 COVID-19 cases a day is still a high number for Georgia. Irrespective of the fact that we all understand the prudence of measures taken so far, we need to make this decision and retain them till February 1. We all see what is happening in Europe. Situation is worsening everywhere. Restrictions are getting tighter elsewhere, though we will extend the current restrictions in the country till February 1 in this case" noted Giorgi Gakharia.

According to the Prime Minister of Georgia, relevant agencies subordinated to the Ministry of Health are actively working with representatives of the real economy and businesses to come up with specific measures and to create a possibility for reopening the economy as early and effectively as possible.

"These are test schemes, matters relating to vaccination and others. The Ministry of Health will be submitting a plan that we worked on together with representatives of real economy and businesses. We will have to slightly adjust our scheme of work for the upcoming phase to make sure that our fight with the epidemic gets successful, enabling us to effectively reopen the economy. We see 3 new priorities in the fight with the pandemic. First one is to adjust the scheme of testing. You may well be aware that the volume of testing has been increased in the country and we should continue doing so. Second and equally important is to maintain targeted restrictions wherever needed, which have served to be effective. Vaccination is of course among our priorities" noted the Prime Minister of Georgia.

According to the Head of Government of Georgia, citizens will have all the quality vaccines that get authorization by the applicable international organizations.

"A lot of nonsense has been rumoured in relation to vaccination and we cannot even guess where these ideas or information come from. Designated Commission is established on matters related to vaccination, which is led by the Ministry of Health. The Commission has several aims and goals to achieve. First one is to address all the issues related to logistics. You may well be aware that different vaccines have different logistic regimes. Also, everything should be prepared for the readiness of the country to launch the actual vaccination. Second one is to define those target groups that will be vaccinated as a priority in the first instance. Third one is to ensure the supply of quality vaccines of international authorisation as early as possible not only through COVAX platform, but through other means as well. First two goals have already been dealt with by the Ministry of Health and a plan exists. They will be submitting it to the Council on Monday and will be endorsed at the upcoming Executive Government Meeting. Thus, no basis exists for any question marks. I once again stress that citizens of Georgia are to receive all those quality vaccines that will be authorised by applicable international organizations" stated Giorgi Gakharia.

In addition, targeted social assistance of citizens continues and applications are being lodged from individuals, who lost jobs in the second wave of the pandemic.

The Prime Minister of Georgia also explained that social allowances will be paid from January 28, 2021.

"It is 1200 GEL for 6 months. I wish to urge every citizen of the country to lodge their applications as soon as possible. As of today, 45 000 such applications have been uploaded to our portal" noted Giorgi Gakharia.

The Cabinet of Ministers of Georgia has ruled to continue helicopter flights to Tusheti. Applicable permission was issued today by the Government to the Ministry of Internal Affairs at the Executive Government Meeting.

"Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia should be given permission to continue helicopter flights to Tusheti. You may well be aware that it has a very important social significance for our citizens living in high terrain regions of the country, especially in winter and especially in Tusheti. Relevant means of mobility should be provided. It has been ensured for years by the Ministry of Internal Affairs with support of the Government and this program continues" noted the Prime Minister of Georgia.

The Head of Government of Georgia also commented on the recent incidents occurring in Buknari village. In the opinion of Giorgi Gakharia, religious diversity is a wealth of the country and authorities are prepared to act in the most decisive manner every time an attempt occurs causing friction between the citizens of Georgia on religious grounds.

"Religious diversity is a historic reality and it is our wealth. We have been building our statehood over centuries. The Government of Georgia has always been and will remain to be a guarantor for each citizen to exercise their human freedoms and rights as promulgated in the Constitution of Georgia. We will never let anyone to limit human freedoms and rights in any form, though will neither allow anyone to provoke a friction between community members on religious grounds with any unlawful action. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia has already been instructed on this matter. The State and Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia will act in the most decisive manner wherever a slight, plain attempt occurs leading to or provoking a friction between community members on religious grounds" concluded the Prime Minister of Georgia.


Press Service of the Government Administration

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