Kazakhstan Marks July 13 As National Day of Mourning For COVID-19 Victims

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakhstan mourns the citizens who died of the coronavirus infection.

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev declared July 13 as a day of national mourning in his July 9 televised address, noting that “each death has personally touched his heart.”

Flags on government buildings as well as diplomatic missions are lowered to half-staff to honor the memory of COVID-19 victims. The moment of silence was observed at 12.00 p.m. nationwide and was aired on national TV channels. 

Tokayev and the country’s high-level officials, including State Secretary Krymbek Kusherbayev, Chief of the Presidential Administration Yerlan Koshanov, Security Council Secretary Asset Issekeshev and Healthcare Minister Alexey Tsoy, observed a moment of silence in front of the Akorda presidential residence in Nur-Sultan. 

From L to R: Alexey Tsoy, Krymbek Kushervayev, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Yerlan Koshanov, and Asset Issekeshev. Photo credit: akorda.kz.

Kazakhstan’s First President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who recently also contracted COVID-19 and recovered in less than three weeks, expressed condolences to fellow citizens, calling the pandemic an “unprecedented challenge” for the country. 

“Dangerous infection spread into our cities and auyls (village in Kazakh). It continues spreading and unfortunately, we are losing our people,” said Nazarbayev, noting that the unity of the people is key to fighting the pandemic. 

As of July 13, Kazakhstan reported 59,899 coronavirus cases, including 1,646 cases in one day, and 375 deaths, including the doctors who risked their lives to save people. 

“These days, with deep pain in my heart, I learn about the passing of my colleagues – doctors and medical workers, who faced this horrible and unpredictable threat firsthand and fought it to the last. Coronavirus has become the cause of death of the nation’s best doctors and nurses and this loss is irreplaceable. They were wholeheartedly committed to their profession and they will always be heroes for us,” wrote Kazakh Healthcare Minister Alexey Tsoy on his Facebook page. 

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