Ensuring sustainable and safe implementation of HIV/AIDS programmes amid COVID-19 in Armenia

A project “Ensuring sustainable and safe implementation of HIV/AIDS programmes amid COVID-19”of Armenian organization New Generation was financed by AFEW International within EU-funded COVID-19 Solidarity Programme for the Eastern Partnership countries.

On the 31 of May 2021 the project was finished, providing the social, legal, psychological support to over 250 beneficiaries who had suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic related emergency situation and crisis in Armenia.

Alina Mirzoyan, coordinator of human rights projects at New Generation Humanitarian NGO

Our project was proposed to facilitate access to HIV services, make the provision of services safer and provide social and psychological support to vulnerable groups of population who had remained double vulnerable helpless, jobless, stigmatized and without state support in the COVID-19 pandemic situation in Armenia. As a result, in total we helped 250 representatives of vulnerable groups of the country.

During implementation of the project, it was very important for us to give social assistance to LGBT people. Many of them lost jobs, since many of them work in service sector especially affected by COVID-19. As LGBT people are usually considered as second members of the society,  employers often  even do not register them as workers. That’s why within the frames of project legal assistance complaints and official letters were submitted to different state institutions to help these people.

Within this program, we also gave legal and psychological assistance to people whose rights have been violated, who have been subjected to discrimination by their own family members. The program helped to assist them with finding temporary shelters and financial support, so they could find some temporary shelter until they have a job or other financial income.

Within these years we have achieved a lot of improvement in cooperation with the state in terms of providing HIV prevention services to vulnerable groups of the society. Nowadays we are cooperating with the Ministry of Health of Armenia about HIV prevention services to trans* people, MSM and commercial sex workers. These programs, which are implemented by our NGO in Armenia, are supported by the Ministry of Health with the funds provided by the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and also in cooperation with the National Center for Infectious Diseases. So, we can say that there is cooperation with state institutions in terms of HIV services.

Our organization is one of the largest community-based NGOs in Armenia, with 70 outreach workers from the beneficiary communities. Only in 2020, our NGO provided HIV services to 8687 beneficiaries, legal aid to 503 beneficiaries, psychological assistance to 90 beneficiaries, shelter and social assistance to 700 beneficiaries.

I believe that step-by-step work and advocacy can make great changes in our country.

Our NGO currently can’t provide social and psychological assistance to its beneficiaries due to the unavailability of resources. But the needs assessment has shown that there is still requirement for social support among the key populations, that’s why we continue fundraising to ensure the social and psychological support for our beneficiaries, especially considering that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has not mitigated yet in the country.

For reference

The regional COVID-19 Solidarity Program in the Eastern Partnership countries is financially supported by the European Union and is implemented in partnership with People in Need and the Netherlands Helsinki Committee.  This project aims to support community-based organizations to respond to the immediate and longer-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Eastern Partnership countries.

 

 

COVID-19 situation quarterly report in the six countries of the Eastern Partnership July – September 2021

In the framework of the EU COVID-19 Solidarity Programme for Eastern Partnership, AFEW International, People in Need (PIN) and the Netherlands Helsinki Committee (NHC) joined forces to propose a set of interventions in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and contribute towards longer-term socio-economic resilience of vulnerable groups.

One of the activities in this project is the collection of information on the epidemiology of COVID-19, the measures taken by local governments to contain the epidemic and information on access to health services. This report doesn’t give conclusions or recommendations for the next steps; the report functions as an information resource as support for the development of (new) interventions.

This report gives an overview of the period 1 July – 30 September 2021, the fourth quarter of the implementation period of the project. Such a report will be produced for every quarter of the project duration.

For this report the following sources are used:
— WHO Health System Response Monitor (HSRM);
— Official sources on the coronavirus situation in the countries;
— Reports on the COVID-19 situation prepared by the UNICEF, UN, OECD, International Partnership for Human Rights
(IPHR);
— Global news agencies;
— Local independent media.

Read the report

Access to medical services for key populations during pandemic in Moldova

Liudmila Marandici, project manager “Initiativa Pozitiva”, Alina Kozhakar, head of the PLHIV department “Initiativa Pozitiva”, Valeria Fulga, project and grant officer AFEW International

During the COVID-19 pandemic in Moldova, there was a significant decrease in access to testing and treatment for chronic diseases, such as viral hepatitis, among key populations. To ensure access to medical services for people from these groups, the organisation ‘Initiativa Pozitiva’ from Moldova applied to AFEW International for a grant from the EU-funded  COVID-19 Solidarity Programme for the Eastern Partnership countries.

Liudmila Marandici, project manager at “Initiativa Pozitiva”

Thanks to the funding, we helped people who use psychoactive substances to buy a health insurance and thus make sure that they have an access to medical care for 2021. Buying the insurance also allowed them to get therapy for Hepatitis C and the necessary tests for free. For those who couldn’t get health insurance directly, we found an alternative way to get insurance by referring them to special services. All of our beneficiaries were tested for Hepatitis C and B with their consent. In case of a positive result, we accompanied those people to get through all stages of treatment. We showed people that if they want, they can be recovered, they just need help, because they lack discipline and knowledge about patients’ rights. Some of our clients have already completed treatment for hepatitis, and by their example they showed to other people that everything is possible.

It is necessary to add, that the project allowed us to see the reality of medical services in Moldova. Our specialists have identified constant violations of patients’ rights. Raising awareness of people rights and fighting discrimination was not the only goal of this project, with its help many beneficiaries increased their knowledge of their rights. In the future, we will use the experience gained in this project in our work.

For reference

The regional COVID-19 Solidarity Program in the Eastern Partnership countries is financially supported by the European Union and is implemented in partnership with People in Need and the Netherlands Helsinki Committee.  This project aims to support community-based organizations to respond to the immediate and longer-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Eastern Partnership countries.

 

Bi-weekly COVID-19 Situation Report for 6 countries of the Eastern Partnership. 26 August 2021.

Within EU-funded COVID-19 Solidarity Programme for the Eastern Partnership countries AFEW International prepares regular updates on the COVID-19 developments in the region – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. What is the situation today? Please, check it here! 

You can find previous updates in the COVID Corner on our website.

As for 26.08.2021

The number of coronavirus cases per population ratio since the start of the active phase of the pandemic (April 1 2020) in the 6 countries of the EaP

Source: Sciences Po Media lab Coronavirus Country Comparator

Situation report in Armenia

Daily cases

 

Vaccinations

Images: Worldometer, Our World in Data

Cases of COVID-19

— Armenia reports the highest number of new infections since April. COVID-19 infections are increasing, with 483 new infections reported on average each day. That’s 23% of the peak — the highest daily average reported on November 1.

Measures to contain the epidemic

No curfew or travel restrictions are imposed.

—  Since July 1 masks are optional indoors and outdoors.

Vaccination

— Armenia’s vaccine distribution is the slowest in the region.

— Of 30 samples analyzed, Delta accounted for 25, the Health Ministry said on August 2.

 

Situation report Azerbaijan

Daily cases


Vaccinations

Images: Worldometer, Our World in Data

Cases of COVID-19

The average number of new infections reported each day in Azerbaijan rises by more than 2,800 over the last 3 weeks, 68% of its previous peak.

— COVID-19 infections are increasing in Azerbaijan, with 3,551 new infections reported on average each day. That’s 85% of the peak — the highest daily average reported on December 14.

Measures to contain the epidemic

— Azerbaijan extended its quarantine restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19 until September 1.

— The restrictions mean the borders of the South Caucasus country of about 10 million people will remain closed. Only vaccinated people will be able to attend weddings and visit sports venues. People are required to wear face masks indoors.

— Azerbaijan’s coronavirus task force also said that public transport would not operate in the capital, Baku, on weekends and public holidays.

— Since August 13, people entering the Baku metro must have their temperature checked.

— From September 1, in Azerbaijan persons without COVID passports will not be able to use the services of indoor establishments. Police officers will supervise this and violators will face either a 400 manat fine [approximately $235] or arrest.

 

Situation report Belarus

Daily cases


Vaccinations

Images: Worldometer, Our World in Data

Cases of COVID-19

— The average number of new infections reported each day in Belarus rises by more than 370 over the last 3 weeks, 19% of its previous peak.

— COVID-19 infections are increasing in Belarus, with 1,313 new infections reported on average each day. That’s 68% of the peak — the highest daily average reported on December 15.

Measures to contain the epidemic

— Domestic businesses and services are operating subject to light-touch hygiene measures, including social distancing. Facemasks are required on all public transport, including flights and Metro services.

Situation report Georgia

Daily cases


Vaccinations

Images: Worldometer, Our World in Data

Cases of COVID-19

— For the second time, Georgia has climbed to the top of global charts for COVID-19 transmission rates relative to population size. Deaths are piling up amid vaccine hesitancy, slow vaccination rollout, and the widespread neglect of mask mandates and other lockdown rules.

According to the Deputy Health Minister Tamar Gabunia, the infection rate continues to be very high and there are no signs of stabilization in any region of the country.

—  The seven-day rolling average of new cases soared to over 4,520 this week. Proportionally to the population size, this clocks the highest coronavirus incidence globally – 109 cases per 100,000 residents. In the comparably sized U.S. state of Connecticut, the rate is 15, while the U.S. total is 37.

— The fast-spreading Delta variant is believed to be tearing through Georgia. “The Delta variant is replacing Alfa, accounting for 40 to 50 percent of cases,” said the head of the National Center for Disease Control, Amiran Gamkrelidze, late last month.

— Two field hospitals have been opened in Tbilisi, each with up to 200 beds and they are already receiving patients since there are no more beds available in other hospitals.

Measures to contain the epidemic

— On August 10, the government announced some new measures, including mandatory facemasks in open spaces where five or more people have gathered.

— New penalties of ₾10,000 ($3,200) have also been introduced for catering facilities and other venues which host social gatherings such as weddings and funerals. Repeat offences will result in the facilities being closed.

— On August 23, the Association of Clinics of Georgia called on the government to ensure effective compliance with the restrictions imposed amid a sharp increase in the number of coronavirus infections and an unprecedentedly high mortality rate. The Association of Clinics proposes to urgently take the following measures: read here.

Education

— Schooling can only begin if no more than 4% of tests come back positive. Over the last few weeks, this figure has stayed at an average of 10-12%.

 

Situation report Republic of Moldova

Daily cases


Vaccinations

Images: Worldometer, Our World in Data

Cases of COVID-19

— Moldova reports the highest number of new infections since April.

— COVID-19 infections are increasing in Moldova, with 391 new infections reported on average each day. That’s 24% of the peak — the highest daily average reported on March 28.

Measures to contain the epidemic

— During the August 18 press conference, Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilița assured that the imposition of a new lockdown would not be considered for now. She urged citizens to get vaccinated so as to avoid a wave of infections similar to the one seen at the beginning of the year.

Education

— With the start of the school year on September 1, teachers, non-teaching staff, students and visitors, whether vaccinated or not, will be required to wear masks in all enclosed spaces within an educational institution.

It is also recommended to reduce the number of hours spent by students inside, and postpone or cancel activities that bring together children from different classes, such as sport or cultural events, as well as extracurricular activities during periods of increased risk of infection, in order to avoid crowding and limit the spread of respiratory infections.

 

Situation report Ukraine

Daily cases


Vaccinations

Images: Worldometer, Our World in Data

Cases of COVID-19

— The Delta coronavirus strain is spreading more and more actively in Ukraine, the number of new cases is growing and a new wave of incidence is expected in the autumn, Minister of Health Viktor Liashko said on August 19.

— More than 80% of all deaths from COVID-19 in Ukraine are people over 60.  

Measures to contain the epidemic

— Ukraine has extended an adaptive lockdown and a state of emergency that allows regional authorities to impose COVID-19 restrictions for a further month until October 1 to tackle a surge in infections from the rapidly spreading Delta variant, the prime minister said on Wednesday.

— The “adaptive lockdown” means regional authorities have the power to tighten or ease restrictions depending on the situation locally. The state of emergency had been due to expire at the end of August.

— Ukraine’s seven-day average daily number of new cases has risen above 1,000 since mid-July after authorities lifted most restrictions and maintained only mandatory mask-wearing and social distancing requirements.

— The introduction of a lockdown depends on public awareness of vaccination issues, but there are no grounds for expecting catastrophic consequences from new strains of coronavirus (COVID-19), Finance Minister of Ukraine Serhiy Marchenko has said. “Risks remain. These are low rates of vaccination. Now they are quite serious, but the society should understand that lockdowns depend on public awareness of vaccination issues,” Marchenko told Interfax-Ukraine.

Interesting reads

— The Armenian Weekly: Armenians and the COVID-19 vaccine read.

— JAM News: Heavy fine or arrest: Azerbaijan tightens vaccination requirements read.

— JAM News: Most common arguments against Covid-19 vaccination in Georgia read.

Bi-weekly COVID-19 Situation Report for 6 countries of the Eastern Partnership. 11 August 2021.

Within EU-funded COVID-19 Solidarity Programme for the Eastern Partnership countries AFEW International prepares regular updates on the COVID-19 developments in the region – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. What is the situation today? Please, check it here! 

You can find previous updates in the COVID Corner on our website.

As for 11.08.2021

The number of coronavirus cases per population ratio since the start of the active phase of the pandemic (April 1 2020) in the 6 countries of the EaP

Source: Sciences Po Media lab Coronavirus Country Comparator

Situation report in Armenia

Daily cases

 

Vaccinations

Images: Worldometer, Our World in Data

Cases of COVID-19

— COVID-19 infections are increasing in Armenia, with 260 new infections reported on average each day.

Measures to contain the epidemic

No curfew or travel restrictions are imposed.

—  Since June 1 masks are optional outdoors; since July 1, masks for vaccinated people are optional indoors.

 

Situation report Azerbaijan

Daily cases


Vaccinations


Images: Worldometer, Our World in Data

 

Cases of COVID-19

— The average number of new infections reported each day in Azerbaijan rises by more than 950 over the last 3 weeks, 22% of its previous peak.

— COVID-19 infections are increasing in Azerbaijan, with 1,139 new infections reported on average each day.

Measures to contain the epidemic

— Azerbaijan extended its quarantine restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19 until September 1.

— The restrictions mean the borders of the South Caucasus country of about 10 million people will remain closed. Only vaccinated people will be able to attend weddings and visit sports venues. People are required to wear face masks indoors.

— Azerbaijan’s coronavirus task force also said that public transport would not operate in the capital, Baku, on weekends and public holidays.

 

Situation report Belarus

Daily cases


Vaccinations


Images: Worldometer, Our World in Data

Cases of COVID-19

— COVID-19 infections are increasing in Belarus, with 992 new infections reported on average each day.

— During the press conference on August 10, The Minister of Health of Belarus said that an increase in the incidence of COVID-19 in the country is expected in the coming months. According to Dmitry Pinevich, it is already necessary to prepare the healthcare system for this: “We forecast an increase in the incidence of COVID-19 in September-October,” he said.

Measures to contain the epidemic

—On July 15, 2021, Belarus’s Council of Ministers reduced the self-isolation period for those who have been in contact with people infected with the coronavirus and those arriving from countries on the government’s high-risk list from 10 to seven days.

Situation report Georgia

Daily cases


Vaccinations


Images: Worldometer, Our World in Data

Cases of COVID-19

— On August 10, Georgia has registered a record 54 deaths due to the coronavirus in a single day as the number of infections in the country continues to spiral.

— On August 10, the authorities announced that 5,697 people had tested positive for the virus in 24 hours, breaking the previous record of 5,450 in November.

Yesterday, the Health Minister Ekaterine Tikaradze told the press that the country is ‘going through the worst-case scenario of the epidemic’.

On the same day, Alexander Goginava, an infectious disease specialist, told the press that medical workers in the country were being pushed to their limits.

Measures to contain the epidemic

— Georgia began to gradually ease coronavirus restriction in late February. At the end of June, the country lifted almost all of the remaining restrictions, including a nightly curfew.

— The authorities have insisted that a new lockdown would not be introduced citing public opinion.

— On August 10, however, the government announced some new measures, including mandatory facemasks in open spaces where five or more people have gathered.

— New penalties of ₾10,000 ($3,200) have also been introduced for catering facilities and other venues which host social gatherings such as weddings and funerals. Repeat offences will result in the facilities being closed.

 

Situation report Republic of Moldova

Daily cases


Vaccinations


Images: Worldometer, Our World in Data

Cases of COVID-19

— COVID-19 infections are increasing in Moldova, with 167 new infections reported on average each day.

Vaccinations

— About 15% of Moldova’s population has been vaccinated with both of the doses. Also, only 30% of the education system employees got a vaccine. The collective vaccination rate of 70% that was projected to be reached in November cannot be attained, IPN quoted Svetlana Nicolăescu, secretary of state at the Ministry of Health, as saying in the news conference on August 10.

— She noted that the vaccination rate is the highest among older persons, while among young people it is the lowest. The lowest immunization rate among the population is in Gagauzia, of less than 10%, while the highest is in the municipality of Chisinau – 23%.

— Svetlana Nicolăescu warned that 99% of the patients with COVID-19 who are now in intensive care units haven’t been vaccinated. The Ministry of Health’s data shows 65 of the 313 persons with COVID-19 who are now in hospitals are in a very serious state and 11 of these were put on a ventilator.

— Last week, the number of new cases of COVID-19 and associated deaths were higher than a week before. Some of the settlements were put on red alert for COVID-19.

— An orange alert was issued in Moldova last week and this means that new protection measures are to be imposed. The National Extraordinary Public Health Commission will have a meeting soon to consider introducing new restrictions, noted Svetlana Nicolăescu.

— Epidemiologist Veaceslav Guțu, the coordinator of the national COVID-19 immunization campaign, said only 0.08% of the vaccinated persons got COVID-19 and 90% of these persons had gotten by one dose of vaccine by then.

 

Situation report Ukraine

Daily cases


Vaccinations


Images: Worldometer, Our World in Data

Measures to contain the epidemic

— Ukraine has extended a state of emergency that allows regional authorities to impose COVID-19 restrictions for a further month until October 1 to tackle a surge in infections from the rapidly spreading Delta variant.

— “Unfortunately, experts are beginning to register the first negative trends in terms of hospitalisation of those seriously ill, therefore the government is adopting a decree to extend the state of emergency and adaptive lockdown until October 1,” premier Denys Shmygal said during a televised weekly cabinet meeting.

— The “adaptive lockdown” means regional authorities have the power to tighten or ease restrictions depending on the situation locally. The state of emergency had been due to expire at the end of August.

— Ukraine’s seven-day average daily number of new cases has risen above 1,000 since mid-July after authorities lifted most restrictions and maintained only mandatory mask-wearing and social distancing requirements.

Interesting reads

— IFRC: Delta variant a huge threat in Eastern Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia read.

— New Eastern Europe: Medical workers – the new social activists of Belarus? read.

— Public Radio of Armenia: EU strengthens support to speed up vaccination in Eastern Partnership region read.

—VoA: Iranian Vaccine Tourists Flock to Armenia for Shots read.

COVID-19 situation quarterly report in the six countries of the Eastern Partnership June 2021

In the framework of the EU COVID-19 Solidarity Programme for the Eastern Partnership, AFEW International is continuously collecting and circulating information on the epidemiology of COVID-19 in the six countries of the Eastern Partnership (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), as well as the measures taken by local governments to contain the epidemic and information on access to health services.

This is one of the activities within the programme implemented by the consortium of NGOs – AFEW International,  People in Need (PIN) and Netherlands Helsinki Committee (NHC). The quarterly reports do not give conclusions or recommendations for the next steps. They are intended to inform and support the development of (new) interventions.

The most recent report (28 June, 2021)  gives an overview of the period 1 April – 28 June 2021. Read the report here

Bi-weekly COVID-19 Situation Report for 6 countries of the Eastern Partnership. 21 June 2021.

Within EU-funded COVID-19 Solidarity Programme for the Eastern Partnership countries AFEW International prepares regular updates on the COVID-19 developments in the region – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. What is the situation today? Please, check it here! 

You can find previous updates in the COVID Corner on our website.

As for 21.06.2021

Regional overview

The number of coronavirus cases per population ratio since the start of the active phase of the pandemic (April 1 2020) in the 6 countries of the EaP

Source: Sciences Po Media lab Coronavirus Country Comparator

Situation report in Armenia

Image: Worldometer

Cases of COVID-19

— Armenia is reporting 77 new infections on average each day, 4% of the peak — the highest daily average reported on November 1.

Measures to contain the epidemic

— The quarantine in Armenia declared on January 11 is still in place till July 11, 5 p.m.

—  Since June 1 masks are optional outdoors; on July 1, masks for vaccinated people will be optional indoors.

Vaccine

— A total of 55,557 doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered in Armenia since the beginning of the vaccination program in the country in mid-April, the Ministry of Health said on Monday, June 14. Armenia is currently using AstraZeneca and CoronaVac vaccines to inoculate people aged above 18, while those with underlying health conditions and healthcare and social care workers under the age of 54 are getting Sputnik-V shots. Foreigners currently residing in Armenia too can receive the jabs free of charge.

Situation report Azerbaijan

Image: Worldometer

Cases of COVID-19

— COVID-19 infections are decreasing in Azerbaijan, with 46 new infections reported on average each day. That’s 1% of the peak — the highest daily average reported on December 14.

Measures to contain the epidemic

— Azerbaijan has eased coronavirus restrictions on May 31. People are no longer required to wear face masks in public places, Baku Metro and inter-city travel have also resumed on May 31. The country made it mandatory in June 2020 to wear masks to stem the spread of COVID-19.

Vaccine passport: Since June 10, Azerbaijan requires a vaccination passport for entry to gyms and recreational facilities such as pools, as well as mosques.

Vaccine

— The second batch of Sputnik V arrived from Russia on June 10.

— Two hospitals in Baku began offering the Pfizer vaccine on June 7, state media reported. There are 218,000 doses available.

As per the official data as of June 4, a total of 900,000 people (10% of the country’s population) have been fully vaccinated and 600,000 have only received the first shot of vaccine.

 

Situation report Belarus

 

Image: Worldometer

Cases of COVID-19

— COVID-19 infections are decreasing in Belarus, with 834 new infections reported on average each day. That’s 43% of the peak — the highest daily average reported on December 15.

Measures to contain the epidemic

— The Healthcare Ministry’s anti-coronavirus recommendations remain the same – social distancing, limiting face-to-face contact, avoiding crowds, wearing masks.

— The Healthcare Ministry of Belarus has updated the red list of countries. Nine states were removed from the red list on 16 June. These are North Macedonia, San Marino, Monaco, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Moldova and Serbia.

Vaccine

— There is no need for compulsory vaccination against COVID-19 in Belarus, President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he spoke with the personnel of Minsk Children’s Clinical Hospital No.2 on June 19.

— As of June 10, more than 656,000 Belarusians have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Over 358,000 of them have already got two shots.

— The Belarusian Healthcare Ministry is waiting for Russia to greenlight the use of 180,000 doses of the second component of the COVID-19 vaccine.

 

Situation report Georgia

Image: Worldometer

Cases of COVID-19

— Georgia sees a decrease in COVID-19 cases. Georgia has been reporting 132 infections per 100K people last 7 days and 702 new infections on average each day, 16% of the peak — the highest daily average reported on December 10.

— Two new confirmed cases of the Indian strain of Covid-19 virus have been identified in Georgia, National Centre for Disease Control head Amiran Gamkrelidze said on June 20. As reported by the Georgian Public Broadcaster, Gamkrelidze said the confirmation of the new cases brought the total number of identified infections with the strain in the country to 20.

 Measures to contain the epidemic

— Travellers from around the world can now visit Georgia restriction free if they can demonstrate that they’ve had two doses of the vaccine.

Vaccine

— Covid-19 vaccination centres will be set up in shopping malls starting July. Mass Covid-19 immunisation will start throughout Georgia in July when the country will receive additional doses of various vaccines. Georgia will start importing different types of Covid-19 vaccines in July. By the end of 2021, there will be over 3.6 million doses of vaccines in the country.

 

Situation report Republic of Moldova

Image: Worldometer

Cases of COVID-19

— Moldova has been reporting 14 infections per 100K people last 7 days and 55 new infections on average each day, 3% of the peak — the highest daily average reported on March 28.

—  On June 16 in Moldova, for the first time in almost a year, not a single fatal case from coronavirus was registered. The Ministry of Health of Moldova noted that the number of deaths from coronavirus has decreased from 40 or more a day at the beginning of the year to 3-4 cases per day in the past few weeks.

Measures to contain the epidemic

The state of emergency in the health sector is still in effect in Moldova until August 15.

Vaccine

— On 11 June, a new batch of COVID-19 vaccines arrived in the Moldovan capital Chisinau. The 100,800 doses are provided under the Team Europe initiative. They were offered by Romania via the EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism. With these deliveries, Moldova has so far received around 650,000 vaccines through the COVAX platform, supported by Team Europe, and the Civil Protection Mechanism of the European Union.

— The Ministry of Health of Moldova said that recently, fewer people are interested in getting vaccinated against coronavirus, so the rate of vaccination is decreasing. The drop in vaccination rates is occurring almost daily and, according to the Ministry, the trend is worrying.

 

Situation report Ukraine

Image: Worldometer

COVID-19 cases

— An average number of new infections reported each day in Ukraine falls by more than 2,500 over the last 3 weeks, 17% of its previous peak.

— COVID-19 infections are decreasing in Ukraine, with 850 new infections reported on average each day. That’s 5% of the peak — the highest daily average reported on April 8.

Measures to contain the epidemic

On June 16, Ukraine’s government has extended COVID-19 lockdown measures until August 31 but eased some of the restrictions. All Ukrainian regions are now in the “green zone”.

Vaccine

— Ukraine, which has maintained lockdown restrictions though the number of new COVID-19 infections has fallen, on June 17 set a record for the daily number of coronavirus inoculations with 76,538 Ukrainians being vaccinated. That compared with the previous record of 73,376 shots on April 29. The government has said the country is set to receive around 40 million doses of vaccines from various makers, and that 1,594,083 people have had their first shot as of June 16.

— Almost every second Ukrainian plans to be vaccinated against coronavirus, while 19% of citizens intend to do this in the near future, the same number plan to be vaccinated later, another 10% will be vaccinated only when they have to do it for formal reasons, according to the results of the survey entitled “Attitude of Ukrainian citizens to vaccination against COVID-19,” held by the Razumkov Center from May 21 to May 26.

— On 3 June 2021, Ukraine received 705,600 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine through the EU-supported COVAX Facility, bringing to more than 1.6 million doses the total number of COVID-19 vaccines so far been delivered to Ukraine via COVAX.

— Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said on June 16 that Estonia would allocate 200,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses to Ukraine.

 

Interesting reads

— EU NEIGHBOURS: COVID-19 in Georgia: EIB to support procurement of vaccines and medical equipment with €50 million read.

— JAM news: Why are Azerbaijanis reluctant to get vaccinated against Covid-19? read.

— OBC Transeuropa: Vaccines in Armenia: a struggling campaign read.

— The National News: Armenia becomes quarantine hub for hundreds of Indians returning to the UAE read.

Results of the small grants call under EU COVID-19 Solidarity Programme

Following the AFEW International’s call for proposals launched in April 2021, several community-based organisations (CBOs) working with key populations in the Eastern Partnership countries have been awarded small grants up to € 3.500 for immediate material needs arising from COVID-19 related measures, such as PPE and IT/communication equipment. The support is provided under the EU COVID-19 Solidarity Programme, financed by the European Union.

In total, we’ve received 61 applications: 36 from Ukraine; 1 from Belarus; 4 from Azerbaijan; 14 from Georgia; 2 from Armenia and 4 from Moldova.

Unfortunately none of the proposals submitted from organisations in Azerbaijan or Belarus have been selected. Due to the high amount of applications received from organisations in Ukraine we have decided to support 2 more eligible proposals (in addition to 3, which we announced earlier).

Therefore, after a careful eligibility check and selection process among 3 members of the Operational Team, we have agreed to support 10 proposals, of which 5 proposals are from Ukraine, 2 proposals from Georgia, 2 from Armenia, and 1 from Moldova.

It is important to note that we selected proposals with an average score of 3.5 and higher. When we’ve reviewed the applications, we kept the following in mind:

  • We prioritized activities which are not (easily) fundable through other means.
  • We prioritized smaller community-based organizations that are carrying their work in smaller cities.
  • In the portfolio of grants, we strived to have all relevant key populations represented.

You can find out more about the EU COVID-19 Solidarity Programme in the Eastern Partnership Countries and its various components and updates here.

We would like to thank all the applicants for their time and effort! You can find out more about our other grant opportunities here.

Bi-weekly COVID-19 Situation Report for 6 countries of the Eastern Partnership

Within EU-funded COVID-19 Solidarity Programme for the Eastern Partnership countries AFEW International prepares regular updates on the COVID-19 developments in the region (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine). 

To improve the quality of these situation reports, we asked you to fill in our questionnaire in May 2021.  We would like to thank those of you who filled in the questionnaire. Based on your suggestions the data per country now shows not the general situation since the beginning of the pandemic, but current trends and a 7-day average. 

You can find previous updates in the COVID Corner on our website.

As of 03.06.2021

Regional overview

The number of coronavirus cases per population ratio since the start of the active phase of the pandemic (April 1 2020) in the 6 countries of the Eastern Partnership

Source: Sciences Po Media lab Coronavirus Country Comparator

Situation report Armenia

Cases of COVID-19

— As of June 1, the number of infected in one day has grown by 108, while 213,429 (+221) people have recovered, other 3,822 (-120) are getting treatment. The total death toll reached 4,445 (+7), other,1,082 (+0) patients died from other diseases. In a day 7 people died.

— In general, COVID-19 infections are decreasing in Armenia, with 85 new infections reported on average each day. That’s 4% of the peak — the highest daily average reported on November 1.

Measures to contain the epidemic

— The quarantine in Armenia declared on January 11 is still in place till July 11, 5 p.m.

Vaccine

— Armenia has administered at least 33,529 doses of COVID vaccines so far. Assuming every person needs 2 doses, that’s enough to have vaccinated about 0.6% of the country’s population. During the last week reported, Armenia averaged about 1,016 doses administered each day. At that rate, it will take a further 582 days to administer enough doses for another 10% of the population.

Situation report Azerbaijan

Cases of COVID-19

— COVID-19 infections are decreasing in Azerbaijan, with 170 new infections reported on average each day. That’s 4% of the peak — the highest daily average reported on December 14.

Measures to contain the epidemic

— Azerbaijan has eased coronavirus restrictions on May 31. People are no longer required to wear face masks in public places, Baku Metro and inter-city travel have also resumed on May 31. The country made it mandatory in June 2020 to wear masks to stem the spread of COVID-19.

— Meanwhile, places of worship, shopping malls, beaches and gyms will open on June 10.

— ‘COVID passports’ are also being launched. Either a vaccination certificate or an immune certificate (recovery from COVID-19) will be required to enter sports and recreational centers.

Vaccine

— Azerbaijan has administered at least 2,367,094 doses of COVID vaccines so far. Assuming every person needs 2 doses, that’s enough to have vaccinated about 11.8% of the country’s population. During the last week reported, Azerbaijan averaged about 37,561 doses administered each day. At that rate, it will take a further 54 days to administer enough doses for another 10% of the population.

Situation report Belarus

Cases of COVID-19

— Belarus confirmed 915 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

— Belarus is reporting 1,000 new infections on average each day, 52% of the peak — the highest daily average reported on December 15.

Measures to contain the epidemic

— The Healthcare Ministry’s anti-coronavirus recommendations remain the same – social distancing, limiting face-to-face contact, avoiding crowds, wearing masks.

Vaccine

— More than 542,300 Belarusians have already received the first dose of the vaccine and over 297,100 have already got both shots.

Situation report Georgia

Cases of COVID-19

— Georgia has reported 833 new cases of coronavirus, 1,205 recoveries and 19 deaths in the past 24 hours. 28,191 tests were conducted around the country in the past 24 hours. 3.16 per cent of tested individuals had Covid-19 in the past 14 days.

— On May 27, Georgia has reported five cases of the Indian variant of Covid-19, the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) announced.

Measures to contain the epidemic

— On June 1, after more than a year-long closure due to the coronavirus pandemic Georgia has opened its land borders. Individuals are admitted through the land borders of Georgia with evidence of full vaccination and negative PCR test results or alternatively only with a negative PCR test result taken within the last 72 hours. A follow-up test three days after entry must also be taken. As for travelling by air to Georgia, in this case, the travellers are required to present the document confirming the full course (two doses, one dose in case of Johnson&Johnson) of any Covid-19 vaccination at the border checkpoints of Georgia and are allowed to enter the country.

Vaccine

— Mass Covid-19 immunisation is expected to start in Georgia in July, according to the Head of the Georgian National Centre for Disease Control Amiran Gamkrelidze. From July, Georgia wants to establish mass vaccination centers in big cities, such as Tbilisi, Batumi, Kutaisi, Rustavi, with a daily capacity of 3,000-4,000 vaccines.

 Situation report Republic of Moldova

Cases of COVID-19

— The number of new cases has decreased twice over the last week and reached a 7-day average of 54 on June 2 compared to 119 for the preceding week.

— The number of active cases has decreased 31% in the past week compared to the previous week.

Measures to contain the epidemic

— Hungary and Moldova vaccinated travellers can travel to these countries without the need to undergo any entry restrictions such as quarantine and negative test results since May 31.

— As of May 29, mandatory mask-wearing in the open has been cancelled in Chisinau. However, this protective measure shall be maintained when citizens enter the premises or use public transport, at meetings and mass events. Restaurants and hotels (HoReCa) have resumed their work too.
This does not apply to the work of nightclubs, discos and karaoke. The capacity of the halls in cafes and other establishments should not exceed 50%. Recreation areas and amusement parks also resumed their work. Children’s recreation camps on the territory of the municipality are allowed. Theatres opened and various outdoor performances are now allowed.

Vaccine

— As of June 3, Moldova has administered at least 426,086 doses of COVID vaccines. Assuming every person needs 2 doses, that’s enough to have vaccinated about 8% of the country’s population. During the last week reported, Moldova averaged about 14,725 doses administered each day. At that rate, it will take a further 37 days to administer enough doses for another 10% of the population.

— Over the 3 days of the ‘coronavirus vaccination marathon’, organized by the Moldovan Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Protection and the Chisinau City Hall on May 31, more than 5500 citizens came to the Palatul Republicii [Palace of the Republic] and got vaccinated.

Situation report Ukraine

COVID-19 cases

— The average number of new infections reported each day in Ukraine falls by more than 3,000 over the last 3 weeks, 19% of its previous peak.

— COVID-19 infections are decreasing in Ukraine, with 2,425 new infections reported on average each day. That’s 15% of the peak — the highest daily average reported on April 8.

Measures to contain the epidemic

— Ukrainian authorities announced on May 20, that ongoing quarantine measures will be extended until June 22.

— Ukraine is maintaining measures imposed to combat the spread of COVID-19 as of May 27. An adaptive quarantine regime is in place through at least June 22. Under this system, all regions are classified as one of four color-coded zones – green, yellow, orange, or red. As of May 27, all regions are in the yellow zone. Yellow zones are subject to nationwide restrictions only, which include the following:

  • Restaurants, cafes, and bars must close 23:59-07:00.
  • Attendance caps are in place on public events and religious services.
  • Public transport, except for metro trains, is limited to 50 percent capacity.
  • Social distancing standards are in force.
  • Protective face coverings are mandatory in public, including on public transport, in public buildings, and in crowded indoor spaces.

Vaccine

— Ukraine has administered at least 1,214,883 doses of COVID vaccines so far. Assuming every person needs 2 doses, that’s enough to have vaccinated about 1.4% of the country’s population. During the last week reported, Ukraine averaged about 13,350 doses administered each day. At that rate, it will take a further 665 days to administer enough doses for another 10% of the population.

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Interesting reads

— BBC: Belarus bans most citizens from going abroad read.

— WHO: WHO validates Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use and issues interim policy recommendations read.

— Agenda.ge: Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova request EU support in acquiring coronavirus vaccines read.

— EU support to Eastern Partnership countries in tackling COVID-19 download.

— Reuters: New Ukraine health minister vows to speed up COVID-19 vaccinations read.

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Please feel free to share if you have any comments or additional information about the situation with the COVID-19 in the countries of the EaP

Three organisations from Ukraine will be supported with small grants under EU COVID-19 Solidarity Programme

AFEW International has selected 3 community-based organisations working with key populations in Ukraine to be supported with small grants up to € 3.500 for immediate material needs arising from COVID-19 related measures, such as PPE and IT/communication equipment. The support is provided under the EU COVID-19 Solidarity Programme, financed by the European Union.

The original Call for Proposals was announced in April 2021. By the deadline (April 30, 2021) we have received 36 proposals from Ukraine. 27 of them have passed the eligibility check, and 3 were selected for funding based on the following criteria:

  • We prioritized activities which are not (easily) fundable through other means.
  • We prioritized smaller community-based organizations that are carrying their work in smaller cities.
  • In the portfolio of grants, we strived to have different key populations represented.

Please note: The deadline for organisations from 5 other countries of the Eastern Partnership was extended until 17 May, and the results will be announced on 7 June 2021.

You can find out more about the EU COVID-19 Solidarity Programme in the Eastern Partnership Countries and its various components and updates here.

We would like to thank all the applicants from Ukraine for their time and effort! You can find out more about our other grant opportunities here.

This call is a part of regional COVID-19 Solidarity Programme in the Eastern Partnership countries” with the financial support of the European Union. This project supports community based organizations (CBOs) to respond to the immediate and longer term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Eastern Partnership countries. AFEW International together with the Netherlands Helsinki Committee is part of the consortium led by People in Need. The consortium has the goal of enhancing the capacities of CBOs to effectively respond to short- and medium-term needs and influence longer-term policy reforms that support vulnerable groups and those disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.