WHO: Kazakhstan committed to ensuring a comprehensive COVID-19 response

WHO: Kazakhstan committed to ensuring a comprehensive COVID-19 response

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Aug. 18

By Nargiz Sadikhova - Trend:

Kazakhstan is committed to ensuring a comprehensive COVID-19 response, Caroline Clarinval, Head of the WHO Country Office in Kazakhstan told Trend.

Clarinval said that since the onset of the COVID-related crisis, WHO has released numerous technical guidelines and guidance notes to respond to the outbreak and to maintain essential health services, including a set of targeted actions for countries at the national, regional and local levels.

“These guidelines relate to nine areas and include: governance mechanisms, identifying context-relevant essential services, managing patient flow, re-distributing and training the health workforce capacity, adjusting service delivery, maintaining availability of medications and supplies, reducing financial barriers, strengthening risk communication and community engagement, and reinforcing information systems,” she said.

Clarinval emphasised that Kazakhstan has actively engaged in all nine areas of work which define WHO’s response to COVID-19 outbreak.

“For instance, alongside appropriate public health measures and a vigilant decision-making system, Kazakhstan has also invested in hospital surge capacities, repurposed some and built new health care facilities which play a fundamental role in the treatment and the pathway of COVID-19 patients. Public health surveillance system has been adjusted, digital solutions for case detection have been applied. The laboratory capacities have been rapidly scaled up. The whole-of-government emergency response mechanism has been activated, showing the tremendous efforts invested by the country to fight COVID-19,” Clarinval said.

She noted that WHO has observed that since the beginning of this crisis, Kazakhstan has been looking at how other countries were responding and has made use of its window of opportunity and absorbed global best practices and lessons learnt to be better prepared.

Talking WHO recommendations to battle COVID-19 spread, Clarinval noted that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution, however WHO provides recommendations to support Ministries of Health, including the Ministry of Health in Kazakhstan.

“This knowledge-sharing approach also serves as an opportunity to discuss best practices and to adjust standard operating protocols to the national context. We see that the country is committed to ensuring a comprehensive response, both in organizing the treatment of patients and in supporting health care workers involved in the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak,” she said.

Clarinval added that from the very beginning, Kazakhstan used the tactic of active testing, including the testing of health care workers.

“Active case finding and testing brought good results: 81 percent of all cases were identified through active case finding. Up to 30,000 tests are conducted every day. There are two essential elements to addressing the pandemic effectively: leaders must step up to take action and citizens need to embrace new measures,” Clarinval said.

Clarinval added that for most regions, while restrictions on movement will be eased, general public health and social distancing measures remain in place.

“In this regard, we continue to insist on further adherence to the main recommendations of national health authorities and WHO to break the chain of transmission and prevent the spread of the virus among the population,” she concluded.

The first two cases of coronavirus infection were detected in Kazakhstan among those who arrived in Almaty city from Germany on March 13, 2020.

The total number of coronavirus cases confirmed in Kazakhstan since the virus was first confirmed in the country amounted to 103,300 cases. This includes 84,445 people who recovered from the coronavirus, and 1,415 patients who passed away.


Follow the author on twitter: @nargiz_sadikh

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