The effectiveness of the restrictions and intensive testing program under the Government"s 2-month plan in light of Georgia’s epidemiological situation, alongside global trends in COVID-19 management, were discussed during the meeting between the Prime Minister and healthcare experts.
Foreign-based healthcare specialists briefed Giorgi Gakharia on restrictions and epidemiological situations in their respective countries of employment. According to the experts, initial results allow for saying that the restrictions in Georgia have already brought about certain positive dynamic in terms of lowering mobility, which should yield positive outcomes, given that the Government has also launched an intensive testing program. Based on international practice, they also pointed out the importance of gradually, carefully lifting restrictions based on epidemiological analysis, because a rapid increase in mobility poses high risks.
The country’s epidemiological situation and projections were reported by Head of the Center for Disease Control Amiran Gamkrelidze, who emphasized that the epidemiological situation, intensive testing process, and state of affairs in the hospital sector will be assessed weekly, based on which further steps will be planned to avoid the worsening of the country’s epidemiological situation. According to Amiran Gamkrelidze, about 20,000 daily tests are administered throughout the country, and in excess of 27,000 active cases are under management, including at clinical hotels with enhanced therapeutic elements.
According to the healthcare experts, it is crucial for society to comply with applicable rules and for the state to ensure control over their enforcement, including facemask use and social distancing. According to immunologist/allergist Bidzina Kulumbegov, although the use of facemasks in the country has risen to 65%, it is not enough, and it is necessary for 90-95% of the population to wear facemasks, both indoors and outdoors, to allow for reducing the number of infections in the country and, consequently, lift the pressure from the economy. According to him, many European countries, in order to stabilize the epidemiological situation, have decided to tighten or keep applicable restrictions.
The healthcare experts believe that restrictive measures are necessary for a greater effectiveness of the clinical sector, to prevent the hospital system from overloading, and to make sure that those in urgent need of inpatient services are not left behind. According to them, building on the outcomes of enforced restrictions and intensive testing is vital for further stabilizing the situation.
The Head of Government emphasized the importance of mitigating the negative impact on the economy, on one hand, and ensuring the effectiveness of measures against the spread of the virus, on the other, so that the health and lives of citizens may be protected.