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Coronavirus live updates | Stranded Azerbaijanis on hunger strike

9 June 2020
Mosque in the ​​Reductorniy settlement district in Makhachkala where stranded Azerbaijanis were staying. Photo: Courtesy of a local resident/OC Media.

 

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09 Jun 2020, 11:05

That’s it for today, join us again tomorrow for more Coronavirus live updates.

09 Jun 2020, 07:02

Azerbaijan to keep quarantine until 1 July, to lock down major cities for two days

The Operational Headquarters under the Cabinet of Ministers told state news agency Azertag that the quarantine regime in the country will be prolonged until 1 July. 

They also stated that the major cities of Baku, Ganja, Sumgayit, Lenkoran, and the Absheron district will be locked down from 14 to 16 June.

09 Jun 2020, 03:00

Group of Karachay-Cherkessia residents accuse government of downplaying COVID-19 casualties

A group of residents of Malokarachayevsky District in Russia’s North Caucasus Republic of Karachay-Cherkessia confronted regional Health Minister Kazim Shamanov today, accusing the local authorities of hiding the true number of coronavirus pandemic fatalities. 

Officials invited residents for a discussion after some of them held a spontaneous rally outside a local hospital yesterday. They claimed that the government failed to ensure their relatives were tested and treated for COVID-19.

Local authorities have denied that the numbers are inaccurate, and have attributed fatalities not to COVID-19 but to complications from the virus.

In an Instagram live interview on 31 May, Kazim Shamanov admitted that ‘about 60 people had actually died’ in hospitals that had been repurposed for treating COVID-19 patients.

As of today, ten weeks on from the start of the outbreak, the official number of fatalities stand at 9 (out of  1,729 cases), one of the lowest in the region. 

The numbers provided by the region’s government are also being probed by Russia’s federal investigative authorities, who are separately investigating claims made by local medical workers that they have been underpaid for their work during the outbreak.

08 Jun 2020, 17:03

Georgian university entry applicants will have to sit July national exams without AC 

National entry exams in Marneuli, Georgia. 2016. Mariam Nikuradze / OC Media.

The Georgian Education Ministry and National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced today that Unified National Exams — the standardised entrance exams for Georgian universities, will be held between 6-25 July, while the Joint Master Exams will take place from 1-4 August.

As an anti-pandemic measure, the National Assessment and Examinations Centre plan to limit the maximum number of students who will sit in the same space during the exams to 10 and each desk will have a protective transparent barrier installed.

The government also said they would also thermally screen students upon entering the exam premises and would place those with typical coronavirus symptoms in separate areas if they cannot provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result before the exam.

The Georgian government also promised to provide exam-takers with protective face masks. Air conditioning will remain turned off, as it is currently seen by medical authorities as a possible vector of COVID-19 transmission. 

The authorities vowed to chill the venues before exams. 

08 Jun 2020, 11:46

Armenia: ‘Enough’ hospital beds after capacity increased  

During a meeting with directors of a number of medical centres in the country, Armenia’s Health Minister Arsen Torosyan claimed that there will be enough hospital beds for new patients provided the rate of new cases remains the same. 

After the country reached hospital bed capacity several days ago, authorities have decided to re-profile medical centres in the cities of Dilijan, Spitak, Vedi and Martuni admit COVID-19 patients. As a result, 350 new beds will be added which, according to Torosyan, is a 15% increase over the current capacity. 

On Monday, Torosyan claimed that since the outbreak began, they had managed to mobilise additional 2,000 beds from an initial bed capacity of 300 for COVID-19 patients as a result of repurposing medical centres nationwide. He called the efforts ‘unprecedented’. 

As of 8 June, there are 403 COVID-19 patients in critical condition and 94 in extremely critical condition.

07 Jun 2020, 22:24

Summary

Welcome to OC Media’s coronavirus live updates for Tuesday, 9 June. We will be bringing you the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic from around the Caucasus.

The biggest developments from yesterday:

Yesterday, Georgia’s authorities allowed currency exchange booths, hotels, and food establishments to reopen provided they follow specific safety instructions. Restaurants, cafes, and bars are now allowed to host patrons inside. Inter-city connections are also back while passengers are required to wear protective face masks all times while travelling. This excludes air and rail travel. 

The ban on transportation via trains in Georgia will be lifted on 15 June. According to Georgian Railway, Georgia’s national rail company, they will be following the recommendations of health officials. Wearing face masks will be mandatory for passengers and passengers will also have their temperature checked and will be provided hand sanitiser.

A group of students in Kutaisi, Georgia's third largest city, held a rally demanding the right to be tested through their mobile phones saying that 40% of them don't have access to computers. Students also insisted on remote testing through their mobile phones to avoid sitting in a hot enclosed space while also wearing protective face masks. 

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said he and his family members have recovered from COVID-19. He posted on Facebook on Monday that they had each taken two tests and all the results were negative. 

10 ventilators to be sent to Armenia from Georgia. Director of Aliq Media Pavel Oganezov has helped purchase them through a donation of a close friend. These ventilators will be sent to Armenia and donated to the All-Armenia Fund. There are plans to purchase an additional 17 ventilators soon. 

A group of Azerbaijani citizens remaining in a makeshift tent in Kullar settlement of Derbent District of Daghestan are on hunger strike demanding a return to their homeland. According to Russian news agency Ria Derbent of the 60 Azerbaijanis on hunger strike, most had been in Daghestan waiting to cross the border for the last two months. 

In the village of Uchkeken in the north-east of Karachay-Cherkessia, residents have held a spontaneous rally and are demanding that they receive treatment for COVID-19 and pneumonia. According to Kavkaz.Realii, for several days now, residents of Uchkeken have reported that patients with COVID-19 cannot pass tests, receive treatment, and there are not enough medicines and medical equipment.

Yesterday Ingushetia allowed non-food retail shops, beauty salons, dry cleaners, medical centres, and offices providing legal services to begin operating again. Interregional transport hubs are also reopened.

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