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.

~

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.

~

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.

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 would like to kindly ask you to fill in this questionnaire (shall not take more than 3-5 minutes) and share with us what data you are missing from the updates and what can be improved. Please complete the questionnaire by May 28, 2021.

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

As of 19.05.2021

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

Georgia is 22nd in the world in the cases per million population. Armenia – 33rd, Azerbaijan – 84th

Source: Sciences Po Media lab Coronavirus Country Comparator

Situation report Armenia

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
221,368 209,508 4,357

Cases of COVID-19

— As of May 19 2021 in the morning, 221,368 coronavirus cases have been recorded in Armenia. The number of infected in one day has grown by 229, National Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported today. According to the information, 6,436 (-71) people are getting treatment. The total death toll reached 4,357 (+11). In a day 14 people died.

Measures to contain the epidemic

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

Vaccine

— Demand at the mobile vaccination centers is low and a month into Armenia’s vaccination campaign, the country has given first doses to only about 12,000 people, representing about 0.4 percent of the population. The numbers are well below Armenia’s neighbors in the Caucasus. As of May 13, Georgia had administered over 77,000 total shots, including about 13,000 second shots. Azerbaijan reported administering 1,727,510 shots as of May 11, including 713,015 second shots.

Situation report Azerbaijan

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
330,701 316,439 4,802

Measures to contain the epidemic

—The special quarantine regime will remain in effect at least until June 1, 2021.  Restaurants and cafes opened on February 1, 2021, and most other business and services are open, except shopping malls.  From April 5, 2021, educational institutions in Baku, Sumgayit, Ganja, Sheki, and the Absheron district switched to distance learning.  Masks are mandatory in all public places (both inside and outside), subject to fines.

Vaccine

— As of May 18, as many as 35,914 people were vaccinated against COVID-19 in Azerbaijan in the past 24 hours. The first dose of the vaccine was injected into 10,727 citizens, and the second one to 25,187 citizens. Totally, up until now, 1,834,657 citizens have been vaccinated, 1,042,781 of whom received the first dose of the vaccine, and 791,876 people – the second.

— Azerbaijan started the use of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine on May 18 in the nationwide vaccination process. The vaccine will be administered to people aged over 18.

— President Ilham Aliyev has several times condemned what he calls developed countries’ “unequal and unfair distribution” of vaccines.

Education

— Azerbaijan has partially re-opened schools after months of a strict coronavirus quarantine regime. As of May 17, full-time lessons have been partially resumed at secondary schools in Baku, Sumgayit, Ganja, Sheki cities, and the Absheron region.

Situation report Belarus

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
378,711 368,832 2,721

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

On May 18, Minsk received 300,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from Beijing.

— Belarus plans to purchase and manufacture domestically Russia’s single-dose Sputnik Light coronavirus vaccine.

— As of May 18, more than 367 thousand people received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, more than 261 thousand people completed the full course of vaccination.

Situation report Georgia

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
333,601 313,651 4,519

Cases of COVID-19

— Georgia has reported 1,160 new cases of coronavirus, 1,302 recoveries and 20 deaths in the past 24 hours. 4,243 patients are undergoing treatment in hospitals as of today. 918 of the 4,243 patients are in critical condition. 218 of the 918 critical patients are on artificial ventilation. 24,491 individuals are in self-isolation. More than 4,650,000 tests have been conducted in the country so far.

Measures to contain the epidemic

— The Georgian government has decided to shorten the curfew from between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. to between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.

  • Public transport will also work until 11 p.m.
  • Restaurants and cafes will be able to receive consumers in their open spaces throughout the week.
  • Earlier they were unable to receive consumers on the weekend.
  • Georgia first imposed a curfew in March 2020.

Vaccine

— Vaccination against Covid-19 with the Chinese Sinovac vaccine for people over 18 years of age will start next week in Georgia, Deputy Health Minister of Georgia Tamar Gabunia said on May 18. As of now, Georgia has 100,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine, which was gifted to the country by the Chinese government in April 2021.

— The Georgian government is negotiating with Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers and is going to import an additional one million doses of Pfizer in June or July, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said on May 18.

— Covid-19 vaccination of prisoners has started on May 18 in Georgia. Inmates in Rustavi Prison Colony #5, Geguti prison in west Georgia and, Gldani prison #8 were vaccinated yesterday. As of now, a total of 240 prisoners have expressed their desire to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

Situation report Republic of Moldova

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
254,075 245,263 6,043

Cases of COVID-19

— The total number of COVID-19 cases in the country has continued to increase, albeit at a considerably slower pace than in the first few months of the year.

— The number of new cases has decreased over the last week and reached a 7-day average of 157 on May 16 compared to 202 for the preceding week.
— The number of active cases has decreased in the past week. As of May 16, the number of active cases stood at 2,961, marking a 9% decrease compared to the previous week.

— The 7-day average for the number of deaths has decreased and stands at 11, compared to 16 in the week prior. The total number of deaths as of May 16 was 6,027.

Measures to contain the epidemic

— On March 21, authorities in Moldova have issued orders extending the country’s existing nationwide state of public health emergency and associated measures, as well as imposing a number of new restrictions through at least May 30.

Education

— Schools, with the exception of kindergartens, are operating on a distance-learning basis until at least May 30.

Vaccine

— To date, almost 4% population in Moldova have been vaccinated against COVID-19 which is 151,145 people. Of them, 18,358 citizens have received both vaccine doses. Among medical workers, the vaccination level has reached 82%. As a result, coronavirus incidence among healthcare personnel has sharply dropped.

Situation report Ukraine

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
2,165,233 1,899,446 48,696

 

COVID-19 cases

— The average number of new infections reported each day in Ukraine falls by more than 5,800 over the last 3 weeks, 37% of its previous peak. COVID-19 infections are decreasing in Ukraine, with 5,080 new infections reported on average each day. That’s 32% of the peak — the highest daily average reported on April 8.

— Ukraine’s COVID-19 fatality rated second-highest in Europe.

— In the past 24 hours as of May 19, the highest number of cases was recorded in the Kharkiv region (567), the city of Kyiv (477), Dnipropetrovsk region (457), Donetsk region (336), and Kyiv region (336).

Measures to contain the epidemic

— Ukraine has amended the adaptive quarantine regime for COVID-19 on May 13. Under this system, all regions are classified as one of four color-coded zones – green, yellow, orange, or red – in order of increasing transmission risk as determined by the volume of COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, local morbidity rates, and the capacity of local hospitals. The quarantine regime will remain in force through at least June 30. As of May 13, there are no regions in the red or orange zones for epidemiological risk. All regions of the country, including Kyiv, are now in the yellow zone. No region is designated green.

Vaccine

— Ukraine has administered at least 975,784 doses of COVID vaccines so far. Assuming every person needs 2 doses, that’s enough to have vaccinated about 1.1% of the country’s population.

— During the last week reported, Ukraine averaged about 15,069 doses administered each day. At that rate, it will take a further 590 days to administer enough doses for another 10% of the population.

~

Interesting reads

— EEAS special report update: short assessment of narratives and disinformation around the COVID-19 pandemic (update December 2020 – April 2021) read.

— Eurasianet: Amid vaccine scepticism, Armenia opens up read.

— Belta: Study of COVID-19 herd immunity kicks off in Belarus on 14 May read.

— Euronews: Lithuania to donate 200,000 COVID-19 vaccines to Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine read.

Euronews: One country, two wars: how Ukraine is fighting Covid-19 read.

Monthly update on the COVID-19 situation in the EECA region

AFEW International prepares regular updates on the COVID-19 developments in multiple countries in the EECA region.

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

As of 06.05.2021

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 EECA region

Source: Sciences Po Media lab Coronavirus Country Comparator

 

COVID-19 situation report EECA  

The following number of COVID-19 cases were registered in Russia – 4,792,000, Ukraine – 2,146,000, Kazakhstan – 388,100, Belarus – 363,700, Azerbaijan – 323,800, Georgia – 315,900, Moldova – 251,800, Armenia – 217,900, Kyrgyzstan – 96,960, Uzbekistan – 92,720, Tajikistan – 13,310, Turkmenistan – ?.

 

Situation report Armenia

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
217,900 202,273 4,192

 

Cases of COVID-19

— The third wave of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Armenia is showing some signs of stabilization, Caretaker Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said at the Cabinet meeting on May 6.

Measures to contain the epidemic

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

Vaccine

— The vaccination campaign, which began on April 13, got off to a slow start.

— A mobile vaccination unit was doing the rounds in central Yerevan on May 5, Civilnet reported.

— Fifty-six percent of Armenians will not seek a vaccine, CivilNet reported on April 19, citing a survey conducted by the Caucasus Research Resource Center.

— Health Minister Anahit Avanesyan announced on April 14 that the government had negotiated to receive 1 million Sputnik V doses from Russia, Interfax reported. She did not say when they would arrive, though she said she hopes to vaccinate 20 percent of the population by the end of the year.

— 100,000 doses of Sinovac are on their way from China, state media reported on April 30.

Situation report Azerbaijan

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
323,800 298,949 4,617

 

Cases of COVID-19

— The biggest number of coronavirus-infected cases in Azerbaijan fell on the capital (Baku city) – 54.2 percent, according to www.koronavirusinfo.az. The Absheron district (12.9 percent) ranked second, districts of the country’s Aran zone ranked third (12 percent), the Ganja-Gazakh zone (7.3 percent) ranked fourth followed by the Lankaran district (4.2 percent), the Shaki-Zagatala zone (3.1 percent), Guba-Khachmaz (3 percent), Mountain Shirvan zone (2.4 percent).

Measures to contain the epidemic

—The special quarantine regime will remain in effect at least until June 1, 2021.  Restaurants and cafes opened on February 1, 2021, and most other business and services are open, except shopping malls.  From April 5, 2021, educational institutions in Baku, Sumgayit, Ganja, Sheki, and the Absheron district switched to distance learning.  Masks are mandatory in all public places (both inside and outside), subject to fines.

Vaccine

—The first 40,000 doses of Sputnik V arrived from Russia on May 2. Baku has requested 300,000 doses.

— Azerbaijan began distributing the AstraZeneca vaccine on May 3 to people over age 60, state media reported on April 30. The country has received 84,000 doses through the COVAX program.

Situation report Belarus

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
363,700 354,212 2,592

 

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

As of early May 2021, more than 400,000 people signed up in healthcare organizations of the country to get a vaccine against the coronavirus, said Irina Glinskaya, the deputy chief physician of the National Center for Hygiene, Epidemiology and Public Health.

— According to Irina Glinskaya, more than 296,000 people in Belarus have received the first shot of the vaccine against the coronavirus and more than 137,000 are now fully vaccinated.

Situation report Georgia

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
315,900 297,676 4,227

 

Measures to contain the epidemic

— Georgia is considering cancelling curfew for the vaccinated to encourage uptake, RFE/RL reported on April 28.

— May 4-11 have been declared public holidays in Georgia.

— From May 3 through May 12, municipal transport will be suspended throughout Georgia. This restriction does not apply to intercity transport. Cemetery visits will be restricted through the upcoming holidays, with roads to cemeteries blocked.

— As an exception, the current 9 PM-5 AM curfew will be eased just for one night, namely to apply from 11 PM, May 1 to 4 AM, May 2, in light of the upcoming Easter Liturgy.

Vaccine

— Georgia began its vaccine campaign on March 15 with 43,200 doses of AstraZeneca sourced through Covax. Another 29,250 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, also through Covax, arrived on March 25.

— Georgia began using the Sinopharm vaccine on May 4.

— Deputy Health Minister Tamar Gabunia said on May 5 that she expects Georgia to reach herd immunity by the end of 2021, when she believes 60 percent of adults will be vaccinated. She also said that she expects the number of COVID-19 cases to peak in mid-May.

— Vaccine reluctance is widespread, especially after a nurse died shortly after she received her first jab on television on March 18. Georgians were broadly hesitant even before the tragedy. One recent survey conducted prior to the nurse’s death showed that over a half of Georgians were reluctant to get the jab.

— The first 6,500 doses of Sputnik V arrived in the Russian protectorate of Abkhazia on April 30, Ekho Kavkaza reported. Vaccination will begin after the May 1-7 holidays.

Situation report Republic of Moldova

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
251,800 241,912 5,892

 

Measures to contain the epidemic

— On March 21, authorities in Moldova have issued orders extending the country’s existing nationwide state of public health emergency and associated measures, as well as imposing a number of new restrictions through at least May 30.

— In “red code” areas where infection rates are high, individuals are allowed to leave their homes only for essential purposes.

Education

— Schools, with the exception of kindergartens, are operating on a distance-learning basis until at least May 30.

Vaccine

— According to the government portal on vaccination (https://vaccinare.gov.md/) as of April 26th, a total of 120,254 doses of vaccine were administered (11,494 people received 2 doses).

— The MoHLSP published its 4th survey on behavioral options on COVID-19 and vaccination in Moldova. The survey, among other indicators, shows a substantial increase in the population that accepts vaccination- 41%, compared to 31% in previous surveys.

— As a result of vaccination, the infection rate among medical staff registered a significant reduction – 82.5%. Thus, currently, the infection rate among medical personnel (% from the total of all infection cases) is 3% compared to 12% before the vaccination started.

— The COVID-19 Vaccine Market Dashboard (hosted by UNICEF) informs the following numbers on vaccines for Moldova as of April 26: doses shipped via COVAX- 86,970, doses allocated through May 2021- 233,190.

— The Russian Federation announced a donation of 182,000 doses of Sputnik-V vaccine to Moldova, including 62,000 for Transnistria region. The first batch of 71,000 doses arrived in Chisinau on April 24th, with the next batch to be dispatched in May 2021.

Situation report Ukraine

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
2,146,000 1,711,709 45,451

 

COVID-19 cases

— In April 2012, Kyiv recorded some of the highest numbers of new infections among Ukrainian regions, but new cases dropped significantly last week.

— Three regions in Ukraine remain in the “red” zone of the COVID-19 quarantine, Ukrinform reports with reference to data published on the Ukrainian Ministry of Health’s website. As of May 6, Zaporizhzhia, Poltava, and Sumy regions are in the “red” zone.

— The “yellow” zone includes Kyiv city, Vinnytsia, Dnipropetrovsk, Zakarpattia, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kyiv, Lviv, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Rivne, Kherson, Chernivtsi, Kharkiv, Khmelnytskyi, and Chernihiv. Other regions are in the “orange” zone.

— As of May 5, the COVID-19-associated hospitalization rates (60 per 100,000 people) in the regions were not exceeded.

— As of May 5, the COVID-19-associated hospitalization rate in Kyiv city was 35.3. The rate for oxygen-supplied beds in Kyiv was 44.6% (with the established capacity set at 65%).

— According to the Ministry of Health, no region exceeded the rates for oxygen-supplied beds as of May 5.

— The Cabinet of Ministers approved a resolution on the extension of adaptive quarantine in Ukraine until June 30, with four levels of epidemic danger.

Measures to contain the epidemic

— Ukraine’s capital Kyiv on May 1 eased tough restrictions imposed last month to prevent the rapid spread of the new coronavirus.

—  In early April, Kyiv limited its public transport services, closed schools and kindergartens, theatres and shopping centres, and banned spectators from sporting events.

— Since May 1, the capital allows the operation of transport, cafes and restaurants, although passenger and customer numbers will be restricted. Wearing masks is still mandatory in transport and public places.

— Shopping malls and sports clubs reopened on May 1, while schools and kindergartens could open again on May 5.

Vaccine

— On May 4, 3,425 people in Ukraine received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to data published on the Ministry of Health’s portal “Vaccination against COVID-19”. Of whom, people vaccinated with their first dose – 3,412, fully vaccinated people (received two doses) – 13. In total, 759,735 people have been vaccinated since the beginning of the vaccination campaign. In particular, people vaccinated with their first dose – 759,432, fully vaccinated people (received two doses) – 303.

— On May 4, the highest number of people were vaccinated in the Dnipropetrovsk region – 879. No vaccinations were conducted in Lviv and Khmelnytskyi regions on May 4. In Kyiv city, 57 people were vaccinated yesterday.

— Ukraine began vaccinating the population against coronavirus on February 24.

Situation report Russia 

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
4,792,000 4,472,338 112,246

 

COVID-19 cases

— Moscow authorities on April 29 confirmed 3,215 new coronavirus infections — a 74% increase and the highest number of infections in Russia’s capital reported in a single day since January.

— 255 people in Russia have been found to have a more contagious U.K. strain of the coronavirus, state-run TASS news agency reported on April 23, citing Rospotrebnazor head Anna Popova. Another 25 patients were confirmed to have the South African variant of the virus. The mutations were discovered in more than 50 Russian regions.

Measures to contain the epidemic 

— President Vladimir Putin introduced on April 23 a non-working period over May 1-11 to prevent a surge in coronavirus infections.

— All Russian schools will remain closed during a countrywide non-working period over May 1-11, state-run TASS news agency reported on 27, citing Russia’s Ministry of Education.

Vaccine

— On April 30. the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has completed a special investigation into how Russia conducted clinical trials for its Sputnik V vaccine as part of the jab’s application for approval in the EU.

— Russia has vaccinated 11.9 million people, or around 10% of its adult population, with the first dose of one of its three homemade coronavirus vaccines, Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova said on April 29.

Situation report Kazakhstan 

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
388,100 288,187 3,833

 

Cases of COVID-19

— There are currently nine regions in the high-risk red zone – the cities of Nur-Sultan, Almaty, and Shymkent as well as Akmola, West Kazakhstan, Zhambyl, Karaganda, Kyzylorda, and Pavlodar regions. Last week, the Pavlodar and Zhambyl regions moved into the red zone.

— Five regions are in the medium-risk yellow zone – the Aktobe, Atyrau, East Kazakhstan, Almaty, and Mangystau regions.

— The Kostanay, Turkistan, and North Kazakhstan regions remain in the green zone.

— Over the past week, the morbidity rate decreased by two percent, while the mortality rate has remained the same.

— The occupancy of infectious disease beds in the country remains at 42 percent, and 28 percent are in intensive care units. Nur-Sultan and Almaty are leading in terms of occupancy rates with 60 percent and 57 percent, respectively.

Vaccine

— Nearly 1.5 million people have received at least one dose of vaccine against COVID-19 in Kazakhstan as of May 4, said Kazakh Minister of Healthcare Alexey Tsoy at a May 4 government meeting.

— As of May 5, 1,422,204 people have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 347,474 have been fully immunized against the virus since the mass vaccination campaign kicked off on February 1.

— Kazakhstan has so far administered 1.8 million vaccine doses.

— Three vaccines are currently available in Kazakhstan – Russia’s Sputnik V produced at the Karaganda-based pharmaceutical plant, the locally developed inactivated QazVac vaccine, and the Hayat-Vax produced in the United Arab Emirates.

Situation report Kyrgyzstan  

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
96,960 90,611 1,640

 

Cases of COVID-19

— COVID-19 infections are increasing in Kyrgyzstan, with 333 new infections reported on average each day.

Measures to contain the epidemic 

— Mask regime remains in force.

— No quarantine will be imposed in Kyrgyzstan yet, said Health and Social Development Minister Alymkadyr Beishenaliyev on April 16.

Vaccine

— Kyrgyzstan began its vaccination campaign on March 29 with 150,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine donated by China. Initial interest was low, but enthusiasm picked up when the Russian Sputnik V jab became available on April 23 to people age 65 and older. A batch of 20,000 doses arrived on April 22.

— The AstraZeneca vaccine is expected in May. First Deputy Prime Minister Artem Novikov told parliament on April 28 that 40,000 doses of Sputnik V will also arrive in May. The country hopes to vaccinate at-risk populations by the autumn.

—  A survey by the Health Ministry with the support of the WHO found 55 percent of the population is willing to be vaccinated.

— Kyrgyzstan has administered at least 27,858 doses of COVID vaccines so far. Assuming every person needs 2 doses, that’s enough to have vaccinated about 0.2% of the country’s population.

~

Interesting reads

— Euroactiv: Kazakhstan launches QazVac, its own COVID-19 vaccine read.

— Eurasianet: Dashboard: Vaccinating Eurasia – May read.

Small grants application deadline is extended for organisations from 5 Eastern Partnership countries!

In April 2021 AFEW International launched a call for proposals from community-based organisations (CBOs) working with key populations in the Eastern Partnership countries. The small grants up to € 3.500 will be provided for immediate material needs arising from COVID-19 related measures, such as PPE and IT/communication equipment.

By initial deadline April 30, 2021 we have received 46 proposals, 36 of which came from Ukraine! It was decided to extend the deadline for the small grants’ applications for organisations from 5 other countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia and Moldova – until May 17, 2021. 

PLEASE NOTE: The decisions on the applications from Ukraine will be announced on May 21, 2021 as planned.

Eligibility criteria for the applicant

Applicant should be a Community based organization (CBO) or represent the interests and needs of the
following groups:
o Sex workers
o LGBTQI
o Men who have sex with men (MSM)
o Women vulnerable to HIV
o Migrants
o Adolescents at risk
o People using drugs
o People living with HIV (PLHIV)

Eligible costs

The Call will support CBOs that have been struggling to adapt to the new COVID-work environment with extreme limits in movement, reduction of interaction with target beneficiaries and the transition to online/remote management and mobilization. To address these challenges, AFEW International will provide support to CBOs in order to adapt and manage these changes.

  • Purchase of equipment for meetings and office rooms to facilitate distance/remote work;
  • Purchase of IT equipment to be able to facilitate communication with the clients;
  • Purchase of COVID-19 personal protection materials (masks, gloves, sanitizers, soap) for organizational and clients use;
  • Purchase of other sanitary equipment and materials for use in the office and/or when meeting clients on outcalls.

How to apply

  • Fill out the application form. An application shall be submitted in English or Russian. The deadline for submitting the form is on 17 May 2021 at 17:00 CET (Amsterdam time). All proposals submitted after the deadline will not be reviewed!
  • Send this form to the following email address: covid19@AFEW.nl. Once submitted, you will receive an automated notification.
  • Wait for the decision of the Selection Commission regarding your application. The review of the applications will be done within 3 weeks after the deadline. The decisions will be announced on 7 June 2021.
  • If you have questions, please refer them to the above-mentioned email address or to Valeria Fulga: valeria_fulga@AFEW.nl.

The Application Form consists of two parts. Part 1 refers to the content of the proposal. Part 2 refers to organizational and banking details. Both parts need to be submitted at once.

More details about the extension of the call for applications  – here.

Application Form COVID-19 Solidarity Program – download.

Budget form download.

Banking details form download.

This call is a part of a regional COVID-19 Solidarity Program 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.

COVID-19 situation quarterly report in the six countries of the Eastern Partnership April 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 (April 19, 2021)  gives an overview of the period 1 January – 31 March 2021. You can read it here.

 

The following sources were used for this report:

— 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.

Small grants to CBOs in the Eastern Partnership countries for immediate material needs arising from COVID-19 related measures

AFEW International is launching a call for proposals from community-based organisations (CBOs) working with key populations on immediate material needs arising from COVID-19 related measures, such as PPE and IT/communication equipment.

We aim at supporting multiple organisations from the Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine) with small grants. The maximum amount per grant is € 3.500.

Eligibility criteria for the applicant

Applicant should be a Community based organization (CBO) or represent the interests and needs of the
following groups:
o Sex workers
o LGBTQI
o Men who have sex with men (MSM)
o Women vulnerable to HIV
o Migrants
o Adolescents at risk
o People using drugs
o People living with HIV (PLHIV)

Eligible costs

The Call will support CBOs that have been struggling to adapt to the new COVID-work environment with extreme limits in movement, reduction of interaction with target beneficiaries and the transition to online/remote management and mobilization. To address these challenges, AFEW International will provide support to CBOs in order to adapt and manage these changes.

  • Purchase of equipment for meetings and office rooms to facilitate distance/remote work;
  • Purchase of IT equipment to be able to facilitate communication with the clients;
  • Purchase of COVID-19 personal protection materials (masks, gloves, sanitizers, soap) for organizational and clients use;
  • Purchase of other sanitary equipment and materials for use in the office and/or when meeting clients on outcalls.

How to apply

  • Fill out the application form. An application shall be submitted in English or Russian. The deadline for submitting the form is on 30 April 2021 at 17:00 CET (Amsterdam time). All proposals submitted after the deadline will not be reviewed!
  • Send this form to the following email address: covid19@AFEW.nl. Once submitted, you will receive an automated notification.
  • Wait for the decision of the Selection Commission regarding your application. The review of the applications will be done within 3 weeks after the deadline. The decisions will be announced on 21 May 2021.
  • If you have questions, please refer them to the above-mentioned email address or to Valeria Fulga: valeria_fulga@AFEW.nl.

The Application Form consists of two parts. Part 1 refers to the content of the proposal. Part 2 refers to organizational and banking details. Both parts need to be submitted at once.

More details about the call for applications  – here.

Application Form COVID-19 Solidarity Program – download.

Budget form download.

Banking details form download.

This call is a part of a regional COVID-19 Solidarity Program in the Eastern Partnership countrieswith 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.

Bi-weekly update on the COVID-19 situation in the countries of the Eastern Partnership

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

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

As of 10.03.2021

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 Armenia

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
175,538 165,259 3,237

 

Cases of COVID-19

— Armenia again sees an increase in the number of coronavirus cases. On March 4, there were 491 positive cases out of 2 922 tests, which is 16% of the total number. The number stood at 5-7 percent in January and early February.

— The Minister of Health Anahit Avanesyan emphasized the need to return to the strict observance of the mask regime and other preventive measures.

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 to receive the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines in spring.

 

Situation report Azerbaijan

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
237,260 229,915 3,250

 

Cases of COVID-19

— The growth of COVID-19 cases is recorded in Azerbaijan again. On March 10, 515 new infections were registered in comparison with 297 cases reported the day before.

Measures to contain the epidemic

The nationwide special quarantine regime remains in place in Azerbaijan until at least April 1.

— Nonessential stores are currently operating in accordance with strict hygiene and social distancing mandates. Protective face coverings and social distancing are mandatory at all times in enclosed or crowded public spaces; public gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited nationwide. The Baku Metro remains closed; public transport is suspended at the weekend in Baku and some other urban centers until at least April 1.

Education

— The number of classes, switched to distance education from February 22 to March 10 in Azerbaijan, is 302 (0.34% of total classes), while the number of schools, switched to distance education, is 13 (0.29% of total schools).

Vaccine

— The coronavirus vaccination process in Azerbaijan began on January 18, 2021. As of March 10, 2021, over 411,000 people in Azerbaijan were vaccinated against coronavirus infection, which makes 4% of the population.

Situation report Belarus

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
298,123 288,613 2,063

 

Cases of COVID-19

— At present hospitals are restarting their routine activities. New COVID-19 cases continue to decline in the country. “The situation is getting better, but we should keep our guard up. Social distancing, the use of personal protective equipment and hand hygiene remain relevant,” First Deputy Healthcare Minister Yelena Bogdan said at a final session of the Minsk City Healthcare Department on 10 March.

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

— Minsk teachers are being offered Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in a mass inoculation campaign, First Deputy Healthcare Minister Yelena Bogdan said at a final session of the Minsk City Healthcare Department on 10 March. “Vaccination of healthcare workers is underway in the country, we have recently started to vaccinate teachers and will soon move on to social workers and people who are in care homes,” Yelena Bogdan said.

Situation report Georgia

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
273,650 267,111 3,613

 

Cases of COVID-19

— Georgia has reported the first case of reinfection with Covid-19.

Measures to contain the epidemic

— The Georgian government has expanded the list of countries from which tourists can travel to Georgia with negative PCR tests conducted within the last 72 hours. Visitors from Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan will be able to arrive by the plane based on negative tests. Residents of the EU, Israel, Switzerland, the USA, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Belarus are also able to travel to Georgia based on negative PCR tests conducted within the last 72 hours.

Education

— Confirmed Covid-19 cases have resulted in the shutdown of 25 kindergartens in Tbilisi since March 1, while their facilities and staff are being prepared for reopening after self-isolation, Tbilisi City Hall has revealed on March 9. In an update, the city authority said eight of the kindergartens had remained shuttered with the March 1 reopening of venues across the city, while 17 others had closed since then due to cases of the virus.

Vaccine

— The Pfizer vaccine is expected to arrive in Georgia in the week of March 22, the AstraZeneca vaccine may also be introduced in the country by the end of March.

 

Situation report Republic of Moldova

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
196,475 173,141 4,150

 

Cases of COVID-19

— The pace of growth in coronavirus cases continued to rise for the sixth consecutive week. The average number of daily cases during the first week of March was 1,400, which represents a 13% increase compared to the same figure for the previous week.

— The total number of active cases has also increased over the past week, and, as of March 7, there were 19,811 active cases in the country, which marks a 29.2% increase compared to the previous week. This is the second-highest number of active cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

— In terms of geographical distribution, Chisinau, where 44% of all confirmed cases have been recorded, remains the most affected area in the country, if the number of cases is considered. With 10% of all confirmed cases, the Transnistria region follows in the list of most affected areas.

Measures to contain the epidemic

— Authorities in Moldova have extended their country’s nationwide COVID-19-related state of emergency and associated restrictions until at least April 15.

Vaccine

— The Republic of Moldova received 14 400 doses of COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine on 4 March 2021, shipped via the COVAX Facility. The Republic of Moldova is the first country in the WHO European Region to receive vaccines as part of COVAX.

Situation report Ukraine

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
1,416,438 1,204,916 27,423

 

COVID-19 cases

— Hit by a third wave of the pandemic, Ukraine has found itself among European countries with the highest pace of coronavirus spread. In the first week of spring, the number of new confirmed cases increased by 10,000 against the last week of February.

— Ukraine reported a sharp increase in the number of new active COVID-19 cases across the country in the past 24 hours as of March 10, 2020, that is, 6,377 against 3,261 registered a day earlier.

— The highest number of new confirmed cases in the past 24 hours was registered in the city of Kyiv (644), Odesa region (586), Vinnytsia region (575), Chernivtsi region (533), and Lviv region (523).

— Hospital load in Zakarpattia approaching a critical point. Chief Physician ay the Novak Regional Clinical Hospital, Yuriy Yatsyna noted that by the end of the week the region’s healthcare system could face a collapse. “Today in our institution, there are 120 patients in need of oxygen therapy. Sixty of them must be treated in intensive care. Meanwhile, our intensive care unit has only six beds, and it is impossible to expand it. Every day our institution employs 25-30 oxygen cylinders, and this morning there were only five left,” he said.

Measures to contain the epidemic

— The Cabinet of Ministers, Ukraine’s government, at a meeting on February 17 extended the coronavirus-related quarantine until April 30, 2021.

— Ukrainian Health Minister Maksym Stepanov says Ukraine may re-impose a new, tough lockdown if 13 or more regions become part of the red quarantine zone. Earlier, the Cabinet of Ministers announced the third wave of the coronavirus epidemic had begun in Ukraine. Several regions of the western part of Ukraine now belong to the red zone.

Vaccine

— The COVID-19 vaccination drive is unacceptably slow in Ukraine, according to Health Minister Maksym Stepanov. Ukraine started vaccination on February 24. By March 9, only 19,118 people have received the vaccine.

~

Interesting reads

— The Associated Press: Wide Resistance to Vaccines Plagues Ukraine’s COVID-19 Fight read.

— UNICEF: ‘Infodemic’ of COVID-19 disinformation bad for Ukrainians health, study for UN finds read.

— Euractiv.com: Slovaks trust Russia’s vaccine more than AstraZeneca, Moderna read.

Bi-weekly update on the COVID-19 situation in the countries of the Eastern Partnership

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

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

As of 25.02.2021

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 Armenia

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
171,227 162,984 3,179

 

Cases of COVID-19

— The pressure on the Armenian health care system has eased during the past weeks, the number of daily registered cases of infection has significantly decreased.

Measures to contain the epidemic

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

Vaccine

— The European Union and the WHO Regional Office for Europe will support together with the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination in Armenia. The project funded by the European Union and implemented by the World Health Organisation (WHO) will cover all phases of COVID-19 vaccine deployment and vaccination and will serve as a major investment to strengthen the routine immunisation system. The project will be implemented by the WHO over a three-year period as part of a €40 million EU-funded initiative to support six Eastern partner countries in preparing, deploying and monitoring the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines.

Education

— Schools in Armenia resumed in-person learning from December 7. Clinically vulnerable and 65+ employees of schools can work remotely. At-risk children will continue learning remotely.

Situation report Azerbaijan

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
233,644 228,157 3,206

 

Cases of COVID-19

— A minor decline in COVID-19 infections is registered in Azerbaijan through the past weeks.

Measures to contain the epidemic

The nationwide special quarantine regime remains in place in Azerbaijan until at least April 1.

— Land borders remain closed, and most passenger flights are suspended. UIA to resume flights to Baku from March 13, 2021.

— Nonessential stores are currently operating in accordance with strict hygiene and social distancing mandates. Protective face coverings and social distancing are mandatory at all times in enclosed or crowded public spaces; public gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited nationwide. The Baku Metro remains closed; public transport is suspended at the weekend in Baku and some other urban centers until at least April 1.

Vaccine

— On February 8, Azerbaijan has begun the second step of its COVID-19 vaccination program as it undertakes a mass inoculation of its health care workers and older citizens over 65.

— Azerbaijan has imported about 848,000 doses of CoronaVac to date, part of a multi-pronged vaccination strategy. Health officials say the country will receive a total of 4 million doses of CoronaVac, half of which will be through the COVAX global vaccine-sharing program.

— The country also is slated to receive 506,400 doses of the British AstraZeneca Oxford vaccine through COVAX, which are supposed to start arriving sometime in February.

— Azerbaijan also is taking part in an experiment, along with Russia, Ukraine, and several countries in the Middle East, in which subjects will get a first dose of the AstraZeneca and then a second dose of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine.

Education

— Schools in Azerbaijan have returned to full-time education on February 8, and kindergartens, universities and vocational schools have reopened on February 15.

— As of February 23, pupils of four schools and 84 classes in Azerbaijani schools transferred to distance learning due to the outbreak of coronavirus infection after resuming full-time education on February 8.

Situation report Belarus

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
281,707 271,733 1,939

 

Cases of COVID-19

— Belarusian Health Minister Dmitry Pinevich said on February 24 that the third wave of coronavirus promises to be less intense. The minister said the intensity of the third wave of coronavirus would depend on the introduction of new strains, as well as the degree of vaccination coverage of the contingents.

— The official said Belarus is in the second wave of COVID-19. The incidence rates are decreasing in all regions. According to the Health Minister, the number of vaccinated people in Belarus is almost 25,000. Moreover, 100,000 doses of the Chinese vaccine arrived in Belarus, and another 100,000 doses will arrive in March.

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.

Situation report Georgia

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
269,800 263,727 3,475

 

Cases of COVID-19

— Georgia detected three cases of the UK coronavirus strain so far, said Head of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Amiran Gamkrelidze on February 24.

Measures to contain the epidemic

— On February 24, the Georgian government has announced the lifting of several coronavirus restrictions:

  • On February 24, ski resorts have opened in Georgia, while cable cars will start operations on March 8.
  • Also on February 25, intercity traffic has resumed in the country.
  • The restaurants across Georgia will resume full service from the beginning of March. In the Black Sea resort town of Batumi restaurants will be opened on March 1, and from March 8 in the rest of Georgia.
  • Conferences and training sessions will be allowed again on March 1, and gyms will resume operations on March 15.
  • Museums and libraries will be opened on March 1.
  • Theatres, sports clubs, ensembles will be able to resume rehearsals on March 15, and fully resume activities (theatrical performances, sports competitions with spectator attendance) from April 1.
  • Shopping malls and markets will resume operations on weekends from March 8.
  • However, the restriction on movement will remain in force from 21:00 until 05:00.

— Travellers from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus will be allowed to enter Georgia after presenting a negative PCR test from the past 72 hours at the border starting March 1. This will apply only to air borders and that the current restrictions on the land border remain in force.

Education

— Private and public kindergartens will open on March 1. Once every two weeks, 20% of employees will have to do a Covid-19 test.

— Higher and vocational schools will be able to resume clinical, practical, laboratory activities and conduct examinations in a non-distance format from March 1, and studies in lecture halls will resume March 15.

Vaccine

— The European Union and the WHO Regional Office for Europe will support together with the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination in Georgia. The project funded by the European Union and implemented by the World Health Organisation (WHO) will cover all phases of COVID-19 vaccine deployment and vaccination, and will also serve as a major investment to strengthen the routine immunisation system.

Situation report Republic of Moldova

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
180,150 163,896 3,846

 

Cases of COVID-19

— The pace of growth in coronavirus cases continued to rise for the fourth consecutive week. The average number of daily cases over the last seven-day period is now 938, which represents an increase of 136 cases compared to the same figure for the previous week.

— The continuous increase in the number of COVID-19 patients has brought the medical system close to the limit in Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, with less than 100 free hospital beds left currently in the city. “1,320 coronavirus patients are hospitalized in municipal health institutions, and the maximum capacity is 1,400 treatment beds,” Tatiana Bucearschi, head of the General Directorate of Social Assistance and Health, told a municipal services meeting.

— Official statistics show that nearly 40 percent of people hospitalized for COVID-19 in the country are now in hospitals in the capital.

Measures to contain the epidemic

— Authorities in Moldova have extended their country’s nationwide COVID-19-related state of emergency and associated restrictions until at least April 15.

—  Private gatherings of up to 20 people are permitted but must take place away from schools, hospitals, and other public institutions. Most businesses are permitted to operate provided they adhere to strict health and safety measures; shopping centers are closed on weekends. Facemasks are mandatory in enclosed public spaces and on public transport. Public transport is operating operate at 50-per cent capacity. People over 63 years of age must remain in their accommodations except for essential purposes.

Vaccine

Moldova has not yet started a vaccination campaign against COVID-19, but the EU has promised to send the first batches to Chisinau as soon as possible. The health situation in Moldova is concerning.

Situation report Ukraine

Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths
1,325,841 1,159,311 25,596

 

COVID-19 cases

— Ukraine has registered an almost 40 per cent jump in new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours. A total of 8,147 cases were registered on February 25, the highest figure since mid-January when the number of new cases stood at 8,199.

— The ministry’s data shows most of the new cases were registered in the western part of the country and in the capital Kyiv. The country has registered a total of more than 1.3 million cases with 25,596 deaths.

— Coronavirus cases have picked up after a lull during a tight lockdown at the start of the year. The government has set up mobile hospitals in western Ukraine to cope with a sharp spike in cases in the Ivano-Frankivsk region.

Measures to contain the epidemic

— The Cabinet of Ministers, Ukraine’s government, at a meeting on February 17 extended the coronavirus-related quarantine until April 30, 2021.

— Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers has banned regular and irregular passenger transportation by road and rail, including trams, trolleybuses, the subway, and commuter trains, in the regions which were included in the COVID-19 red zones.

Education

— As of February 25, some 148 classes in 97 schools in Kyiv city have been transferred to distance learning due to a rise in coronavirus cases, according to Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko. In addition, 30 groups in 28 kindergartens have been temporarily closed due to COVID-19 cases.

— Klitschko assured that the situation with the educational process in the capital is under control.

Vaccine

— On February 25, Ukraine started its COVID-19 vaccination campaign with 159 medical workers getting the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine, the first batch of which came to Ukraine on Tuesday from India.

~

Interesting reads

— EU neighbours:  New EU programme to support readiness for vaccination efforts in Eastern Partnership countries with WHO read.

— EU neighbours: ‘Together we will beat this pandemic faster’. EU and WHO to support the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination in Armenia read.

— EU neighbours: ‘The vaccines will reach those that need them most’. EU and WHO to support the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination in Georgia read.

— Reuters: Coronavirus cases in Eastern Europe surpass 10 million – Reuters tally read.

— IWPR: Armenia Plans Vaccine Strategy read.