The Covid-19 pandemic and related measures will bite into growth this year. Internally, demand will likely be downbeat amid social distancing measures and weaker remittance inflows. On the external front, feeble external demand and rising uncertainty will keep exports subdued. The possibility of further domestic restrictions clouds the outlook. FocusEconomics panelists forecast GDP to grow 0.4% in 2020, which is down 0.2 percentage points from last month’s projection, and 5.1% in 2021.
The European Union provided more than €2 million for a project focused on effective, rapid, and coordinated response to COVID-19 in Uzbekistan.
The project, which will be implemented by the World Health Organization Country’s Office, will focus on a particular emphasis on the provision of personal protective equipment to health and first-line workers in healthcare facilities, the EU press office said in a statement.
At present, almost all available personal protective equipment (PPEs) in Uzbekistan is used for the detection, triage, verification, isolation and treatment of COVID -19 patients and their contacts. That leaves a large share of healthcare workers dealing with other than suspected or confirmed COVID -19 patients unprotected, like those in maternity hospitals, TB and HIV clinics, dentists and policlinics, etc. Therefore, the procurement of WHO-recommended PPE for healthcare workers not only working with COVID-19 patients but also in other health services and facilities, is essential to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.
“The healthcare personnel are our everyday heroes and we must make sure that they can work safely when protecting us. This project is a key part of the 36 Million Euro Team Europe response to the pandemic in Uzbekistan,” Jussi Narvi, Chargé d’affaires of the European Union to Uzbekistan, said.
“The procurement of enough quality personnel protection equipment is essential to be distributed to all healthcare workers in the country to avoid more losses of healthcare personnel due to illness and to reduce the cases of COVID 19 patients among the population,” Dr. Lianne Kuppens, Head of the WHO Country Office in Uzbekistan, noted.
With the financial support of the European Union and in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health of Uzbekistan, the project will strengthen infection prevention and control measures through the procurement of sufficient and high-quality PPEs for all healthcare workers in the country for the next two years.
By Sher Karimov