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.

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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.

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