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26/March/2020   COVID-19

How does Uzbekistan respond to coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak


As of March 26, 2020 the world counts over 470 thousand COVID-19 infected people. That numbers comes from 175 countries and regions, including Uzbekistan.

The first coronavirus infection in Uzbekistan has been detected on March 15 from a citizen who returned from France. The same day, the Prime-Minister of Uzbekistan Abdulla Aripov who leads the Special Republican Commission for preventing the spread of coronavirus hosted a press-conference on the actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

As a first step, the government shut down kinder gardens, schools and higher educational institutions for quarantine and introduced online lessons that are currently being broadcasted via National Television.

Follow that, Uzbekistan suspended all air flights and road-transportation with foreign countries. The country has also cancelled all major celebrations, including Navruz and asked citizens to abstain from hosting large events like weddings, parties and religious gatherings.

Meanwhile, no emergency situation status has been announced in Uzbekistan.

Although the country closed its borders, the government decided to arrange charter flights for citizens who expressed willingness to return back. Upon their arrival all of them are bring placed to a 14-day long quarantine zone outside Tashkent.

On March 18, the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev during the meeting with officials delivered the address to the people, calling for unity and perseverance free of panic. He also reassured country’s readiness to combat the spread of infectious disease and plans to build three hospitals for COVID-19 infected people.

The following day the President unleashed a decree that foresees the establishment of Anti-Crisis Fund with the budget amounting 10 trillion soums (roughly 1,6 billion dollars) to be streamlined to combat coronavirus.

Besides, the decree foresaw financial incentives for entrepreneurs and citizens struggling to make their living.

Later, on March 21, Tashkent city has terminated all public transportation aiming to cut the spread of virus. On that particular day, the number of infected rose to 42 people. Two days later, Uzbekistan obligated all citizens to wear a sanitary mask while staying in public and work.

Over the weekend, following government’s recommendation to stay home, local news outlets along with bloggers kicked-off a campaign by changing their profile picture that stated: “Stay Home”. That was also a support of Uzbekistani doctors who joined a worldwide awareness-raising challenge.

As number of infected grew slowly, national airways company Uzbekistan Airways stopped all internal flights. Non-food product outlets and shopping malls were also shut down. Meanwhile, the number of infected grew to 50.

To further fortify measured in combatting the spread of COVID-19, Uzbekistan terminated the call for military service and allowed businesses to receive a force-majeure circumstance status.

On March 25, following President’s decree the government informed that it aims to construct one out of several hospitals for COVID-19 infected within 5 days. The hospital will be able to host 10 thousand people at once.

As of March 26, 65 cases of COVID-19 infection registered in Uzbekistan.

 

"Dunyo" IA

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