The statistics of recent weeks show that the number of COVID-19 infections is again on the rise in Azerbaijan, chairman of the Milli Majlis Committee on Labor and Social Policy Musa Guliyev told Report.
The number of patients in intensive care units and the number of deaths are growing," he said.
Guliyev noted that action is needed to prevent the increase in the number of coronavirus cases.
"Such measures could include a return to lockdown, expanding restrictions, or accelerating vaccination. All three could be done simultaneously. I believe that we should give preference to vaccination. We need to take into account that the number of respiratory infections grows in autumn. Therefore, the vaccination pace should be accelerated."
The committee chairman also spoke about the role of awareness campaigns in fighting the pandemic.
"Most of our citizens show irresponsibility and indifference. Therefore, there is a need for some stimulating and restrictive measures to step up the vaccination process. I suggest restoring public transport on weekends only for vaccinated persons. All the same, those engaged in taxi activity should also be vaccinated. The activity of unvaccinated drivers should not be allowed. As we approach the new academic year, all educators, education workers, and students must be involved in this process."
Guliyev noted that Azerbaijan has sufficient vaccine stocks.
"More clinics could be involved in this process. Therefore, we should give preference to vaccination since practice shows that lockdowns are only effective for some time. As soon as lockdowns are lifted, the cases start to surge. A lockdown is an obliged step. It has economic, social, and psychological pressures. To avoid such cases and to protect our health, we should observe all requirements and join the vaccination process."
Today, Azerbaijan accounts for 11,737 active coronavirus cases. Overall, the country has reported 351,825 coronavirus cases and 33,025 recoveries. The total death toll has reached 5,063 nationwide. The number of coronavirus vaccines administered to citizens up to date has reached 5,418,243 doses.
Under the respective order of the Task Force of the Cabinet of Ministers, at least 80% of employees and workers of state bodies (structures) will need a certificate of receiving one dose of the coronavirus vaccine starting September 1, and the certificate of the second coronavirus vaccine dose or a COVID-19 immunity certificate from October 1. Students above 18 years of age will also be required a COVID-19 passport. Moreover, those above 18 will be able to use services offered in indoor spaces only if they have a COVID-19 passport.