Kazakh Government Expects to Increase Vaccination Coverage, New Restrictions Out in Force as Number of Cases Grows

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakh Prime Minister Askar Mamin set a task before his cabinet to increase the vaccination coverage in the country at the March 16 meeting. 

Click on the picture to see the map. Photo credit: Informburo.kz.

Mamin noted that the availability and large scale of vaccination is a top priority in the fight against the pandemic. “Vaccination allows for us to create herd immunity and limit the further spread of the infection. This is an important factor in the fight against the pandemic and restoring economic growth,” he added.  

The mass vaccination started in February as Kazakhstan launched the production of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine. It is also expected to register the QazCovid-in vaccine, a domestic vaccine against COVID-19 in the near future.

To date, more than 75,000 people have been vaccinated. Healthcare workers, teachers and law enforcement officers are among the first to get vaccinated. All those who received the vaccine are in good condition. 

It is also planned to start the vaccination of vulnerable groups from April including people with chronic diseases and people aged 65 and over. 

To increase the number of vaccinated people, it is intended to additionally deploy vaccination rooms with the conditions for storing and transporting vaccines and to strengthen informational and explanatory work with people. 

The Ministry of Healthcare will monitor the vaccination readiness and ensure the timely delivery of the required amount of vaccine through the end of March. 

As of March 16, the number of Covid-19 cases in the country rose to 225,685 and 2,865 people died from coronavirus.   

Kazakhstan is currently experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases as Almaty, Nur-Sultan and the West Kazakhstan region have entered the red zone as of March 15. An increase is also observed in the Almaty, Karaganda, Akmola and Atyrau regions. The virus reproductive rate is 1.1. 

Earlier, it was announced that a lockdown will be introduced in Nur-Sultan on March 21. 

Nur-Sultan’s chief sanitary doctor Sarkhat Beisenova reported that the situation in the city is unstable. “Last weekend showed a daily rise in the new cases. the additional lockdown restrictions will come into force on March 18. The growth dynamics should be prevented. It is necessary to follow strict sanitary measures – to wear masks and observe social distance,” explained Beisenova. 

All mass events, including the celebration of the Nauryz holiday March 22, are banned.

The shopping and entertainment centers, indoor non-food markets, facilities for the sale of non-food products, indoor sports facilities, public service centers will be closed on Sunday. The work of public transportation will also be suspended.

Restaurants, cafes, bars and canteens will be open from 7 a.m. till 10 p.m. since March 18. 

Cinemas will be closed. 

According to the Ministry of Healthcare, flights with 14 countries have been resumed. The number of flights has been increased to 95 flights per week. The largest number of passengers arrive at Nur-Sultan and Almaty. Since October 6, more than 1 million people have crossed the state border. 

New COVID-19 strains from the UK, South Africa and Brazil have not been identified from September to January. A genetic study of samples detected in February-March for the presence of mutations is being carried out now. 

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