NUR-SULTAN – As the epidemiological situation stabilised in Kazakhstan, the country’s commission on the fight against coronavirus made a decision to ease the restrictions starting March 1, according to an official announcement by the Kazakh Prime Minister’s press service.
The extent to which the restrictions will be loosened depends on the zone where a region is currently in.
Kazakhstan’s Healthcare Ministry categorises its regions into three zones – high-risk red, moderate risk yellow, and low-risk green zone.
As of Feb. 24, no region is in the red zone. Atyrau, Kostanai, West Kazakhstan, Akmola, and the Pavlodar regions as well as the Kazakh capital of Nur-Sultan are in the yellow zone, while all other regions remain in the green zone.
Starting March 1, regions that remain in the green zone for seven days will be allowed to reopen circuses, billiard clubs, and children’s entertainment centres with up to 30 percent occupancy. Sports events, Friday’s Muslim prayers, and funeral receptions will also be allowed with an occupancy not to exceed 30 percent.
In regions that have been in the yellow zone for seven days, closed-door markets and trade malls will be able to work on Sundays. Starting March 1, schoolchildren from first to fifth grade and children from first to seventh grade studying in international schools will transition to a hybrid learning format. This, however, will not apply to the Mangistau, Kostanai, and Zhambyl regions, which have the highest number of violations of the sanitary and epidemiological regulations in their educational institutions.
“Over the past two weeks, the number of coronavirus cases decreased by 1.2 fold. Based on the epidemiological matrix, Kazakhstan has been in the green zone for the past two weeks,” said Kazakh Vice Healthcare Minister Yerlan Kiyasov at a press briefing Feb. 24.
He said that for all restrictions to be lifted, all regions must be in the green zone. It is, however, too early to discuss it, according to the vice minister.
“You know when we have an incidence of no more than 25 per 100,000 of the population and the R-value is below 1. This is one of the possible criteria that we can use in the future. And of course, it also includes covering the eligible population groups and the general population (with vaccine), where the collective immunity will be at least 50 to 60 percent,” said Kiyasov.
As of Feb. 26, Kazakhstan reported 211,212 coronavirus cases and 2,733 deaths. It also registered 49,172 coronavirus pneumonia cases that show coronavirus symptoms, but not clinically confirmed as Covid, and 620 deaths.