In response to the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) a pandemic, Georgian government will function in an emergency, round-the-clock regime, Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia decreed on March 12.
Before opening the cabinet meeting on Thursday morning, PM Gakharia stated that “despite deplorable statistics [of spreading the disease in the world], Georgia manages to tackle the challenge relatively well.” “The challenges we face may aggravate daily and we are obliged to be ready to stand up to them,” stressed Georgian Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister clarified, that due to government’s decision, classes at secondary schools and universities will resume after a month. Spring conscription into the army will also be deferred for a month.
PM Gakharia voiced a recommendation addressed to government agencies to adopt remote work policies whenever possible. He extended the same recommendation to the private sector as well.
Georgian nationals returning from China, Iran, South Korea, Italy, Germany, France, Austria and Spain (countries gravely affected by the disease) will be subject to a 14-day mandatory quarantine.
As for the foreign nationals, they will be obliged to present PCR certificates confirming that they tested negative on COVID-19 while crossing the state border. Otherwise, they will also be subject to a 14-day mandatory quarantine.
PM Gakharia noted that some citizens’ reluctance to observe the guideline of self-isolation had engendered a major challenge for public health. Therefore, Gakharia called on the Ministry of Internal Affairs, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health representatives, to enforce the necessary provisions obliging citizens to fully observe self-isolation.
The Prime Minister tasked ministries in charge of Georgia’s economy to present by March 12 a concrete plan elaborating on how to provide fiscal stimulus to the affected sectors of the economy. “This is a global challenge and we have to spare no effort to ensure that Georgia’s response to this calamity is one of the most efficient,” PM concluded.
Georgia confirmed one more new case of COVID-19 on March 11, bringing the total to 24 cases.
In order to fend off spread of the infection, Georgian government suspended flights and land travel with Iran. Later government suspended direct air travel with Italy and introduced border restrictions for Georgian and foreign nationals.
On March 9, based on the recommendation by the ad hoc inter-agency group for tackling the disease, all foreign business and study visits by state officials were suspended.
Follow the coronavirus spread timeline in Georgia:
- February 26: Georgia Confirms First Case of Coronavirus
- February 28: Georgia Confirms Second Coronavirus Case
- February 29: Georgia Confirms Third Case of Coronavirus
- March 5: Georgia Confirms Fourth Case of Coronavirus
- March 5: Coronavirus Cases in Georgia Total Nine
- March 7: Coronavirus: Georgian Cases Total Twelve (one more case was confirmed later that day increasing the number to thirteen)
- March 9: COVID-19: 2 New Cases Bring Georgia Confirmed Total to 15
- March 10: COVID-19: Georgian Cases Total 23
- March 12: 24th case of COVID-19 confirmed in Georgia