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
In order to prevent transmission of COVID-19, official advice on hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and physical distancing was issued in mid-January 2020. All basic protective measures against the new coronavirus were taken from the WHO global webpage and adapted locally by translating the WHO materials into Kyrgyz and Russian languages by the WHO Country Office in Kyrgyzstan. This support is being continued to provide risk communication assistance to the Ministry of Health and other health organizations through printing out and disseminating WHO posters, flyers and infographics across the country.
The Government’s official messages are widely circulated through multiple channels and formats (social media, TV channels, daily media briefings), and the respective officials regularly make reports and statements in the state and official languages. The site of the Ministry of Health provides information on the health system’s response to COVID-19 in 3 languages; it helps to coordinate and inform all national and international partners. State TV and other channels regularly update the public on the actions taken and the spread of COVID-19 and influencers amplify the official messages. The Republican Task Force (Stab) (see Section 5) is also regularly challenged by growing requests for clarifications on a number of questions that go beyond public health and touch upon the availability of protective gear for medical personnel, increasing prices, the availability of food items for the public, especially for vulnerable groups, and the transportation of essential public servants and medical personnel during the State of Emergency.
Currently, a UN crisis communication strategy in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Kyrgyzstan to support the government of Kyrgyzstan is being developed. The communication objectives and messages that are laid out in the crisis communication plan (CCP) are designed to enhance the UN crisis communication, while supporting the implementation of the Government Press Service’s Anti-Crisis Communication Plan in the areas of 1) crisis communication and 2) community engagement as stipulated in the Country Health Contingency Plan for COVID-19, signed on 18 March 2020 by the Vice Prime Minister who is the chair of the Republican Task Force on Health. The crisis communication plan also focuses on implementing the communication activities of the Disaster Response Coordination Unit. The official UN communication channels include social media, web pages, press-briefings etc.