To further strengthen the cooperation between the European Union (EU) and the Republic of Uzbekistan, equipment to disinfect air and production surfaces was handed over to Uzbekistan national authorities, to support their COVID-19 mitigation effort.
This support was provided within the framework of the EU Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear risk mitigation Centres of Excellence Initiative (EU CBRN CoE), through the EU-funded Project 53 (P53) “Strengthening the National Legal Framework and Provision of Specialized Training on Bio-safety and Bio-security in the Central Asian Countries". The equipment on the order of one hundred thousand euros consisted of mobile units, which enable quick decontamination of medical and laboratory facilities that might be contaminated with COVID-19, using pulsed ultraviolet light.
During his welcoming speech at the handover ceremony of the equipment Mr. Bakhtiyor Gulyamov, the Head of the State Committee for Industrial Safety & Head of the EU CBRN CoE Regional Secretariat for Central Asia, stressed that support from the international organizations is one of the important factors in ensuring biological safety and security as well as in combating the coronavirus pandemic.
Commenting on the event the Chargé d'Affaires of the EU Delegation to the Republic of Uzbekistan Mr. Jussi Narvi stated, "The people working in medical and laboratory facilities are our first line of defence against the Covid-19 pandemic and this equipment offered by the EU will reinforce that line by keeping those people safe.”
The EU CBRN CoE Initiative, which is funded by the EU and implemented by the European Commission in cooperation with the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) in 61 countries of the world, has had a positive impact on strengthening the capacities of partner countries in Central Asia in the field of countering CBRN threats, including coronavirus.
Mr. Bakhtiyor Gulyamov underlined that the EU CBRN CoE Regional Secretariat for Central Asia continued to work incessantly even during the most acute crisis. One of the results, as shown by the example of the equipment handed over within Project 53 of the EU CBRN CoE Initiative, was an increase in EU assistance, namely, the allocation of more than 2 million euros to reflect on the lessons learned and build the capacity to combat the coronavirus in Central Asia as well as in South East and Eastern Europe. “Amid the pandemic, the Central Asian region has shown an increase in solidarity, with a positive impact on both the strengthening of intraregional cooperation and the growth of interregional activities. I hope that together we will become even more united and effective and will defeat the COVID-19 threat, while minimizing other CBRN risks!” Mr. Gulyamov noted.
The provision of the equipment to Uzbekistan is an excellent example of how cooperation between the EU and Uzbekistan contributes to enhancing the biological safety and security of the country and the region. The equipment was transferred to the Center for Training of Specialists in Radiation Safety of the Republic of Uzbekistan to train specialists who will use the equipment in the healthcare system to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus infection in the country.