Growth in COVID-19 infections is caused by workplace outbreaks, Kazakh Health Minister says

Growth in COVID-19 infections is caused by workplace outbreaks, Kazakh Health Minister says

Kazakh Health Minister Yelzhan Birtanov said at a press briefing that 3,500 new coronavirus cases have been registered in Kazakhstan since the end of the nationwide state of emergency. However, the growth of the infection rate is quite stable and within 5 percent. Birtanov specified which regions of Kazakhstan are currently reporting the largest number of COVID-19 cases.

“There is an increase in the number of coronavirus cases in certain regions of Kazakhstan. The infection outbreaks are localized. Atyrau region, Karagandy region, Zhambyl region, Kostanai region, Turkistan region, West Kazakhstan region and Shymkent report the rising coronavirus infection rates,” Birtanov said.

He noted that the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in these regions is due to the infection outbreaks occurring in workplaces. The new cases were identified through the COVID-19 preventive testing.

“In particular, after reporting the first cases of the acute viral respiratory infections at the Tengiz field, mass COVID-19 testing at the oil field began immediately. To date, more than 1,000 confirmed coronavirus cases have been registered at the field. Currently, the infection rate is decreasing there and the epidemiological situation is under the control of our sanitary service and local authorities,” Birtanov added. 

A similar situation is observed at the mine in the Karagandy region. More than 350 COVID-19 cases were registered there. 219 coronavirus cases were reported at the company in Shymkent. Nearly 80 confirmed COVID-19 cases were registered at the construction sites of Nur-Sultan and Turkistan region. The novel coronavirus cases were also reported at the military units in Aktobe region and Zhambyl region.

Birtanov recommended Kazakh residents to strictly observe the sanitary measures, especially at the industrial enterprises, and to conduct preventive COVID-19 testing and screening.

He said that up to 25,000 COVID-19 tests per day are conducted in the country’s laboratories. Since the start of the novel coronavirus epidemic in Kazakhstan, 711,000 tests have been already conducted.

Birtanov added that a total of 4,653 coronavirus patients are currently undergoing treatment, 355 of them are children.