Covid-19 in Georgia: "Doctors are in the minority - when making decisions, politicians are valued more"
Decisions on Covid-19 in Georgia are made mainly for political reasons, the head of the Center for Disease Control of Georgia admitted.
“Doctors are in a minority at the coordinating council meetings where new restrictions and rules are being discussed to combat the pandemic. Politics is considered more important than a dangerous epidemiological situation”, said Amiran Gamkrelidze, director of the Georgian National Center for Disease Control.
“In the spring of 2020, there was more solidarity [among doctors and politicians]. Now the coronavirus, unfortunately, has become the main “profitable” topic for all political parties. I urge all political forces to turn to the topic of vaccination in order to stop the increase in the number of infections, ensure the further economic development of the country and return to normal life”, Gamkrelidze said.
He believes that the restrictions were lifted prematurely. Gamkrelidze also noted that the government has eased restrictions because business is in a very difficult situation.
The director of the Center for Disease Control is in favor of the introduction of mandatory vaccinations for medical personnel and doctors.
Gamkrelidze also commented on the vaccination process in the country. According to him, there is a decrease in the number of bookings for the first doses of vaccines.
“No other country at our level of development has had as much Pfizer vaccine as we have. We brought in one and a half million doses, the USA gave us half a million, we bought a million … Every day we tell the population – book ( a vaccination). Unfortunately, there is a decrease in the number of bookings of the first doses”, Gamkrelidze said.
From August 14, new restrictions are in effect in Georgia. Accordingly, from August 14 to September 4, the movement of public transport is limited. Festivals, entertainment events, concerts, and sporting events are also prohibited. In addition, the operation of children’s entertainment centers is limited.
In connection with the worsening of the epidemiological situation in the country, the Public Defender of Georgia Nino Lomjaria demanded to postpone the elections to local self-government bodies scheduled for October 2.
In recent months, up to 5,000 cases of coronavirus infection and up to 90 deaths have been registered in Georgia every day.
The infection rate is still high and there are no signs of stabilization in any region, Deputy Health Minister Tamar Gabunia said during the August 18 briefing.
The Center for Disease Control says that if the number of positive test results is not less than four percent, doctors will not be able to recommend the resumption of classroom learning in schools and universities.
Over the past 24 hours, 1,120 new cases of infection have been detected in the country, 61 people have died. It’s also worth noting that far fewer tests are performed on weekends than on other days.