Improvement of the epidemiological situation in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan overcame the critical situation in July caused by the outbreak of Covid-19. In the height of July, hospitals were overcrowded, ambulance telephones were torn apart by calls from citizens, and there was a general excitement from overcrowded hospitals.

However, coordinated action allowed us to overcome the epidemiological crisis and take health care under control. To date, 92,662 cases of coronavirus infection have been registered in Kazakhstan, where about 69% of cases have recovered. The workload of hospitals dropped to 36%, and the increase in morbidity does not exceed 1.2% per day.

From August 1, in Kazakhstan, there was a unified statistics of infected with Covid-19, which, on the recommendation of the World Health Organization, will now include pneumonia caused by a new infection. It took about two weeks to combine the statistics, since the Ministry of Health developed new coding algorithms, regulated the information system, and most importantly, trained medical staff to identify the symptoms of coronavirus pneumonia. Such a laborious process is due to the incredible complexity of defining the disease. Often, PCR tests of patients with coronavirus pneumonia give negative results, as a result of which further diagnosis becomes much more difficult. In particular, thanks to the new accounting system, any misinformation and groundless statements that could serve as a pretext for misinforming the population have disappeared. The agency aims to provide comprehensive coverage of Covid-19 in order to provide timely and high-quality care to the population and to avoid the spread of non-traditional methods of self-medication.

Fighting ahead – this is how the current situation in Kazakhstan can be characterized. The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan, in close cooperation with a number of other departments, is carrying out painstaking work to ensure epidemiological stability. Taking into account the annual increase in ARVI and influenza diseases in the autumn-winter period, the Ministry of Health of Kazakhstan is intensively preparing for a similar scenario. In this regard, planned vaccination against influenza. Literally all the country’s resources are devoted to preparing for the autumn period. The available beds and those that are in reserve are equipped with everything you need and are fully ready to accept patients. Stocks are replenished for PCR testing. Medicines are being purchased for accumulation in the retail network and in warehouses. Much attention is paid to providing medical organizations with supplies of personal protective equipment in all corners of the country. The Ministry of Health has also revised a number of mechanisms to provide quality and timely medical care to citizens in need. In order to provide comprehensive medical care to the population, for patients with coronavirus-like pneumonia, Covid-19 treatment regimens are being prepared for subsequent transfer to clinics. At the same time, the list of drugs has been expanded to 5 names, which are recommended to be used in practice for the early treatment of such types of pneumonia and coronavirus. Absolutely all regions in an enhanced mode carry out the purchase of ventilators and oxygen concentrates.

In order to stabilize and prepare for the possible next wave of Covid-19, the Ministry of Health of Kazakhstan has increased the bed capacity from 30.4 thousand to 49.7. thousand. In order to provide timely medical care at home at the outpatient level, mobile teams were created in PHC, including 2,962 units. It is planned to increase the number of mobile brigades to 3,500 thousand. At the same time, the number of Call-centers increased by 16% in order to provide timely advice and receive calls in polyclinics.

According to the latest data, there are about 1,958 ventilators available in infectious and provisional hospitals. It is planned to additionally purchase about 4183 units of equipment, as well as connect about 21 thousand beds to oxygen and 6237 points to oxygen concentrates. At the moment, the laboratories are capable of producing 32 thousand PCR tests per day; and in the future, by the beginning of September, research capacity will be increased to 64 thousand per day.

The procurement of medicines, sufficient to provide effective medical care both in clinics and at home, is also under control. The government instructed SK-Pharmacia LLP to purchase medicines in the amount of a two-month supply. This takes into account the need to supply drugs for retail sale to the population for home treatment.

In order to provide medical care in due time in the regions, the Ministry of Health also took care of the necessary level of medical care. To provide outpatient care in the countryside, 1493 mobile teams have been created and are functioning, which conditionally covers 94% of the need. 641 ambulances are used to provide medical care. According to the order of the government, akimats and ministries of health and industry are obliged to provide the regions with the necessary number of ventilators by the end of August.

To date, the situation has stabilized in a number of regions. The best indicators for the epidemiological situation were found in West Kazakhstan, Almaty, Turkestan, Kostanai, Akmola and Mangistau regions. An equally encouraging situation is developing in the capital of Kazakhstan – Nur-Sultan’s indicators in terms of the number of recovered vary about 73%. The number of calls to the ambulance regarding Covid-19 in the capital has decreased by 10 times. If earlier there were about 500 calls per day due to CVI, then today the figure is about 50 calls. The main task of health care at the moment is to maintain current positions, since thanks to the establishment of quarantine, the peak of infectiousness has passed. Moreover, the current quarantine is fundamentally different from what it was in the spring. Taking into account the experience of other countries, the Government of Kazakhstan, during the quarantine, introduced a number of exemptions for the population in the form of permission to walk in small groups, conduct training on the street and visit public food outlets in the fresh air.

The government has repeatedly noted the need not only to continue intensive work to treat sick citizens, but also to conduct an awareness campaign among citizens aimed at observing sanitary standards and established quarantine requirements. According to the warnings of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Askar Mamin, the alarming situation in the world persists and a surge in Covid-19 infections has been recorded in about 126 countries of the world.

The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan is actively working on the production of a Kazakhstani vaccine against Covid-19. The whole world is striving to develop a vaccine and Kazakhstani scientists are also keeping up with their international colleagues. At this stage, the Kazakhstani vaccine has successfully passed preclinical trials in mice, pigs and macaques. Moreover, a number of researchers from the Biological Safety Research Institute volunteered to test the vaccine on themselves. To date, five volunteers who injected themselves with the vaccine do not have any alarming symptoms in the form of allergies, fever, or general deterioration in well-being. Preclinical trials are coming to an end on August 20, after which the data obtained will be transferred to the Ministry of Health.

The Ministry of Health selected 44 volunteers who were not previously infected with Covid-19 and therefore do not have antibodies in the body. In September, with the permission of the Ministry of Health, the first stage of clinical trials in humans will be launched. The second phase of the trial involves testing vaccines on more people. About two hundred people volunteered to retest the vaccine between October and December of this year. These studies are planned to be carried out within the walls of Almaty clinics. The next step on the road to vaccination of citizens against the threat of Covid-19 will be the launch of a plant for the production of immunobiological drugs at the Research Institute of Biological Safety in the Zhambyl region. Thanks to this plant, up to 60 million doses of vaccines will appear on the domestic market annually.

At the same time, Kazakhstan does not rely entirely on the creation of its own vaccine. According to the meeting of the Interdepartmental Commission, the Ministries of Health and Foreign Affairs are actively involved in concluding preliminary contracts for the purchase of the Covid-19 vaccine. At the moment, the departments are defining the groups of people to be vaccinated, making financial calculations for costs and calculating the possibility of Kazakhstan’s participation in the COVAX Facility program. Participation in this program provides the opportunity to gain access to a range of candidate vaccines for Covid-19.

Summing up, it is safe to say that the epidemiological situation in Kazakhstan has stabilized. The acute period has passed and now the leadership of Kazakhstan is aimed at maintaining the won positions and further strengthening the health care system.


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