Tokayev held conference on countering COVID-19

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Tokayev held conference on countering COVID-19

Tokayev held conference on countering COVID-19

courtesy of RK President’s press service

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev held a videoconference with Government members, heads of a number of state bodies, akims of cities and regions, refers to the Akorda press service reporting.

Tokayev noted that during the pandemic, domestic doctors had gained the necessary experience, learned to see the main symptoms of the disease and know how to deal with it.

The health care system has been significantly strengthened, mass testing was launched, and identification of contact persons improved. Business adapted to the new realities, and the attitude of citizens themselves towards the pandemic has changed.

“The second wave of the pandemic will be different in many respects and will take place at a difficult time for the country's economy. We must take this into account. Today the whole world is faced with the solution of the so-called 'covid equation', which involves not only direct losses of certain industries, but also a delayed effect when unemployment or gaps in training can lead to various negative consequences, including a rise in crime. Therefore, the task is to curb the pandemic without resorting to the quarantine that was in spring,” the President said. The most accurate registration of the infected is an absolute requirement in the fight against the virus.

-The current situation is underestimated, the measures taken are half-hearted, epidemiological alertness among citizens is decreasing. It has to be admitted that this problem has become chronic in our health care system, Tokayev said.

The Ministry of Health, together with the Bureau of National Statistics was instructed to develop comprehensive approaches to the formation, assessment and analysis of medical statistics. Full readiness of all health organizations needs to be provided too. This also applies to military medicine, which must be ready for a rapid deployment of forces and means to fight infection.

- Recent assessment of medical organizations shows an insufficient degree of their readiness. Violations were identified in more than half of healthcare facilities. Hospitals have not been fully zoned, resulting in the risk of contamination of patients and the staff. In almost all the regions, the intensive care units are understaffed. There is a shortage of certain drugs and a number of medical devices for the treatment of severe patients with coronavirus infection. The regions purchase drugs at their own discretion, without taking into account the existing treatment protocols, the President believes.

In providing medicines it has to be clarified: what is purchased for medical organizations, and what is for pharmacies, what is the overall stock in the warehouses of a single distributor. The government, together with the akims, have to ensure the procurement of the necessary medicines and medical devices in accordance with the norms and treatment protocols.

- On my instructions, prices for PCR and medical masks have been reduced. These are the right measures that people immediately felt. The same work should be done with regard to medicinal products, primarily anticancer drugs. I ask the Agency for the Protection and Development of Competition, together with the State Revenue Committee, to sort out this issue. In general, the Agency should get involved in the work on the price regulation of medicines and medical devices and deal with cartels in the pharmaceutical business, the President ordered.

The state, he noted, will continue to pay benefits to medical workers involved in the fight against coronavirus. He also reminded of the responsibility of company leaders and business owners for compliance with sanitary requirements and restrictive measures. The sanitary situation in public transport and observance of social distance in places of mass gathering are of concern.

- Parents should be patient and understanding. We must not allow a decline in the education quality. It is necessary to monitor the training result and timely close educational gaps. I instruct the Government, together with the regional akims, to tighten control over the education quality, despite the restrictive measures, Tokayev said.

He also instructed to provide doctors with protective equipment in the required amount. All pandemic measures should be extremely transparent.

- The government needs to take tight control over all potentially corrupt areas. We faced corruption during the first wave. These are overpricing of medical masks and medicines, violations at checkpoints, corruption in the appointment of payments to doctors. The quality of the inspection bodies’ work, that is, the police, akimats, and monitoring groups, requires special attention. During the pandemic, they were given, one might say, extraordinary powers to inspect businesses and citizens. This power must be properly managed and must not be abused. And they must not work on the principle - “I check who I want and when I want, the President cautioned.

He re-emphasized that any difficulties and crises open a window of opportunity. There are already impressive successes - two domestic vaccines are among the world's promising biological products and are undergoing clinical trials.

- The most important task is to launch the domestic vaccine into production without delay. It is necessary to simplify the procedure for temporary registration and to complete  construction of the plant for experimental-industrial and industrial production of vaccines. We have reached an agreement with the President of Russia on the construction of a plant for the production of Russian vaccines. The government has already started negotiations on attracting investments in this necessary project. It is important to continue working in all areas of biological safety. All developed countries are taking such measures. Before the end of the current session of the Parliament, it is necessary to submit a draft law on biosafety to the deputies for consideration, - the President tasked.

He thanked doctors, police officers, military personnel and everyone on the front lines of the fight against the pandemic.

The meeting was also attended by Prime Minister Askar Mamin, Minister of Health Alexei Tsoi, Minister of Internal Affairs Yerlan Turgumbayev, General Director of the Scientific Research Institute of Biological Safety Problems Kunsulu Zakarya, Akim of East Kazakhstan region Danial Akhmetov, Akim of Kostanay region Arkhimed Mukhambetov and akim of Pavlodar region Abylkair Skakov.

18:58, 16 November 2020

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