Today's obligation, tomorrow's responsibility
Society17 July 2020, 16:18 122
"No entry without a face mask." It is not a mistake to say that this sentence, which we come across frequently, has already become our way of life. This notice, written on the front door of most businesses, is very important for the protection of our health. Given that we have been living in a pandemic for about 5 months, it is very important to take such preventive measures. Even though we live in a period of strict quarantine, markets and pharmacies are open. As a result, a certain closeness between people is inevitable. Therefore, wearing a mask and using hand sanitizers is considered necessary during this period.
According to observations, a security guard, who stands at the entrance of open businesses, requires every citizen to wear a mask, otherwise does not allow them to enter the facility. Based on my experience, I can say that I was recently in the bank for some work, and at this point, one of the citizens was stopped by a security guard for trying to enter without a mask. It was stated that a mask must be worn. This is, of course, a necessary and appropriate step. Each establishment is responsible for the citizens who come there. This exemplary behavior applies to all commercial facilities. Some unpleasant incidents occur when people are not allowed to enter because they are not wearing a mask. But in any case, the rules must be followed.
The main responsibility here falls on the owners of commercial facilities. They should be more demanding in such matters. This work should be mutually regulated. That is, both citizens and business owners must follow the rules. Even if there is a relaxation of quarantine rules in the future, the accepted norms for trade facilities must be followed.
Ayten Farajova, who works in a women's clothing store, said that customers must wear a mask when entering the venue. "Everyone knows that clothing stores have not been open for some time. Our store reopened after the easing of the quarantine. During that period, special instructions were sent to us. The instructions included articles related to the use of disinfectants and masks in the store. In particular, it was noted that if a customer is seen in a store without a mask, then the store owner will be fined 100 AZN and the customer 50 manat. Police officers supervised this. They inspected shops every few minutes, and fined unmasked individuals and shop owners,” she said.
The views expressed by my interviewee refer to the easing period in May. It should be noted that currently there is a strict quarantine regime in Azerbaijan, and some rules have been established in this regard. Thus, there were some changes in Article 211 of the Code of Administrative Offenses, in the rules related to the violation of the anti-epidemic regime, sanitation and hygiene, and quarantine regimes. According to the Ministry of Economy, the ministry has recommended licensed companies to create the necessary conditions for employees and customers to fully comply with the necessary social behavior and sanitary-epidemiological requirements. Recommendations include providing protective equipment for work and service areas – gloves, medical masks, disinfectants, and strict control over maintaining the 2-meter distance between customers inside the facility. It was also noted that customers will no longer be allowed to enter the facility without a mask. Regular disinfection of the facility, control over the number of customers in the trade facility, and, if necessary, ensuring the entry of consumers in queues are also key conditions.
Rashad Mahmudov, Deputy Chairman of the Health Committee of the Parliament (Milli Majlis), said in a recent statement that even after the easing of quarantine rules, the population should still follow the rules as they did before. "Of course, this is, first of all, our responsibility and our duty to our country as citizens. Because each of us is obliged to follow these rules to reduce the rate of infection. First of all, of course, the issue of social responsibility is important. Maximum awareness-raising work should be continued, and people should be informed through promotional campaigns. On the other hand, the continuation of control measures may encourage people to follow the rules even after the quarantine is relaxed. From this point of view, I believe that the coordinated work of various government agencies, as well as the continuation of our civil-state union, will help us to overcome this period,” Mahmudov said.
According to sociologist Lala Mehrali, people should wear masks and follow the rules, not to avoid fines, but only to protect their health. "We must wear a mask to protect against the virus, not because it is compulsory. Of course, after a while, there may be an easing of quarantine rules. But this does not mean that people should no longer use masks. We must not act irresponsibly because there is no obligation. I think that the current rules should be followed during the easing period. But it is better to ease the quarantine in phases. Of course, this cannot be prevented if there is a sudden easing. People can refuse to wear the mask en masse. Therefore, it is recommended that there be a partial easing in regard to trade and catering facilities,” she said.
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