Coronavirus in Tashkent, Uzbekistan
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Apr 16, 2020 Update
We Asked: What is currently happening with regard to the Coronavirus outbreak in your area? Please provide as much detail as possible. He replied...
As of late, all shops have been closed since March 20 except supermarkets and communications services. And, of course, the banks are open. All schools have been closed since the end of March and might reopen by May 3 or 10 at the earliest, provided the infection rate curve doesn't broaden any further. The number of infected people doubled from about 500 this past week, but there are under fifty reported deaths from what I've heard. For two weeks now, everyone must wear a mask at all times when venturing from their homes and maintain a 2m distance from each other. And people cannot drive their cars as they please except for special reasons such as going to work or to a hospital. Delivery trucks are allowed. Motorists who qualify must obtain a pass and produce it at one of the large numbers of checkpoints around the city. Auxiliary and military police handle this responsibility. Fines are levied against motorists who shouldn't be on the roads and against pedestrians who aren't wearing a mask properly or at all. But no one dares to go out and about without a mask. I teach at an international school, so for the past three weeks I've been teaching my students on the Classroom Google and Zoom platforms. Hopefully, the rate of infections won't increase and the situation will be contained. Life here can be irritating.
How People are Coping
We Asked: How are people handling the situation in your area? He replied...
The people are being cooperative and seem quite stoic about it all, at least on the surface.
Changing Conditions as coronavirus Spreads
We Asked: How has the situation changed as the Coronavirus has spread? He replied...
Yes, as I said above, the number of reported cases doubled in a little over a week, but the death rate is under 100, as far as I know.
We Asked: Describe how the government of the country about which you are reporting is handling this situation. He replied...
The government has imposed very strict regulations, but there aren't any local testing centres spread around the city. No checks are being conducted openly to the public eye.
Government Response with Regard to Expats
We Asked: Describe how your home country's government has handled the outbreak situation with regards to its expatriate citizens. He replied...
In Canada, there's social distancing regulations to follow and all non-essential venues have been cancelled. There are no regular flights in and out of Canada like in Uzbekistan. In the latter country, long-distance domestic travel has been banned, but I'm unsure about Canada. But the PM announced recently that wearing a mask in public will be enforced soon.
Supplies and Shortages
We Asked: Is there a shortage of supplies in your location? He replied...
Well, there isn't any shortage of masks. I'm unsure about the needs of the medical facilities. Much news is censored in Uzbekistan. The press isn't as free as it is in democratic western countries.
Preparing for the Future
We Asked: What are you doing in terms of preparations in case the situation deteriorates in your location? He replied...
I haven't prepared anything at all. I feel safe where I am staying at home and in its vicinity. I'm wearing my mask at all times when outside and wash my hands frequently with anti-bacterial soap, especially after handling money. I have the number of the Canadian Consulate in case I must arrange a flight out of here.
Lockdown & Passing the Time
We Asked: Are you staying home? If so, how are you passing the time?
Yes, I spend most of my time at home teaching online, writing in my blog, reading, and surfing the NET. Because the health clubs and pools are closed, my only form of physical exercise is taking long walks at least three times a day.
Public Healthcare & Public Hospitals
We Asked: Are you enrolled in the public healthcare system where you live? Do you feel that the public hospitals are handling or preparing for the Coronavirus outbreak effectively? He replied...
Not at all. However, the medical facilities here are poor and ill-equipped for this outbreak. The country has scrambled to get supplies and equipment from Russia.
Private Health Insurance & Private Hospitals
We Asked: Do you have private health insurance? If you have private insurance, does this give you access to private hospitals? Are private hospitals or clinics better prepared, less prepared, or the same? Please explain. He replied...
Unfortunately, I don't have an insurance policy through my employer. Nor have I sought private insurance of my own. Maybe this crisis is a wake-up call for me.
Hospital of Choice for Coronavirus Treatment
We Asked: Would you choose a public or private hospital if you needed treatment for Coronavirus? Why? If there is a specific hospital that you would go to in the event of severe illness? Which hospital and why? He replied...
I'm unaware of any hospitals that would satisfy me.
We Asked: Are you considering returning to your home country due to the Coronavirus? Would this be a temporary move or a permanent repatriation? Please explain. He replied...
No. I have a steady full-time job here. And my rent and cost of living expenses are far lower than it is in Canada.
Advice for People Outside of Tashkent, Uzbekistan
We Asked: If you live in an area already heavily affected by coronavirus, what advice would you share with others elswhere in the world who may be facing the same challenges in the future. He replied...
My advice would be to follow the government regulations I mentioned above. Avoid large gatherings, though there aren't any here momentarily.
How Government is Treating Expats
We Asked: How is the government of the country where you are currently living treating expats during this time? Have there been any changes or extensions made in terms of residency and and other visa renewals, applications and requirements? Has access to public healthcare been eased? Please describe any types of changes (positive and negative) that are taking place. He replied...
As an expat, I haven't noticed being treated in a partial way.
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