The COVID-19 pandemic in Azerbaijan is part of the worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The virus was confirmed to have spread to Azerbaijan when its first case was confirmed in February 2020.In early June 2020, complete lockdowns were introduced in major cities, including the capital Baku, effective from June 5 to June 8. The case fatality ratio for COVID-19 has been much lower than SARS of 2003,but the transmission has been significantly greater, with a significant total death toll.
On 2 March, educational processes and other related activities were suspended from 3–9 March in all educational institutions across the country to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection, to increase the effectiveness of measures taken in this sphere, and to intensify medical prophylactic, disinfection and other preventive measures. The suspension date was later extended through to 27 March. On 7 March, three Azerbaijani citizens, who returned from the Islamic Republic of Iran, were diagnosed with the coronavirus COVID-19. One of them, born in 1938, some time after returning from Iran, went to the hospital due to a health problem. During the examination, he was diagnosed with pneumonia, and laboratory analysis confirmed the fact of infection with coronavirus.
On 14 March, three Azerbaijanis, who previously tested positive for coronavirus recovered after receiving treatment in special hospitals and have already been discharged. Azerbaijan temporarily closed land and air borders with Turkey mutually after telephone conversation between President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The Operational Headquarters under the Azerbaijani Cabinet of Ministers conducted the measures on social isolation that applied countrywide from March 14. These measures included banning of wedding, mourning ceremonies and other mass gatherings, closure of cultural facilities, theatres, museums, cinemas, entertainment centres, sport centres and other related facilities, prohibition of patient visits by relatives in all medical establishments, specific guidelines for cafes, restaurants, shops, malls, public transportation, etc.On 15 March, four more cases have been confirmed.
On 19 March, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree on March 19 on a number of measures to reduce the negative consequences of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the impact of volatility caused by this infection in the world energy and stock markets on Azerbaijan’s economy, macroeconomic stability, employment and business entities in the country. According to the decree, the Cabinet of Ministers was allocated $1 billion manats from the state budget to finance the measures. Azerbaijani President ordered to establish Support Fund Against Coronavirus. Initially 20 million manats allocated from President’s Contingency Fund to this fund to enhance effectiveness of fight against coronavirus. It was later reported that President Ilham Aliyev donated his annual salary to this fund.On 4 August, 6 Italian and 10 Chinese medical experts were sent to Baku by Ambassador’s of both countries, in order to share information on COVID-19 and support local hospitals.On 25 August, it was reported by Caspian News that USA coronavirus aid to Azerbaijan had reached $5 Million.
On 4 March, first tour of the Baku Road Bicycle Racing Cup (supposed to be held on March 7–8) and Azerbaijani Basketball Championship matches have been cancelled. On 10 March, the traditional festivities related to Novruz holiday in Baku and Azerbaijan’s regions in March have been canceled. On 13 March, 55th European Karate Championship (supposed to be held on March 25–29) had been cancelled. Also the Azerbaijan Premier League was postponed due to the pandemic. Additionally the finals for the Baku World Cup for artistic gymnastics (scheduled for 14–15 March) was cancelled after qualifications had already taken place. On 17 March, UEFA announced that UEFA Euro 2020 (Azerbaijan is one of the host countries) would be delayed by a year due to the Europe. Azerbaijan donated US$5 million to WHO, US$5 million to Iran, medical supplies to Xian City and Mianyang of China, sent humanitarian aid to Bosnia and Herzegovina to support their fight against coronavirus pandemic.