Epidemiological Situation in Kazakhstan Follows Optimistic Scenario, Says Kazakh Healthcare Minister

NUR-SULTAN – The epidemiological situation in Kazakhstan is currently developing based on the optimistic scenario, said Kazakh Healthcare Minister Alexey Tsoy at the meeting on the country’s fight against coronavirus infection. The meeting was also attended by Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

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“A comparison between the forecast as of Sept. 7 and as of Nov. 10 shows that the epidemiological situation in Kazakhstan has been following an optimistic scenario. This means that the pessimistic forecast was avoided due to the measures taken, which made it possible to shift the potential lockdown in the pessimistic scenario by one month,” said Tsoy addressing the meeting via video. 

Speaking at the same meeting in October, Tsoy outlined three scenarios for how the situation might unfold. 

“According to the pessimistic scenario, if a mask regime is followed with only 60 percent compliance, the number of confirmed cases in October-December this year will amount to nearly 190,000 and 65,000 will then need intensive hospital care. Lockdown will then be inevitable by mid-December,” said Tsoy back then. 

The second realistic scenario envisioned compliance with social distancing measures and the mask regime by 70 percent. In this case, the number of cases from October to December will reach approximately 90,000, and 30,000 will need to be hospitalized with a lockdown by January.  

The optimistic scenario would mean 100 percent mask compliance and the number of reaching 40,000 with 15,000 requiring hospitalization. 

As of Nov. 17, Kazakhstan has had 121,653 C то COVID-19 cases and a confirmed 1,899 deaths. There are also 40,220 coronavirus pneumonia cases, and 421 people who have died from it. 

Kazakhstan is currently in a yellow zone, according to the risk assessment tool developed by the ministry. 

East Kazakhstan and North Kazakhstan Regions are high risk areas and in the red zone, while Akmola, Kostanai, Pavlodar regions, and the cities of Nur-Sultan and Almaty are moderate risk areas and in the yellow zone. Other regions remain green. 

The capacity for PCR testing was expanded, he said. 140 laboratories conduct coronavirus testing bringing the number of daily PCR tests to 76,000. 

Medical organizations can deploy up to 71,000 beds, said Tsoy. Currently, the occupancy rate of infectious hospital beds is 21 percent and 17 percent in intensive care units. 

Mobile teams have been working since July providing clinical and diagnostic treatment at home. Since July, they have provided more than 280,000 services. 

“As of Nov. 16, the number of emergency calls has decreased by 43.8 percent compared to July this year, and COVID-19 emergency calls by 79 percent,” said Tsoy.  

Maternity mortality, which was brought up earlier by Tokayev, has decreased, said the minister.

“Amid the spike in COVID-19 cases in the third quarter of this year, there was a significant increase in maternal mortality. Today we can see that the situation has stabilised. In the last two months, there have been no cases of pregnant women dying from coronavirus infection,” said Tsoy.

Kazakhstan has recently strengthened sanitary-epidemiological and migration control measures at the state border to help control a new spike in coronavirus infections. 

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