Policy responses for Azerbaijan - HSRM


Policy responses for Azerbaijan

1. Preventing transmission

The section on PREVENTING TRANSMISSION includes information on key public health measures that aim to prevent the further spread of the disease. It details how countries are advising the general public and people who (might) have the disease to prevent further spread, as well as measures in place to test and identify cases, trace contacts, and monitor the scale of the outbreak.

1.1 Health communication

Official advice on hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and physical distancing have been issued by the Government and international agencies working in Azerbaijan. A national communication strategy and plan for COVID-19 has been developed under Presidential Administration with WHO and UN support. A week-by-week messaging plan is disseminated by Government to all communication partners. Further risk communication and community engagement are conducted through press releases, media, social media, TV, radio, and text message. Anyone attempting to disseminate false information or spread panic in the media (including social media) is liable to be fined. However, there is an issue with trust in official messaging as many people believe conspiracy theories about COVID-19 and do not respect policies to prevent transmission. The Government has launched an information portal aimed to raise public awareness on prevention: https://koronavirusinfo.az 

The Center for Public Health and Reforms (CPHR) of the MoH has held awareness campaign to inform the population about COVID-19. Educational materials distributed to large supermarkets in Baku on 31 March. Leaflets included information on the symptoms and signs of COVID-19, provided recommendations for protection against the virus.

A TABIB bot launched by the Government of Azerbaijan and UNDP aims to counter misinformation about COVID-19. The WhatsApp bot answers questions from the public about coronavirus and gives prompt, reliable, and official information 24 hours a day: https://www.eurasia.undp.org/content/rbec/en/home/presscenter/pressreleases/2020/governments-mustfight-coronavirus-misinformation.html

As of 25 July, TV remained the top source for news and information on COVID-19, but it has fallen over time, with Instagram and Facebook increasing as sources of information. As the Special Quarantine Regime has been extended, there is growing frustration and growing disbelief in the seriousness of the pandemic and the virus.