Azerbaijan anticipating new lockdown
The possible announcement of another Covid-19 lockdown is the number one topic on news and social media in Azerbaijan today.
Politicians, doctors and ordinary citizens share their arguments in favor of and against the tightening of the quarantine measures.
For the second consequent week, Azerbaijani society is living in anticipation of yet another tightening of the quarantine measures in the country. This is further fueled by persistent rumors as well as the approaching of the main holiday of the country – Novruz.
Rumors fueled by expert commentary
Earlier this month, some media outlets reported that on March 13, the operational headquarters under the Cabinet of Ministers will hold a briefing during which the next lockdown starting on March 15 will allegedly be announced.
What is truly surprising is not the exact dates of the possible events thats are yet to be announced, but the experts that keep confirming the announcement of the next lockdown.
For nine days, starting on March 20 and ending on March 28 Azerbaijan will be celebrating the Novruz national holiday.
“During the holidays, it is possible that the government will introduce additional restrictive measures in crowded places”, says Mushfiq Mammadli, member of the Azerbaijani parliament.
“During the coming national holiday, one may expect restrictions on public transport. Moreover, there is also a possibility of a ban on leaving the house for people over 65 years old being introduced”, said Adalet Rustam, associate professor at the Azerbaijan Medical University.
Opponents of quarantine are outraged
With the nationwide holiday approaching, some politicians have adopted a tougher narrative when referring to deliberated quarantine measures.
“Prices go up during the holiday, but citizens do not receive adequate wages. It is wrong to close everything down. They say they will close down the roads connecting capital to the regions. But during these 10 days people had a chance to visit their relatives.
We must also think about the police. They do not measure the temperature, but only check if one has permission to leave the house. So it is possible that some infected people might also infect law enforcement officers.
Vaccination measures must be strengthened. Some countries are already introducing green passports for the vaccinated. Such measures should be introduced here, too”, said Fazil Mustafa, member of the Azerbaijani parliament.
In Azerbaijani, only a few people trust the COVID-19 figures released daily by the government authorities:
“Meeting at the headquarters:
- How many infected people shall we announce tomorrow?
- No, this is my car’s number plates. People will doubt it.
- Then let’s say 777.
- Well, what kind of number is that? Just like in the epic tale of Koroglu. He had 7777 fighters, we have 777 patients.
- How about 801? We don’t have long left until the briefing.
- It’s a good idea. We agreed, tomorrow, let’s say 801 …
“It seems to me that the numbers in the headquarters are deliberated exactly like that way”, one of the leaders of the opposition Republican Alternative party Natik Jafarli wrote on his Facebook page.