Sharp rise in COVID-19 infections in Georgia triggered by street protests, authorities say
Large opposition street protests against the allegedly rigged parliamentary elections in Georgia have caused a sharp increase in the spread of coronavirus, Deputy Prime Minister Maya Tskitishvili said earlier today.
“The protests were organized just at the time when the virus was actively spreading. And the authorities could not prohibit political protest, which is the constitutional right of the people,” said Deputy Prime Minister Tskitishvili.
On November 24, 3,128 new cases of coronavirus infection were detected in Georgia, the lowest figure in the last week. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 111,118 cases of the disease have been confirmed, of which 1,051 people have died, 92,215 have recovered.
She also proposed not to take on faith reports spread in Tbilisi that the city will be closed and all businesses will be stopped due to a sharp increase in the number of coronavirus infections.
“No decision has been made at this stage, the government continues consultations with a wide range of specialists,” Tskitishvili said.
She named several proposals for restrictions that are being considered, in particular:
● Restricting movement for a longer period during the curfew. Currently, in Tbilisi and several large cities, movement outside is prohibited without a special permit between 22.00 to 05.00.
● Restrict the operation of shopping facilities on certain days.
● Strengthen controls to ensure that the population complies with the requirements, including the mandatory wearing of medical masks anywhere outside their homes.
- Epidemic prevention a century ago in the Caucasus: wash your mouth with soap and don’t kiss your mother
- School’s out: Georgian children on studying from home. Photo story
Health Minister Yekaterina Tikaradze also cited opposition street protests as the main reason for the sharp rise in infections.
The Minister of Health commented on the demand of Georgian Association of Clinics to deploy field hospitals.
“We have now guaranteed up to 7,000 beds, and, of course, we are trying to provide medical care to all citizens. But the successful experience of many countries shows that the most effective way to combat coronavirus is prevention,” Tikaradze said.
The minister also said she had no plans to resign.
Such a demand was made some time ago by the Association of Clinics, which accused Tikaradze of unprofessionalism and stated that “her irrational initiatives factually led to the collapse of the medical system during the coronavirus pandemic.”