NUR-SULTAN, July 8. /TASS/. Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has said that the situation with the coronavirus spread within the country is still serious and it is still early to relax restrictions.
"The coronavirus situation remains serious. But in proportion, it is neither better nor worse if compared with other states. Nevertheless, we are certainly not going to be content with this fact, as big work lies ahead which we, entire society, should do together," he said in a televised address on Wednesday.
According to the president, the authorities approved strict and tough measures at the onset of the pandemic to curb the spread of the virus in the country.
"That helped us save multiple lives. Regrettably, due to mass non-observance of quarantine measures, systemic mistakes of the former leadership of the Health Ministry and incompetence of Akims (municipal heads - TASS), we are in fact facing the second coronavirus wave coupled with a huge uptick in pneumonia cases," the president stated.
Tokayev recalled that the state commission ordered to declare a two-week nationwide quarantine.
"It is a right decision. The first signs of stabilization have emerged by now. However, it is still premature to relax. The coming weeks will become crucial in our fight against the pandemic," the president said.
The state of emergency was in force in Kazakhstan from March 16 until May 11. Nevertheless, lockdown restrictions are still in effect in some regions. In the wake of the worsening epidemic situation, on July 5 Kazakhstan imposed additional restrictions for the next 14 days, with the possibility to extend or tighten them. Up to now, 51,059 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the country, with 16,928 recoveries and 264 fatalities.
In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia. On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.