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Astana, Kazakhstan • 20 July 2022

Almaty 'Green' Again As Kazakhstan Redefines Coronavirus Color Zones

Additional batch of Pfizer vaccines set to be ordered for fall

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Kazakhstan's Minister of Health Azhar Giniyat announced that every region of the country is in the 'green' zone for coronavirus according to the new tier system for evaluating the epidemiological situation, Qazmonitor reports.

Color zones explained

The minister spoke at a briefing held today where she explained that the coronavirus risk status of a city or a region will be determined based on the daily rate of hospitalization per 100,000 population instead of the daily rate of infection. 

In the previous system, the colored zones - green, yellow and red - were calculated using two indicators: the reported cases per 100,000 population in an average of seven days and the reproduction number (R).

Just yesterday, Almaty had been teetering close to the 'red' zone while Nur-Sultan was balanced on a thin line between 'green' and 'yellow'. But now, all regions are 'green'.

Minister Giniyat gave a run down of the definition for each zone according to the new system.

"Green" zone: hospital bed occupancy up to 2,500 patients regardless of the reproductive number index R; hospital bed occupancy up to 5,000 patients with the reproduction number (R) less than 1.

"Yellow" zone: hospital bed occupancy up to 5,000 patients with R greater than 1; hospital bed occupancy from 5,000 to 10,000 patients with R less than 1.

"Red" zone: hospital bed occupancy from 5,000 patients with R greater than 1; hospital bed occupancy greater than 10,000 patients regardless of R.

New measures

In lieu of the new policy, the Ministry of Health also proposed new restrictive measures. 

In the case that a city moves to the 'yellow' zone, additional measures will be taken to localize the source of infection.

"The Ministry of Health has drafted new measures to be discussed in the next meeting of the Interdepartmental Commission. The policy includes work with close contacts, restrictions at work, the transfer of sick employees to remote work, as well as a mask mandate in public areas and transport vehicles."

Azhar Giniyat

In case of a transition to the 'red' zone, measures on top of the ones for the "yellow" zone will include restricting the movement of people and business entities in two stages, depending on the load on hospitals and PHCs.

The Minister was also asked whether there would be restrictions on flights, travel and border crossing regime.

"I think there will be no severe restrictions. The virus has changed and the symptoms are more or less mild. There will be restrictive measures when in the "red" zone, but not as strict as before," said the health minister.

More Pfizer vaccines

As of now, Kazakhstan has a total of 1,630,930 doses of vaccine against coronavirus infection.

"Among the vaccines, 329,000 doses are QazVac, almost 1,200,000 are Sinopharm and 106,500 are Pfizer. In Almaty, we have 37,000 doses of QazVac, 180,000 doses of Sinopharm, and 8,600 doses of Pfizer," said Minister Giniyat.

She added that about 500,000 doses of the QazVac vaccine are produced each month, given that there are still almost 2 million doses available.

"As for Pfizer, at the moment we are using what is left in stock. We will order an additional batch for children and pregnant women in the fall period. Today's volume is currently calculated to cover about 300,000 people," said the minister.

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