AT-RISK YOUTH PARTICIPATED IN APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMME
Kazakhstan launched "Saqbol" mobile app in order to control the spread of COVID-19 and timely localize the infection spots UNDP provided employment opportunities to 150 at-risk youth as part of its COVID-19 response program in Kazakhstan. Young people, who lost their jobs to the pandemic, took part in a subsidised three-month apprenticeship programme, accompanied by soft skills trainings and mentorship support. The apprentices were placed in private companies, NGOs and government agencies across the cities of Nur-Sultan, Almaty and Karagandy region. They were encouraged to try out a new profession and gain respective experience, while receiving a KZT 60,000 monthly allowance. For three months, the companies were monitoring the apprentices and upon completion of the internship hired those who performed the best. 84 participants out of 150 were women, who also make up over 90% of the recipients of targeted social assistance in Kazakhstan. The initiative is part of a larger UNDP Kazakhstan strategy on youth engagement, which aims to contribute to their employability.
More on socio-economic response on page 2.
GENDER EQUALITY IN KAZAKH HEALTHCARE MODEL TO BE IMPROVED
Female medical workers compose the majority of frontline workers battling against the COVID-19. Their day-to-day challenges include high levels of exposure to the virus, long working hours, psychological stress, fatigue, occupational burnout, stereotypes, among others. The WHO Country Office in Kazakhstan has launched a one-year project funded by the Netherlands to study and provide recommendations to improve gender equality in the healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic. The project will focus on studying female frontlines workers and the inclusion of women at all levels of decision-making in the Kazakh healthcare system. The WHO jointly with the UN Women and the UNFPA will share the survey results and recommendations with the Kazakh government and key stakeholders to help promote total gender parity in the country’s healthcare system.
More on emergency health response on page 2
COVID-19 LOCKDOWN MIGHT BE REINTRODUCED IN MID-DECEMBER 2020
NUR-SULTAN – Kazakhstan is preparing for different scenarios of further COVID-19 cases surge. On 7 October, Health Minister Alexey Tsoy named three scenarios of the situation development. In the pessimistic scenario, with only 60% of the mask regime provided, the number of registered cases in October-December 2020 forecasted around 190K people, 65K people will need hospitalization. In this case, the lockdown might be reintroduced in mid-December. Tsoy noted that the capacity of PCR testing was increased to 40,000 a day and has the potential to reach 63,000 a day. All measures will allow tackling the possible second COVID-19 wave and seasonal diseases.
The country continues to maintain all lockdown restrictions, including distance learning and quarantine on weekends to limit gatherings of citizens in public places. The number of people allowed in cafes and outdoor dining facilities, which can now work on weekends as well, was increased from 30 to 50. Entertainment facilities remain closed. Earlier Kazakhstan resumed flights with Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Germany, South Korea, Turkey, the Netherlands, the UAE and Egypt. From 6 October new regulations were introduced: flights frequency decreased, arriving passengers must also present a negative COVID-19 test result valid for three days prior to arrival, otherwise pass it in Kazakhstan within 48 hours of their arrival or spend two weeks in self-isolation.
Addressing the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev noted the need to build a strong global health system by upgrading national health institutions through timely and coordinated support from developed countries and UN agencies. Among proposals are the ideas of creating a network of Regional Centers for Disease Control and Biosafety under the UN auspices on the territory of Kazakhstan and establishing the International Agency for Biological Safety.