A fund set up in Azerbaijan to help deal with the consequences of the coronavirs has seen contributions from all quarters of society.
President Ilham Aliyev praised the generosity of the Azerbaijani people. He said many private companies had made donations to the fund, but there were also donations from the public. "I express my gratitude to Azerbaijani businessmen. They showed true patriotism and solidarity. At the same time, ordinary people give their support within the limits of their capabilities. Someone gave one manat. We say to him" Thank you! ". He said that the fund had already received 90 million manats.
The president, accompanied by 1st Vice President Mehriban Aliyeva, was visiting a new medical facility in Baku, which the president said would now be used as part of the national effort to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
In a sombre speech to doctors at the hospital, president Aliyev said that the coronavirus crisis will have a big impact on all the world, including Azerbaijan. He said that the coronavirus crisis has brought the Azerbaijani people together, repeating the slogan "Together we are strong". This slogan has been beamed on Baku's iconic fklame towers in recent days.
In the meantime Azerbaijan is reporting 182 of coronavirus cases that has resulted in four deaths. A task force headed by the prime minister, Ali Asadov has been set up and has issued tough measures for social distancing and self isolation. Travel is heavily restricted. One part of the task force, headed by Economy Minister Mikail Jabarov is dealing with the economic response of the crisis. In his speech to the medical doctors president Aliyev said that the fact that the price of oil has now decreased to 24 USD will also have an impact."This, of course, will lead to great losses for us. But I think that the work we have done before to prepare for these eventualities will allow us to pass this test with honor."
At the end of his speech president Aliyev rose to applaud the work of doctors and medical staff in their fight against coronavirus.
source: commonspace.eu with agencies
photo: President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan and Vice presdident Mehriban Aliyeva stand up to applaud the work of doctors and medical staff during a visit to the Yeni Klinika medical facility in Baku on 28 March 2020.
Specialists at the University of Sheffield in the UK estimate that the blast had about one tenth of the explosive power of the atomic bomb dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima during World War Two and was "unquestionably one of the biggest non-nuclear explosions in history".