Abkhaz borders remain closed to Russian tourists – no revenue means no salaries for June or July
The Abkhaz authorities have decided not to open the border with Russia prematurely, over fears tourists could bring in a new wave of coronavirus.
The Abkhaz state budget depends heavily on the tourism industry, so this year, revenue will be significantly down. Therefore, it has already been announced that salaries for June and July will be delayed.
Official sources state that around 150 people cross the Russian border every day.
“If Abkhazia opens the border, the number of cases will increase at least a thousand fold. We cannot allow this to happen, as this could negatively affect the epidemiological situation in the republic,” said Prime Minister Alexander Ankvab.
The threat of a coronavirus outbreak concerns the Abkhaz authorities more than the enormous financial costs shouldered by the budget and the population due to the decision to forestall the tourist season.
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Almost all restrictive quarantine measures will be lifted in the republic. Minister of Health Tamaz Tsakhnakia confirmed that at the moment, there is not a single source of infection from which the coronavirus is spreading.
“All cases that have been diagnosed were brought in from the outside,” said the minister.
Since the beginning of the pandemic in Abkhazia, only 35 cases of coronavirus infection have been identified. Of these, 27 people have already recovered, and one 95-year-old woman has died.
As of June 16, the total number of cases in Russia is 545,458, and the number of deaths was 7,284. Doctors and experts, however, continue to claim that these statistics are falsified, and the real picture is much worse.