Azerbaijan is a model of success in battling coronavirus: OPINION
The Jerusalem Post has published an article titled “Azerbaijan is a model of success in battling coronavirus.”
The coronavirus pandemic has hammered home one truth: It is not always size or economic potential that matters most in handling a crisis, but swift and timely action. In this sense, in spite of being a relatively small country, Azerbaijan’s fight with COVID-19 has so far been successful and effective. The unseen enemy snuck unnoticed into landlocked Azerbaijan. Today, Israel’s reliable partner and ally in Eurasia, Azerbaijan, is a strong, independent state and a leader of geopolitical and geo-economic processes in the South Caucasus region, engaged in various cooperative projects that contribute to peace, stability and prosperity in the region and beyond. In other words, Azerbaijan today is an exporter of security and stability. Moreover, the country directly supports the efforts of the international community to prevent modern-day threats.
The assistant to the president of Azerbaijan, and head of the Department of Foreign Policy Affairs Hikmat Hajiyev told The Jerusalem Post, “The pandemic had not only created serious health problems that endanger people’s lives, but also created devastating global socioeconomic and humanitarian threats, the negative consequences of which will be felt for a long time. In the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic that are comparable to World War II, there is a greater need for global solidarity and global vision than for measures of self-isolation and fragmentary events.”At the initiative of Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev as chairperson of the Non-Aligned Movement, an online summit of the Non-Aligned Movement Contact Group was held on May 4 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was attended not only by members of the Non-Aligned Movement, but also by the UN secretary-general, the president of the un general assembly, the director-general of the World Health Organization, senior representatives of international organizations such as the African Union and the European Union. The Non-Aligned Movement brings together 120 countries and is the second largest political institution in the world after the United Nations.
As an example of global solidarity, President Aliyev suggested that a video conference of the UN General Assembly be held to combat the pandemic. The proposal was unanimously agreed to by 120 non-aligned countries. After that, Aliyev sent an appeal to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.ABOUT 130 countries have informed the secretary-general’s office that they support the initiative before the indicated deadline. This support is further evidence of the great confidence in Azerbaijan on the part of the international community.Azerbaijan recorded 17,524 coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, according to the World Health Organization. In addition, Azerbaijan reported about 213 coronavirus deaths and 9,715 recoveries. Some 349,200 tests have been conducted throughout the country. Azerbaijan ranks first in the entire region in testing, and is ahead of many advanced European nations in the number of tests. All of Azerbaijan is now in quarantine.People do not stagger around in the parks and do not go to barbecues or try to go to places of pray. Most importantly, this has all happened in a civilized manner. There is no panic in the country. There is trust in state institutions and an understanding that citizens will be treated humanely.
It is the socially vulnerable and weak who really need help. This help is carried out directly by the state and the volunteer movement supported by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. People from high-risk group are provided with food and all their necessities. Goods from stores are delivered free of charge. The state pays for everything.From the very first day, Azerbaijan took the virus quite seriously. Under the leadership of President Aliyev, comprehensive measures were put in place to limit the spread of the virus. Applying one of the highest per capita testing regimens worldwide, Azerbaijan also launched a contact-tracing app, which is considered a vital precondition for re-opening the economy.
In addition to over 20 state-owned hospitals serving COVID-19 patients, four modular hospitals have been opened since the outbreak began. The plan is to build and commission two more modular hospitals at the government’s expense, as well as four with private funding in the coming months.While in many countries, patients are being treated at home, in Azerbaijan all patients with positive test results are immediately placed in hospitals. This, together with other measures, helps the country keep the number of deaths and infections relatively low. At least three of the country’s neighbors have reported higher per capita numbers of COVID-19 cases. It appears that Azerbaijan is doing very well in containing and preventing the coronavirus from spreading, as well as mitigating the unfortunate effects of the pandemic on its economy and people.