Transport to resume on May 13 in Georgia - curfew remains in effect
Georgia’s main COVID-19 regulation-making body has given the green light to public transport to resume across the country on May 13, while curfew [from 21:00 to 05:00] will remain in effect. In addition, classes in schools and universities will resume as normal.
“As you know, there is a national holiday until May 12, so the work of public transport and educational institutions is limited. By the decision of the council, these restrictions will be lifted from Thursday, May 13”, said the chief of the operational headquarters Giorgi Gibradze after the council’s meeting.
Gibradze added that the Coordination Council makes decisions based on the epidemiological situation in the country, which has currently worsened as the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Georgia over the past day has reached 1,788 and 31 people have died.
“As soon as the epidemiological situation permits us, the possibility of easing the existing rules will be considered”, Gibradze said.
Deputy Health Minister Tamar Gabunia also commented on the lifting of the curfew. She said the Coordination Council will revisit the issue at the end of May when the expected peak has passed.
Tamar Gabunia said that a high increase of confirmed cases like the one witnessed in November and December is not expected in May.
“We think that we should not expect such an increase as in November and December last year because the population has already developed partial immunity, and others have already undergone the immunization. Probably, we should be aiming to keep the number of confirmed cases at 2,000 during the peak period, and then this figure should decline”, Gabunia said.
“If we don’t relax too much, the infection should subside within these two weeks”, said Amiran Gamkrelidze, director of the National Center for Disease Control.
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The curfew has been in effect in Georgia for six months now, starting from November 9, 2020. As an exception, curfews were lifted twice – on New Year’s Eve and Orthodox Christmas Eve.
The vaccination process in the country is still relatively slow. Mistrust in vaccines, as well as the overall management of the vaccination process, have become serious obstacles to the nationwide vaccination program in Georgia. People choose to travel several hundred kilometers to get vaccinated, while there are several thousand unused doses of vaccine in the country.
At the moment, four types of vaccines have been supplied to Georgia – the German-American Pfizer, the British AstraZeneca, the Chinese Sinopharm (Beijing) and the Chinese Sinovak.
Only two of the previously imported vaccines – Pfizer and AstraZeneca – have been authorized by the World Health Organization, while the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine only received WHO approval on May 6.
To this day, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases identified since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country reaches 324,256, 303,679 of which have recovered and 4,336 have died.