Abkhaz authorities ready to impose curfew if quarantine violations continue
From 23:00 to 7:00, police stop cars and pedestrians to warn that them not to leave the house unless absolutely necessary.
A state of emergency has been declared in Abkhazia and is in effect from March 28 to April 20. All borders are closed, public transport has been shut down, and all educational institutions, tourist spots, restaurants, and shops are closed, excluding grocery and drugstores.
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Highway patrol police have set up special checkpoints along the road, where medics check the temperature of all drivers and passengers in cars as they pass through.
But for the past few days, the weather has been nice, and hundreds of citizens have started taking strolls through the parks and along the beach.
Therefore, the government warned that if the population does not fully comply with the quarantine regime, curfews will be imposed throughout Abkhazia and transportation between cities will be shut down.
The only reported case of coronavirus in Abkhazia was a 50-year-old resident of the Gal district, where there is a very tightly-knit Georgian community. She visited Russia and, upon returning, self-isolated for less than a day. Then she was transported to the Georgian side, where she was diagnosed with COVID-19 and hospitalized.
This single case was enough to prompt drastic measures. The entire Gal district has been quarantined since March 31, and a curfew has been imposed.
Within the district, entry and exit from the village of Saberio, where the infected woman lived, was closed off.
Experts, like the majority of the population, agree that the authorities are just trying to be proactive.
Citizens understand that a coronavirus outbreak in Abkhazia would be a disaster. The area clearly lacks the resources necessary to deal with the spread of the virus, and even now, the government has begun to move numbers around in the budgetary expenditures, freeing up money in case it needs to take additional measures to counter the epidemic.
It has been reported that only 50 people have been tested for coronavirus so far, although hundreds of tests are expected to arrive soon.
Local businessmen and expats collected enough money to offer several humanitarian aid packages in the form of mechanical ventilators, other special medical equipment, protective gear, gloves, medical masks and respirators.
The second batch of surgical masks and disinfectants was delivered by the UN Development Program.
It is reported that a single call center has been created, which receives up to 300 calls daily, and almost every one of them is answered by specialists.
Several hospitals are also prepared to accept potential coronavirus patients.
However, official information states that on April 3, there was not a single patient in the Sukhum infectious diseases hospital.
There is one patient at the Gudauta Central District Hospital. He was tested for coronavirus, but his results came back negative.
By order of the acting president, Valery Bganba, several nursing homes assisted living facilities have been put under quarantine. Local residents who return from countries where high numbers of coronavirus cases have been reported, as well as those who have suspicious symptoms, quarantined there.
The coronavirus situation has led to an increase in volunteering in Abkhazia. Several groups of volunteers decided of their own accord to start bringing food and medicine to elderly people living on their own and low-income families.