Private government, business, and civil society must be mobilized to save from coronavirus

The Medprosvet network group took the initiative to collect signatures under an appeal to the Cabinet of Ministers Operational Headquarters for Combating Coronavirus Infections. The appeal listed the shortcomings recorded by the network group during the first two-day hard quarantine (lockdown), and suggested their own ways to solve them.

The network group expressed its concern about the introduction of an ill-conceived, two-day restriction of all movement of citizens on June 6 and 7, 2020, introduced by the Operational Headquarters under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan. People were actually placed under house arrest in 5 regions. Of course, quarantine measures accepted around the world, including in our country, aimed at combating the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, are necessary and effective. We ask you to check the bacchanalia that 5 regions of our country plunged into during this period."

After the appeal, on June 10, the assistant to the President of Azerbaijan and the Ombudsman met with the head of Medprosvet, the doctor Zaur Oruj. 

- What did make to appeal to the operation center, after which you met? Does not the government know what it needs to do?

 This is the answer of Zaur Oruj:

- The Medprosvet Group is more than four years old. People trust us. After the first two-day lockdown, there were many calls to us listing the problems. We collected them and posted them in our appeal.  I do not think that the government knows everything and we have nothing to add. The government also employs people who cannot see from above what is visible to us from below. I learned a lot at the meeting with the Presidential Aide and the Ombudsman, and they learned a lot from us. Throughout the world, power acts together with the people, their representative - civil society, through disputes and discussions. The authorities understand that control over events from above is insufficient. If people themselves do not take control of the country, no one will give them these rights. We are not a young, mature nation; many years have passed since the restoration of state independence. It is time to pick up responsibility for your country.

- Will you monitor on June 14-15?

-Now we again collect information from the field about the execution of the second lockdown. Today, those mistakes that were in the first two days of total quarantine are not repeated; 95% of our subscribers say other issues. This is a shortage of drinking water, interruptions in water supply. In addition, the reluctance of coveted clinics to take patients with an unclear diagnosis or negative response. However, we know that a negative answer does not mean that the patient is not sick with coronavirus. There may be false negative test responses for the presence of coronavirus. Hospitals do not want to accept infected patients in order not to infect their medical staff and patients.

-Why not all people believe in the existence of the danger of coronavirus, believes that the authorities in all countries are deceiving citizens, presenting the usual flu as a global problem?

- There is such a global trend - nihilism in relation to medical knowledge. Illiterate people flaunt their distrust of doctors and medicine. In YouTube, 5-10 million views are gaining videos in which ignoramuses rant that the Earth is flat. Videos, in which competent specialists explain and prove the true structure of the Earth, are not watched by a million viewers. This is so nice - without being an expert in this field, having no personal success, sitting on the couch throwing accusations of illiteracy into specialists' faces. Such a person feels significant because he argues with well-known experts...

Of course, throughout the world, there is a shortage of high-quality popular information, and this affects the growing distrust of the people in science.

- They also say that the two-day lockdowns are ineffective, since on the third day, everything opens, and people get into public transport again, work together...

- I have no information to answer the question about the effectiveness of lockdowns. Rather, you need to turn to statistics, which, using a large amount of input data, will produce a curve demonstrating the effectiveness of two-day hard quarantines. Compare it with the relevant indicators without quarantine prohibitions.

The weekend lockdown experience is not our invention; it was practiced by Turkey and Israel and quite successfully. However, already the second lockdown, our system demonstrates its unwillingness to implement such measures with minimal losses for the population. A bunch of problems again, since morning I have been collecting complaints online, making publications, talking to officials and the media. The flow of discontent is growing.

- There are many rumors in society that doctors offer money to an ordinary patient so that they recognize themselves infected with coronavirus. People convince each other that doctors are given extra money for this. Is it true?

- I tried to find confirmation for these rumors, I asked those who said this to send evidence, and then they disappeared and liquidated their posts. I could not find a single fact that patients are paid for attributing a coeval diagnosis to them.

- How do you assess the recent decision by Operative Headquarters to refuse hospitalization to mild patients with mild illness?

- This decision of the operational headquarters is correct and belated. Many doctors two months ago spoke of the need to abandon the universal hospitalization of all infected. From the point of view of the economics of resources, which are still very useful to us, this is the right decision, which had long had to be taken. The difficulty is that not all self-isolated will withstand quarantine at home. There is a correction for the human factor. How to explain to a person that he is sick, dangerous for himself and others, he needs to stay at home. Not to be assigned to every police office. Patients with a mild form of the disease should be at home and treated, giving a subscription on the implementation of the rules.

- Following the results of the second lockdown, will you have a public report and a meeting with the presidential aide?

-May be there will be a new meeting, I really hope so. I am preparing a report anyway.

- The society was divided into those who do not approve of the garbage dumpers to the police in the Yeni Yasamal residential quarter and those who accuse the police of abuse of authority. Which group do you belong to?

- Of course, I do not approve the violation of laws in principle. However, you can understand the people who survived the difficult first lockdown. A proper legal assessment must be given to all participants in the events in Yeni Yasamal. Based on the complexity of the situation we are in, I believe that the perpetrators should be fully administratively punished, but not criminally.

Let me say the following: the fight against mass diseases requires not only the efforts of the state. I believe that the government should mobilize the huge unrealized potential of private business and civil society. Just give it air, benefits, so that businesspersons have an incentive to solve the problem together with the state. Example - for logistics solutions during a pandemic, ASAN, a semi-state campaign, is activated. You can call for help private transport companies, create convenient working rules for them, and then the problem of transporting patients, cargo and doctors will be solved. The state needs to mobilize along with business and civil society. The second lockdown revealed new flaws that ASAN alone could not solve. It is time for the state to stop considering the people only as an electorate, and it is time for the people to grow up.


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