Georgian PM: protests will accelerate the peak of coronavirus in the country
“The political activity that is taking place on the streets will significantly accelerate the peak of the coronavirus in our country. The situation will be more difficult than we expected,” Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia said at a meeting of the interdepartmental coordinating council, which was held in the format of a video conference chaired by the Prime Minister.
“We have to think about what the package of targeted actions should be. This is not about systemic restrictions throughout the country, but about targeted restrictions,” Gakharia said.
The Prime Minister stressed the importance of maximum mobilization of all relevant departments for even more effective adoption of the necessary measures, including targeted restrictions.
“We need a complete mobilization of absolutely all ministries and relevant departments. Besides, we are certainly not changing the adaptation strategy,” he said.
The head of government stressed the effectiveness of self-isolation in combating the chain spread of the virus, as well as the importance of home treatment to prevent overcrowding in hospitals.
“When a person has the first symptoms, regardless of whether he tests positive or even had time to take a test, he should immediately go into self-isolation, because self-isolation is the best and most effective way to break this chain. It is very important for the population to have the opportunity to be safely treated at home, because home treatment is one of the most effective solutions to prevent overloading the health care system so that people who primarily need special medical services can get them,” Gakharia said.
“As for the so-called COVID-hotels, they should not be just places of isolation for citizens who do not have the possibility to self-isolate, but there should be elements of medical treatment there. We need to reduce the frequency of hospitalizations to 15 percent at any cost. This is a critical factor that will help us overcome this crisis,” he added.
The head of government also mentioned the importance of expanded rapid antigen-based testing.
“Masks, self-isolation and rapid antigen testing are the tools that should help us overcome this crisis and its peak. We also need to highlight the most important parts of targeted restrictions. A month ago the circumstances were completely different, today the situation has changed, I mean the political processes in the streets, so we will need to revise the targeted restrictions in terms of efficiency,” Gakharia said.
Deputy PM Maya Tskitishvili doesn’t rule out restrictions on movement.
She explained that there could be restrictions on movement in the evening, as well as on weekends or on a certain day of the week, or suspension of traffic in certain towns, as well as temporary suspension of the work of markets, shopping centers and, in general, crowded places. Decisions will be made according to the epidemiological situation.
“Everyone should understand well: it depends on each of us whether restrictions will be introduced – depends on how accurately we will follow the instructions,” Tskitishvili said.
As of now, 49,218 cases of the virus have been confirmed in Georgia.
Fatal outcome – 401
Actively sick (i.e. sick now) – 14,957
Recovered – 33,459