Coronavirus in the Caucasus. 20-23 March, 2020
Azerbaijan has recorded seven new cases of coronavirus infection
Azerbaijan has recorded seven new cases of coronavirus infection. The total number of cases has risen to 72 people. Of these, one person has died and ten have recovered.
Armenia adds 25 countries to no-entry list - now there are 41
The list of countries from where you cannot come to Armenia has increased by 25 to 41. The decision was made to prevent the spread of coronavirus. A state of emergency in Armenia was declared March 16. A total of 194 cases were confirmed, two of them recovered and were discharged from the hospital.
Public transport shuts down in Georgia
Starting midnight on March 24 public transport across all of Georgia will stop running, per decision of the coordination council on the coronavirus. This restriction will apply to inter-city passenger vehicles, namely buses and microbuses. Trains are also included. For now, privately-owned taxi services are still allowed to operate.
Georgia: 8 coronavirus patients recover
Eight coronavirus patients in Georgia have recovered, five have already left the hospital.
Two cities in Georgia have been declared quarantine zones
Two cities in the Kvemo Kartli region of Georgia – Marneuli and Bolnisi – have been declared quarantine zones since March 23.
All roads to the cities have been blocked by the police the night before.
The cause of the extreme measures was a coronavirus-infected 62-year-old local resident, who later appeared at a ritual event in which dozens of people participated.
Azerbaijani president allocates $600 million to combat coronavirus’ impact – economists unhappy
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has allocated 1 billion manat [about $600 million] to mitigate the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the Azerbaijani economy. Local economists say this measure will be ineffective, as it would be better to exempt businesses from taxes and facilitate the payment of loans.
Four more new cases of coronavirus have been announced in Armenia
Four more new cases of coronavirus have been announced in Armenia. The total number of cases has reached 194. Two patients recovered and were discharged from the hospital.
12 more new cases of coronavirus in Azerbaijan
12 more new cases of coronavirus have been announced in Azerbaijan. The total number of cases has reached 65.
Five new cases of coronavirus have been announced in Georgia
Five new cases of coronavirus have been announced in Georgia. The total number of cases has reached 54. Three patients recovered and were discharged from the hospital.
30 new cases of coronavirus in Armenia, the total number of cases has reached 190
30 new cases of coronavirus have been announced in Armenia. The total number of cases has reached 190. Two patients recovered and were discharged from the hospital.
Azerbaijan has 9 more coronavirus infections, bringing the total number of cases to 53
Azerbaijan has 9 more coronavirus infections, bringing the total number of cases to 53, of which 10 people have already recovered, one died.
Georgia to introduce state of emergency
The Georgian government has appealed to the president to introduce a state of emergency until April 21.
In a state of emergency, the government receives a number of additional rights to:
• In case of violation of isolation rules, forcibly transfer offenders to quarantine, take sanctions provided for in such cases against them;
• Introduce restrictions when crossing air, sea, land borders that are not related to cargo transportation;
• Maintain special rules and terms for public service and administrative activities;
• The government is given the right, in special cases related to quarantine, isolation, medical tasks, to use property and other material means of individuals and legal entities;
• Meetings of more than 10 people at the same time are prohibited;
• The government is vested with the right to restrict the activities of private structures and organizations or entrust them with the implementation of specific activities;
• If necessary, the government assumes the regulation of prices for medicines, medical care and essential products;
• The government may establish temporary rules in the field of education that differ from those approved by law;
• If necessary, the government can announce the mobilization of persons with a medical education and the right to work in the field of medicine;
• Court hearings can be held remotely;
All individuals and legal entities are required to comply with the state of emergency.
Otherwise, administrative measures will be taken, including fines – 3 thousand lari (about 1 thousand dollars) for individuals, and 15 thousand lari for legal entities.
Repeated violation may result in criminal liability or imprisonment of up to 3 years.
The state of emergency will be declared to counter the coronavirus pandemic.
As of March 20, there are 47 coronavirus infected individuals in Georgia, 1,966 people are in quarantine, 259 are under stationary surveillance.
Armenia to introduce fines, prison sentences for violating quarantine during state of emergency
Tough measures are being introduced in Armenia for violating the state of emergency that went effect in the country on March 16 to prevent an even greater spread of coronavirus.
For the violation of the requirements of quarantine or self-isolation, individuals can be fined 300-500 times the minimum wage, and the unit of account for the minimum wage in such acts in Armenia is 1000 drams (about $2).
The punishment for the same violation will be much stricter if it leads “through negligence to mass infection of the people”.
In this case, according to the amendments to the criminal code, arrest of up to 3 months or imprisonment of up to 5 years is provided for, depending on how many people suffer.
MPs of the National Assembly in the evening of March 20 urgently gathered for an extraordinary meeting. The government insisted on an immediate discussion of two bills – on amendments to the Criminal Code and the Code of Administrative Offenses.
Deputy Minister of Justice Vahe Danielyan explained why such a rush is needed: a state of emergency provides for the restriction of citizens’ rights, but the law does not provide for punishment for their violation.
One more reading is scheduled for March 23.
MPs also discussed at length the restriction regarding publications in media and social networks.
After the introduction of the state of emergency, only official information about patients, their number and the situation as a whole can be published.
According to the government, this is necessary in order to avoid aggression towards patients, as well as panic among the population.
Some MPs agree with representatives of the media community that there is no exact definition of what messages cause panic.
However, there is already a measure of punishment. For violation of this emergency requirement, a fine of 30-500 times the minimum wage is provided.
Azerbaijan reports 44 confirmed infections. 10 people have recovered, one died.
Armenia leads with 160 cases. One person has recovered.
In Georgia, there are 47 cases. One person has recovered.