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Azerbaijan declares a ‘special regime’ to combat coronavirus

16 March 2020
Disinfecting a museum in Baku. Photo: Trend.az.

The Operational Headquarters under the Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan, the government body tasked with addressing the Covid-19 pandemic, announced on Friday that Azerbaijan has enacted a series of social exclusion measures to combat the disease.

Mass events throughout the country are cancelled for one month. Cinemas, museums, theatres, entertainment centres, and gyms will also be closed.

Mass gatherings such as weddings are also prohibited.  

Restaurants and cafes are allowed to work until 21:00, compliance with the rules that will be promulgated by the relevant state structures for these places is mandatory. 

In restaurants and cafes, the organization of mass celebrations or any other mass gatherings will also be prohibited.

Night clubs and bars that operate after 21:00 will be closed. 

Malls will remain open and will be subject to daily disinfection. Disinfectant dispensers have been installed at entrances and exit and all mall visitors will be required to undergo a temperature check upon entry. 


Both public buses and the metro will also be subject to regular disinfection. 

Patient visitation in hospitals and other medical institutions has been suspended indefinitely. 

Travel abroad by people working in state structures and health workers can only take place after permission is granted by the Headquarters under the Cabinet of Ministers. 

The government has also advised the public to cancel all travel outside of the country, excepting the most urgent situations. 

For now, there have been no mandated changes in the operation of pharmacies, grocery stores, and supermarkets. 

On 17 March, the Azerbaijani parliament will vote on punitive legislation that would punish violations of the hygiene and quarantine regime with fines ranging from ₼100 to ₼500 ($60-$300). 

Azerbaijani authorities have also warned that ‘the most serious measures’ will be taken with regard to the media, including users of social networks that disseminate any information that ‘misleads’ the public about the novel coronavirus. 

Azerbaijan has, at present reported a total of 25 cases of Covid-19, six recoveries, and one death.

The first fatality in Azerbaijan was a 51-year-old Azerbaijani woman who arrived from Iran, where she was undergoing treatment for liver failure and an autoimmune disease.

Ibrahim Mammadov, a spokesperson for the Cabinet of Ministers, told journalists on Friday that Azerbaijan will spend ‘as many financial resources as needed’ to fight against the novel coronavirus. Mammadov has said that ₼10 million ($5.9 million) has been allocated to purchase ‘necessary medicines’. 

On 12 March, Azerbaijan prolonged the closure of its border with Iran for two more weeks. On 15 March, Azerbaijan closed its borders with Turkey, excluding freight. 

The same day several flights between Azerbaijan and Russia have been suspended including Kazan, Mineralnye Vody, Novosibirsk, Ufa, Krasnoyarsk, and Surgut. 

Flights to Tashkent, Uzbekistan; Lviv, Ukraine; Doha, Qatar; Dubai, UAE; and Sharjah, UAE have also been suspended. 

Flights to New York will be suspended starting from 24 March.

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