Omicron attacks Georgia. Government makes it easier to get a "green passport"
Getting a green passport in Georgia has become easier
Tests conducted on January 24 revealed 15,762 new cases of coronavirus infection in Georgia. 42 people died.
According to the head of the Georgian Center for Disease Control, Amiran Gamkrelidze, in reality, the number of cases of coronavirus is three to four times higher. In other words, 45,000-60,000 people are currently infected with coronavirus in Georgia.
However, the Georgian government is effectively canceling the “green passport” issued to those who have been vaccinated twice or have been ill.
In most cases it is Omicron
● 90% of coronavirus cases are the Omicron strain. In the case of the remaining 10%, it is the Delta strain.
● Average age of those infected with Omicron infection is 33 years.
● The proportion of children among those infected has not increased. The proportion of children under 19 is in the range of 18-19%.
● Both substrains of Omicron have been found in Georgia – BA1 and BA2. As stated in the international literature, BA2 is even more contagious, although it is more easily tolerated than BA1.
● Amiran Gamkrelidze says the number of Omicron cases in the country will increase even more in the next two weeks.
● About 1% of confirmed Omicron cases require hospitalization, Gamkrelidze said. “We reviewed about 1,600 laboratory-confirmed cases, up to 16 people needed hospitalization. 13 people were quickly discharged, three remained, none of them needed intensive care or mechanical ventilation”, he said.
● According to Gamkrelidze, Omicron is so widespread that there is no need for testing. With minimal symptoms, a citizen should stay at home and assume that they have Omicron.
“Today I appeal to the population to say that testing and identifying contacts of asymptomatic people at this stage does not make sense. Don’t overload the labs. Only people with symptoms should get tested”.
Are doctors and the hospitals ready?
● According to the Deputy Minister of Health of Georgia, Tamar Gabunia, with a sharp increase in the incidence, there is no active increase in the number of patients in the hospital sector. Gabunia says that there are no problems with hospital beds in the country – about 45% of the beds are empty. The same goes for places for children.
● According to her, the main burden falls on online consultations, family doctors and laboratories.
● On January 24, the hotline received 5,600 calls, which is a record figure.
● Georgia has 102 online clinics with 2,500 doctors across the country.
How is the vaccination process going?
● “The vaccination program is ongoing, but it still needs to be stepped up”, Deputy Health Minister Tamar Gabunia said.
● As of January 25, a total of 2,667,808 vaccinations have been administered. 1,322,175 people, or 46% of the population over 18, were vaccinated with at least one dose. Fully vaccinated 1,210,361 people – 42.1%
● 133,109 people have been vaccinated with booster doses.
● In Georgia, vaccination is allowed from the age of 12. 3,797 children (2.14%) were vaccinated with at least one dose at the age of 12-15 years. Among adults aged 16-17 years, 12,364 (15.25%) have been vaccinated with at least one dose.
● A total of 8,634 vaccines were administered on January 24.
●To encourage the vaccination process, people over 50 years of age will be given 100 lari (approx. $30) when they receive a “booster” dose. The deputy health minister says financial incentives work best for those over 65.
Getting a green passport just got easier
The Coordinating Council decided that it is not necessary to be vaccinated or have a positive PCR test result in order to obtain a Covid passport.
“Persons who, despite the symptoms, were not tested, but were under the supervision of a family doctor, will be considered as recovered from the coronavirus and will receive a green passport”, Amiran Gamkrelidze said.
In other words, from now on, almost anyone can get a “green passport” by contacting a family doctor.
● Another change is that from February 1, the so-called systematic testing of the asymptomatic population will be suspended in Georgia (this does not apply to medical personnel). That is, for example, if, so far, teachers have been tested once every two weeks, then from February 1 they will no longer undergo scheduled testing. This is done because the biggest load amid the spread of Omicron falls on laboratories.