Almaty Waits for the Peak of COVID in August

According to Kazakhstan’s sanitary service officials

As the city of Almaty press service reported, the Department of Sanitary and Epidemiological Control warns that the rate of COVID-19 cases might rise in August.

The basic forecast says that the peak of disease proliferation will hit the city on August 3 with 1,600 cases per day. In the middle of next month, the rate of new cases might reach 1,900 a day, according to the pessimistic version of the forecast.

The situation was on the agenda of the cabinet meeting headed by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who called to intensify the vaccination campaign even if it requires persuading those who still refuse to do so. The complete prevention of the spread of COVID-19 turned out to be an impossible task; therefore, the main goal should be vaccination of all adults, he underlined.

The president admitted that people might be driven by various beliefs or justification, which means that different approaches must be applied.

«We should use every tool we have, for example, social media networks to convince our people. Some countries, even in the West, are switching from convincing to measures of compulsion. This is not our path, except some very unique cases when it’s necessary for big enterprises because we can’t ignore risks for our citizens to please a handful of narrow-minded opponents of vaccines,» he wrote in his official Twitter account.

Currently, there are 2.7 million fully vaccinated in Kazakhstan. However, in some regions the situation is getting worse, Tokayev noted. He announced that the government is ready to help certain regions and dispatch more vaccine specialists there.

«This is some sort of exam for local executives and at least a half of them haven’t shown good results. We have to create emergency groups of medical workers, who can help regions, which have been left behind in terms of vaccination. Of course, it’s very important to know what locals think about the campaign in advance.

Also, Tokayev suggested expanding the role of Ashyq, which is a mobile app with a QR system designed to prevent infected from getting inside cafes, restaurants, or other public places and has been widely promoted by the government. However, the Achilles’ heel of the system is the businesses themselves. Sometimes they ignore the rules to get more customers and according to the president, this is not acceptable. 

“Such businesses are not afraid of charges but this lack of responsibility cannot go unpunished,» he stated.

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