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US Provides Kazakhstan With Financial Support to Contain Covid-19 Outbreak

By Nazrin Gadimova April 23, 2020

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The United States has so far provided more than $1.6 million to help Kazakhstan respond to the Covid-19 outbreak. / U.S. Embassy & Consulate in Kazakhstan

The United States has allocated $800,000 to help Kazakhstan fight the fast-spreading coronavirus, which has infected more than 2,200 people in the Central Asian country.

‘‘The United States has a long and successful track record of working in partnership with Kazakhstan, now providing critical, life-saving support by coordinating with the Government of Kazakhstan, international humanitarian partners, and local stakeholders to identify priority areas for investment,’’ reads a statement published by the US Embassy in Nur-Sultan on Wednesday. 

According to the document, the financial assistance will be provided through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), which has been active in Kazakhstan since 1992. 

The allocated funds aim to strengthen Kazakhstan’s ability to battle the virus and offer support in the areas of infection prevention and control, preparing laboratory systems for large-scale testing and communicating with the public on steps that can be taken to limit and prevent the spread of Covid-19.

At the same time, technical specialists from the US-based Center for Disease Control are working closely with Kazakhstani experts to share expertise related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The government in Nur-Sultan has implemented several preventive measures to contain the spread of the deadly virus in Kazakhstan. 

On January 29, the country closed a 1,782 km-long border with China, where the virus outbreak first originated late last year. Last month, the country declared a state of emergency, imposed a national quarantine and ordered the closure of all state borders until April 15. In addition, Kazakhstan carrier Air Astana suspended all international flights until further notice starting from March 29. 

On April 14, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev ordered to expand the state of emergency until May 1.

‘‘Kazakhstan is taking decisive action to stop the spread of the virus. In the fight against Covid-19, the US Government stands with Kazakhstan and other partners around the world,” said William Moser, the US Ambassador to Kazakhstan, said in a statement posted to the embassy’s website. 

“We need to join forces as the international community. Every one of us can contribute to stopping the pandemic by staying home and following the government’s guidelines,” Moser added. 

The United States has so far provided more than $1.6 million to help Kazakhstan respond to the Covid-19 outbreak. Last month, USAID distributed personal protective equipment (PPE) to the City Center for Ambulance Services in Nur-Sultan, including 10,000 examination gloves, 10,000 masks, 1,400 isolation gowns and 200 protective goggles. 

According to an interactive map from Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering, the number of global coronavirus cases continues to rise, with more than 2.6 million confirmed cases and over 185,000 deaths recorded in more than 200 countries and territories.

Kazakhstan's death toll from the virus has reached 20, according to the latest figures reported by media on Thursday, while health officials are confident that the outbreak in the country has hit a peak.

‘‘The number of cases are projected to rise to 2,700 by the end of April, and to 4,000 — by the end of May. The challenge we are facing is to reduce daily growth [of cases] up to 5 percent, then to 1 percent,’’ Russia-based news agency Eurasia Daily quoted Kazakhstan's Chief State Health Inspector Ayzhan Yesmagambetova as saying.