Kazakhstan Plans to Relax Quarantine

The epidemiologic situation in the country has stabilized

Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Askar Mamin instructed the Ministry of Healthcare to submit a plan of phased relaxation of quarantine in the country for consideration by the state commission.

According to Minister of Healthcare Alexey Tsoy, the main indicators of the load on the healthcare system show a positive dynamic. This allows the country to start exiting strict quarantine which has been in effect in Kazakhstan since July 5.

In accordance with the developed criteria for easing quarantine measures, the ministry monitors the reproductive rate of infection, the incidence rate and the mortality rate.

In the Minister’s words, the incidence rate in five weeks of quarantine decreased from 56.73 per 100 thousand people to 36.2 per 100 thousand people. The mortality rate amounted to 7.8 per 100 thousand people.

The reproductive rate of infection (R), or the number of people infected by one patient, decreased to 0.82. Before the introduction of strict quarantine measures, the reproduction rate was 1.15. As of August 11, the reproductive rate below 1 is observed in all regions except for the Turkestan region, where it’s 1.01. The lowest rate is observed in Shymkent – 0.56.

In general, after five weeks of quarantine, the hospital bed occupancy rate was reduced by 61% countrywide and intensive care bed occupancy by 69%. The number of mobile medical crews has increased 7.6 times, with 3,640 crews currently working. Their coverage increased to 5,100 people per one crew. The number of online consultations has quadrupled, and 404 consulting call centers have been created. At the same time, the number of ambulance calls, including those related to COVID-19, fell by 62%. On average throughout the country, the daily increase in new cases of infection almost halved in size and is now 0.7%. The number of recovered patients grew to 73.6%.

«Relaxing of quarantine should be done with strict observance of the mask regime and hygiene in public places, as well as with raising public awareness through all information channels,» Alexey Tsoy said.

Final proposals for the phased relaxation of quarantine will be submitted for consideration by the state commission, which will take place on Thursday, August 13.

At the moment, about 100,164 patients are known to have been infected with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, of which 73,702 patients have recovered and 1,269 patients have died. Also, 13,337 patients with pneumonia and signs of COVID-19 have been registered in Kazakhstan since August 1, of which 173 people have died.

The new coronavirus was discovered in Kazakhstan on March 13. A state of emergency was introduced in the country on March 16 by presidential decree. Nur-Sultan and Almaty went under lockdown since March 19. Later the president extended the state of emergency twice, on April 14 and April 27.

On May 11, President Toqayev announced that the state of emergency was ending throughout the country. However, in a number of regions, the threat of infection remained. Later, on July 5, Kazakhstan introduced new restrictive measures for 14 days with the possibility of extension, and on July 13, the president said that quarantine was extended until August 2.

Earlier, Alexey Tsoy said that in Kazakhstan, quarantine will be eased up starting August 3 if the reproductive rate reaches below 1, the bed occupancy goes below 70% during the week, and there’s a stable decrease of the mortality rate. However, Qasym-Jomart Toqayev instructed the state commission to extend quarantine measures for two weeks until August 17, with subsequent gradual easing.

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