The first case of coronavirus was confirmed in Georgia. The infected person is a 50-year-old Georgian citizen, who arrived in the country from Iran through Azerbaijan. The patient has been taken to the infectious hospital and now there is no danger to his life.
The government is doing its best for preventing epidemics – such a statement made the Prime Minister, Ministers, Director General of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health and other officials.
Ekaterina Tikaradze - At this stage there is no risk of widespread coronavirus outbreak in Georgia
“Inter-Agency Council has been working in a most coordinated manner since January 28 and I thank every institution that effectively cooperates with us. It was the very reason of no detection till yesterday and no case of virus spread so far. Occurrence yesterday was a timely detection that enabled us to prevent the further spread. Infected individual has been transported to the Hospital of Infectious Diseases.
Yesterday evening all those 13 patients that were not infected have been moved to the quarantine ward. As of now 10 patients are admitted at the Hospital of Infectious Diseases, out of which 5 arrived from Italy, 1 of them is a citizen of Italy and 4 are Georgians. Other 5 are from Iran, 1 out of them is Georgian and others are citizens of Azerbaijan. We continue work in a coordinated manner. We currently have sufficient space to place the affected individuals in the quarantine, if and when they interact with infected people and those arriving to Georgia from high-risk countries. Such locations are various in the country. We make sure to have essential conditions there and hospitals are mobilized in Kutaisi, Batumi and several in Tbilisi.
I assure our citizens that at this point in time there is no risk of a wide spread of coronavirus in Georgia and hence there is no threat of epidemics either. We continue to work towards this end round the clock”, - concluded the Minister of Health of Georgia.
A shortage of medical masks in Georgia
Due to the threat of the spread of coronavirus, there is a shortage of medical masks in Georgia. Late at night there were queues near the various pharmacies in Tbilisi.
Besides, the price of medical masks has increased significantly.
The Ministry of Health has promised to help pharmacies to bring additional masks.
Amiran Gamkrelidze - Refrain from traveling to China, Iran, South Korea and Italy
“Avoid traveling to the countries with many infected people. First of all, these are China, Iran, South Korea, Italy, and the 38 listed countries, but there are just few cases in some countries. According to the recommendations of the World Health Organization, travel is not forbidden, but we should be careful and take precautionary measures provided by the World Health Organization. The main preventive measures against coronavirus are personal hygiene, frequent washing of hands, frequent wet cleaning and airing of rooms”, - said Director General of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health.
Ekaterine Tikaradze - At this stage, suspension of the educational process not planned
“Due to the coronavirus, at this stage, it is not planned to suspend the educational process, there is no threat of an epidemic. There is no need to declare a state of emergency”, - said the Minister of IDPs from the Occupied Territories of Georgia, Labour, Health and Social Affairs.
The Prime Minister - The Interagency Coordination Council must keep population constantly updated on coronavirus
The Prime Minister has instructed the Interagency Coordination Council to keep the country"s population constantly updated on coronavirus.
“I would like to emphasize and, on behalf of all citizens, thank you personally and your deputy, Paata Imnadze, and the entire Center for Disease Control and Prevention, for the vitally important awareness you are advancing in Georgian society in relation to this and similar challenges. Judging by what I have heard over the past couple of days, the main task of the Government, the healthcare system, and the Center for Disease Control is to ensure timely identification, and the main task of our citizens is to follow basic personal hygiene habits, which is quite simple. Consequently, I believe that we will succeed in dealing with these tasks together.
I reiterate that the Government of Georgia is taking every preventive step necessary and keeps the process fully under control. In addition, I would like to ask every member of the Interagency Council, and to instruct the council"s leadership, to create a special mechanism for answering every possible question without exception, especially since the Government of Georgia is in full control of the process, and we have been quite successful in combating this global challenge”, - said Giorgi Gakharia.
Giorgi Gakharia - There is no reason to panic!
“Ministry of Health, respective government agencies and recently established Inter-Agency Coordination Council are in full control of the situation. There is no reason to panic! Everyone should adhere to the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) that have been aired through media for several days.
Inter-Agency Coordination Council continues to actively pursue measures. It was established on January 28, 2020 and it was great merits to its effective work that the first occurrence of the virus has been detected at the border of Georgia. Hence, the individual has actually had no interaction with our citizens inland. It was the first case and detection occurred at the border. We need to thank each staff member of the Ministry of Health of Georgia, border protection guards and customs officers for their immediate action.
Our first step was to restrict the direct flights from China, followed with a decision to restrict direct flights from Iran and ultimately we took a decision yesterday to temporarily terminate the passenger movement by land transportation with Iran. These are the series of steps that give us a guarantee to manage the process. In addition, we should all understand that it is a global challenge. Ministry of Health and Government of Georgia are in full cooperation with the WHO and main resources, knowledge and competences are used to make us responsible partners both in the region and globally”, - concluded the Prime Minister.
Amiran Gamkrelidze urges people not to kiss or shake hands, just salute using hand gestures
Amiran Gamkrelidze, Director General of the Georgian National Disease Control Centre, urges people not to kiss or shake hands but instead salute using hand gestures: “During the outbreak of the coronavirus, it’s not recommended to shake hands, we would rather to salute using hand gestures. This easily fulfilled recommendation often gives a very positive result”.
The situation at the Georgian-Azerbaijani Red Bridge border crossing point.
All persons entering Georgia are checked at the Georgian-Azerbaijani Red Bridge border crossing point. The body temperature of travelers is measured at the border. As a result of a special check, two citizens of Iran were not allowed to enter the country.