Georgia reintroduces COVID-19 restrictions as cases surge

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The FINANCIAL — Today, on September 9, Georgian authorities announced about reintroducing several restrictions as the number of active cases surpassed 400. This is the highest since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in February. Public and ritual events, including birthdays, weddings and funeral feasts will be banned in the country starting tomorrow amid a steep rise in coronavirus cases. Head of the government administration Natia Mezvrishvili explained that the above-mentioned events will be banned not only in indoor spaces but in outdoor spaces as well.

In addition, cultural and sports events with the participation of more than 200 people will also be banned from tomorrow. Mezvrishvili added that the reopening of theaters and cinemas is also postponed for one month due to the current epidemiological situation. Earlier it was announced that cinemas would be opened on September 15 and theaters on October 1. Mezvrishvili said that theaters, cinemas and children’s entertaining centers will be opened on November 1. She called on the citizens of Georgia to follow the rules as much as possible, to exercise high civil responsibility, to wear facemasks and to maintain social distance. Georgia reported a record high 45 new cases of the coronavirus yesterday, which broke the previous record high of April 16 when 42 cases of coronavirus were detected. Today 44 new cases of the coronavirus were reported, of which 25 were detected in the Adjara region, which is in the ‘red zone’ due to the increased number of coronavirus cases, local media reported. 

The head of the government administration noted that the failure to comply with COVID-19 regulations will result in relevant sanctions. Mezvrishvili urges citizens to follow the recommendations issued by the Ministry of Health. Reported new cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) today, are bringing the total number of infected people to 1 773. Four patients have recovered from the virus in the last 24 hours, increasing the total to 1 325. The ban on gatherings of more than 200 people does not apply to election-related events, said Mezvrishvili. She also called on the election subjects to ensure the 2-metre social distancing rule. 2020 Georgian parliamentary election will be held on October 31, according to Georgian Public Broadcasting. 

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Mezvrishvili said that the epidemiological situation is quite alarming and from tomorrow, the Coordinating Council on COVID-19 has decided to impose certain restrictions and tighten up specific regulations. She added that the enforcement of the face mask regulation is especially important and that the police and labor inspection forces will be working to monitor the enforcement process.

School opening dates, scheduled for September 15, will not be affected. Adjara, the new COVID hotspot, is the only Georgian region where the classes will be held online until the beginning of October. However, all celebratory events in schools will be cancelled. Healthcare Minister Ekaterine Tikaradze also announced that COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms and without any chronic diseases, between the ages of 18 and 65, will be treated at hotels. Starting from today, in Georgia’s three largest cities, Tbilisi, Batumi and Kutaisi, treating patients in quarantine in hotels will become available, wrote.

Schools will have the duty to create the conditions necessary for operation of the ambulance rooms on the territory of the school for healthcare and improved development of the pupils under the changes to the law discussed by the Education, Science and Culture Committee. According to the Chair, Genadi Margvelashvili, paragraph 1, Article 26 of the Law shall be supplemented with a subparagraph envisaging the Education Minister to approve the standard of the medical personnel for schools. “COVID-19 revealed the relevancy of the problem, which requires a complex solution. It is noteworthy that the Ministry has already set to development of the standard for the medical personnel”, – he noted. The change is to be introduced to Article 26 of the law, according to which the Education Ministry in cooperation with the Health Ministry shall approve the operation regulations for the school ambulance rooms.

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Recently, The Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Gakharia announced that all foreign citizens entering Georgia, including from Germany, France, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia to which Georgia has opened borders unconditionally, will be obliged to obtain PCR test results taken in the last 72 hours before departure, from September 15. Gakharia said that the decision was made in order to protect the health of Georgian citizens, as we well as foreigners.

WHO and EU support medical personnel training in Georgia

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