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COVID-19 Georgia Live Blog: Recoveries Hit 600

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As of May 30, 12:00, Georgia has confirmed 757 cases of the novel coronavirus of which 600 patients recovered and 12 died. 145 patients are now undergoing COVID-19 treatment. In addition, 3 infected Georgian citizens have been transferred from neighboring countries to Georgia for treatment. Currently, 3031 people are kept in a 14-day mandatory quarantine, while 262 patients remain under observation in hospitals. 

(Data will be updated according to the state-run website stopcov.ge – Civil.Ge’s note)

Saturday, May 30

12:00 GMT+4 – Georgia Reports 11 New Cases, 24 Recoveries

Georgia has reported eleven new cases of novel coronavirus, increasing the number of total confirmed cases to 757. In the meantime, 24 more patients have recovered, taking the number of recoveries to 600. 

11:15 GMT+4 – Tskhinvali Reports One New Case of COVID-19

Moscow-backed authorities in Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia have reported one new case of the novel coronavirus, taking the number of the region’s total confirmed cases to 39, according to RES news agency. 

Friday, May 29

12:44 GMT+4 – Tskhinvali Confirms One New Case, Two More Recoveries

Moscow-backed Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia has reported one new case of COVID-19, taking the number of total confirmed cases in the region to 38, according to local RES news agency. The region’s new coronavirus patient is a cadet of Russian higher education establishment who has recently returned to the region. In the meantime, region reports two more recoveries. 

10:30 GMT+4 – Georgia Reports Eight New Cases, Three Recoveries

Georgia has reported eight more COVID-19 cases, increasing the number of total confirmed cases to 746. In the meantime, three more patients have recovered, taking the number of recoveries to 576. According to Marina Ezugbaia, Medical Director of Tbilisi Hospital of Infectious Diseases, Georgia’s major medical facility treating coronavirus patients, six out of the eight new patients have been undergoing mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive for coronavirus, while two new patients belong to the so-called Bolnisi cluster. 

07:00 GMT+4 – Intracity Municipal Transport Resumed

All kinds of intracity municipal transport services – including Tbilisi Metro – resumed throughout Georgia. The municipal transportation has been suspended throughout the country since March 31. 

Thursday, May 28

19:00 GMT+4 – UNDP Delivers Fourth Batch of Medical Aid to Abkhazia

UNDP delivered the fourth batch of medical aid to Abkhazia to help the region contain public health crisis, Sokhumi-based Apsnypress news agency reported.

Medical and hygiene aid, including 920 medical gowns, 900 pairs of nitrile gloves, 4,500 medical caps, 1,000 shoe covers and 180 liters of hand sanitizer, was delivered today to the Gudauta Hospital, the Black Sea region’s main medical facility treating COVID-19 patients. 

In addition to medical and hygiene materials, UNDP provided the Gudauta Hospital with a video conferencing equipment. According to the same source, UNDP will provide similar equipment kits to the Republican Hospital, the Republican Tuberculosis Hospital, the Sanitary and Epidemiological Service as well as the hospitals in the towns of Gagra and Ochamchire. The USD 11,000 support for the said initiative was covered by the USAID-funded Horizons Project.

UNDP Resident Representative Louisa Vinton, who delivered the aid to the region today, met the Abkhaz leaders in Sokhumi, discussing COVID-19 help for the Moscow-backed region and the implementation of UNDP projects in Abkhazia. 

15:30 GMT+4 – FAO Delivers 15,000 Animal Vaccines to Abkhazia

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), a specialized UN agency, has delivered 15,000 animal vaccines to occupied Georgian region of Abkhazia to stem the spread of zoonotic diseases, local media reported.  

According to the source, FAO support was financed in the framework of the European Neighborhood Program for Agriculture and Rural Development, which is run by the EU.

10:25 GMT+4 – Three New Cases, Sixteen More Recoveries

Georgia reports three new cases of COVID-19, taking the number of total confirmed cases to 738. In the meantime, with 16 more recoveries the number of recovered patients hits 573.  

Wednesday, May 27

16:10 GMT+4 – Georgia is Suspending Use of Hydroxychloroquine to Treat COVID-19 Patients

Georgia’s chief infectious disease expert Tengiz Tsertsvadze announced that Georgia is halting use of hydroxychloroquine (locally known as plaquenil) for treating COVID-19 patients over safety concerns raised by the World Health Organization.

According to the top virologist, the WHO has removed hydroxychloroquine from a list of drugs to be tested during the Solidarity trial – a series of clinical trials carried out worldwide to help find an effective treatment for COVID-19. Earlier, on May 13, the Health Ministry stated that Georgian medical facilities will take part in the WHO-sponsored trial.

Plaquenil has been routinely used by Georgian physicians for treating severe coronavirus patients. Tsertsvadze recognized that plaquenil might have elevated some risks in terms of heart rhythm disturbances, but denied any possibility of “grave complications” related to the drug.

Not only hydroxychloroquine, but any other COVID-19 treatment falls into the uncharted territory as relevant side effects have not been well researched to date, noted Tsertsvadze.

16:00 GMT+4 – Top Virologist Says Approximately 0,6% of Tbilisites Tested Positive for COVID-19 Antibodies

Tengiz Tsertsvadze, who leads a group of medical experts tasked with devising COVID-19 detection and treatment guidelines in Georgia, told journalists that according to preliminary data of antibody testing survey carried out in the Georgian capital, approximately 6 to 10 people of 1,000 have tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies.

11:10 GMT+4 – Municipal Transport Services to Resume Starting May 29

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia announced that all kinds of municipal transport services – including Tbilisi Metro – will be allowed to resume starting May 29.

He noted that, while in municipal transport vehicles, passengers will be required to wear face masks – a rule that will be supervised by the managers of relevant transport services and owners of private transport vehicles. 

Additionally, starting from June 1:

  • all kinds of stores, as well as shopping malls will be reopened;
  • all types of bazaars – open agricultural markets – will also reopen;
  • Restaurants can receive customers in outdoor (open air) spaces only;

From June 8:

  • Restaurants will be allowed to offer all kinds of services – including reopening indoor dining spaces; 
  • hotels authorized by relevant public health authorities can resume operations;
  • intercity transport services will resume. 

10:50 GMT+4 – Georgia Records 3 New Cases, 20 More Recoveries

Georgia has registered three new cases of COVID-19 infection, taking the total to 735, according to stopcov.ge, a state-run website. Meanwhile, 20 patients have now recovered, raising the number of total recoveries to 557.

Tuesday, May 26

17:51 GMT+4 – Tskhinvali Reports 21 Recoveries

Moscow-backed authorities in Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia have reported 21 coronavirus recoveries, according to RES news agency. The new recoveries take the number of active cases to nine in the occupied region, the same source reported. As of May 26, Tskhinvali has confirmed a total of 37 COVID-19 cases. 

12:30 GMT+4 – Sokhumi Reopens Enguri Crossing Point for Returning Patients

Starting today, Abkhaz authorities have allowed passage to resume through Enguri bridge crossing point for residents of Abkhazia who travelled to Georgia proper to receive medical treatment, local media reported on May 26. The measure applies to the holders of the Abkhaz passports. It remains unclear whether it will be extended to the residents of Abkhazia – primarily Gali district’s ethnic Georgians – who, stripped of Abkhaz passports, only hold Georgian citizenship. 

11:30 GMT+4 – Georgia Reports One New Case, 11 More Recoveries 

The government-run StopCov.ge website reports that one more person has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, increasing the number of total confirmed cases to 732. In the meantime, according to the webpage, 11 more patient have recovered, increasing the number of overall recoveries to 537. With 537 recoveries and 12 deaths, the number of active coronavirus cases drops to 183.

Monday, May 25

23:30 GMT+4 – Abkhazia Reports One New Recovery, Total Recoveries Rise to 15

Moscow-backed Abkhaz authorities have reported one more recovery from a disease caused by the novel coronavirus, raising the total number of recoveries in the region to 15, according to a Russian media outlet. To date, Abkhazia has recorded 28 confirmed cases of COVID-19. 

11:00 GMT+4 – Georgia Reports One New Case, 4 More Recoveries 

Georgia has confirmed one new case of the novel coronavirus, bringing the number of total cases to 731, the government-run StopCov.ge website reports. In the meantime, four more patient have recovered, increasing the number of overall recoveries to 526. With 526 recoveries and 12 deaths, the number of active coronavirus cases drops to 193.

Sunday, May 24

12:15 GMT+4 – Tskhinvali Confirms Two New Cases

Moscow-backed Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia authorities have reported two new cases of the novel coronavirus, taking the number of total confirmed cases in the region to 37, according to RES news agency. One of the new patients is a cadet of the Russian military academy, who has recently returned to the region, noted the same source. 

10:45 -GMT+4 – Two New Cases, 13 More Recoveries Reported 

Georgia has reported two new cases of the novel coronavirus, taking the number of total confirmed cases to 730, according to government-run StopCov.ge website. In the meantime, 13 more patient have recovered, taking the number of overall recoveries to 522. With 522 recoveries and 12 deaths, as of May 24 morning, the number of active coronavirus cases drops to 196. 

Saturday, May 23

22:00 GMT+4 – Eight More People Recover in Abkhazia

Moscow-backed Abkhazia has reported that eight more patients have recovered from COVID-19, taking the number of recoveries in the region to 14, according to local media. All of the eight recovered patients, the same source noted, are the cadets of the Russian military academies, who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus after their return to the occupied region earlier in May.

20:00 GMT+4 – Gov’t Updates Lockdown Restrictions as State of Emergency Expires

The Georgian government has published a raft of updated lockdown measures as COVID-19 state of emergency expired on May 22.

The Government decided to ease most of the restrictions, while retaining some of the regulations entirely.

New isolation and lockdown rules – effective until July 15 – entail the following:

  • International flights will not be allowed to resume;
  • Public transport – both municipal and intercity – will remain suspended;
  • Cab services will resume, although taxi drivers will be allowed to transport no more than two passengers observing physical distancing guidelines;
  • Educational facilities – primary and secondary schools, and universities – are to carry on remote learning (when possible). Additionally, universities will now be permitted to hold in-person exams and conduct laboratory classes;
  • All kinds of cultural, sporting, entertainment events, as well as conferences and seminars are only allowed to be conducted online;
  • Public gatherings of more than ten people is banned;
  • Restaurants, bars, cafes and eateries are not allowed to reopen indoor dining spaces, and can only provide delivery/drive-thru services.
  • Shopping malls, currency exchange bureaus, clothing/shoes retail stores, gyms and fitness centers are to remain closed;
  • While carrying out business/economic operations, service providers, as well customers are obliged to wear face masks and observe physical distancing guidelines.
  • Hotels/accommodation venues can only be reopened for setting up quarantine zones.

12:15 GMT+4 – Tskhinvali Confirms One New Case

Moscow-backed Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia confirmed 35th case of the novel coronavirus in the region, according to RES news agency. Tskhinvali’s new patient is a cadet of one of the Russian military academies who has recently returned to the occupied region. 

12:10 GMT+4 – Troops no longer Confined to Bases Due to COVID-19

According to the Ministry of Defense, servicemen of the Georgian Armed Forces will no longer be confined to barracks due to public health emergency, although each military unit will carry on observing strict lockdown measures.

Georgian troops were confined to military bases on March 21 in a bid to prevent coronavirus outbreak.

10:40 GMT+4 – 5 New Cases, 14 Recoveries

Five more persons have tested positive for COVID-19 in Georgia, increasing the number of total confirmed cases to 728, according to Marina Ezugbaia, Medical Director of Tbilisi Hospital of Infectious Diseases, Georgia’s major medical facility treating coronavirus-infected patients. Ezugbaia also told journalists that 14 more patients have recovered, bringing the overall number of recoveries to 509. 

00:01 GMT+4 – Georgia Ends State of Emergency, Curfew, Keeps Some Restrictions

Starting from May 23, Georgia ends 63-days long state of emergency, that the government announced on March 21 in a bid to halt the novel coronavirus spread. Initially intended to be effective through April 21, it was then extended for another month until May 22.

The country also lifts 9-hours long curfew that 3.7 million Georgians observed between 21:00 and 06:00 for some 53 days. 

In the meantime, a number of restrictions, such as the ban on gathering of more than ten people – for the purposes of weddings, funerals, and other social events – remain in force. 

Quarantine regime is lifted in southern Georgia’s Bolnisi Municipality that has been under lockdown since March 23, the government spokesperson Irakli Chikovani stated on Friday. Chikovani said, however, that two villages in Bolnisi district – Mushevani and Geta – remain under strict quarantine regime. Tetritskaro – yet another location of Georgia’s coronavirus outbreak that has been placed under lockdown on April 26 – also remains shut down, noted the government spokesperson.

Friday, May 22

19:00 GMT+4 – Tskhinvali Extends Quarantine Measures Through June 30

Citing epidemiological situation, Moscow-backed Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia extended coronavirus-related restrictions through June 30, according to RES news agency. The restrictions on crossing the Roki Tunnel, the only crossing point connecting the region to the Russian Federation has also been extended until June 30. 

14:30 GMT+4 – French Development Agency Allocates EUR 190 Mln to Support Georgia in COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis 

The French Development Agency (AFD) and the Georgian Finance Ministry signed two loan agreements for a total of EUR 190 million aimed to support Georgia’s healthcare and economy during the COVID-19 crisis.

Photo: French Embassy to Georgia

The first loan agreement, amounting to EUR 70 million, aims to “continue supporting the Georgian health and social protection system.”

The second loan agreement, amounting to EUR 120 million, aims to “deepen the reforms of the electricity sector with specific attention paid to the care of vulnerable consumers.” 

12:00 GMT+4 – Three More People Test Positive for COVID-19 in Abkhazia

Moscow-backed Abkhaz authorities confirm three new cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing the total confirmed cases in the region to 28, according to local media. The region’s task force charged with tackling COVID-19 challenge reported that all of the three new patients are the cadets of the Russian military academies who have recently returned to the occupied region. 

11:35 GMT+4 – 69 People Fined for Defying Emergency Rules

The Ministry of Internal Affairs uncovered 69 cases of state of emergency violation within the last 24 hours. From 9 p.m. on May 21 to 6 a.m. on May 22, police fined 59 citizens for violating nighttime curfew. Eight persons were fined for violating driving restrictions, and two persons were fined for defying self-isolation protocol. 

11:20 GMT+4 – Regulations Limiting Number of Passenger Will be Lifted from May 23

Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia announced during the coronavirus task force meeting that an emergency regulation limiting number of passengers to three while driving a private vehicle will be lifted from tomorrow, May 23. However, Gakharia said, the restriction still apply to taxis.

11:10 GMT+4 – Two New Cases, Ten Recoveries

Two more persons have tested positive for COVID-19 in Georgia, increasing the number of total confirmed cases to 723, based on Government-run StopCov.ge website. Meanwhile, ten more patients have recovered, bringing the overall number of recoveries to 495. 

Head of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC) Amiran Gamkrelidze stated at the Prime Minister-led ad hoc task force group meeting that the source of infection of one patient is Tetritskaro Municipality in Kvemo Kartli region, while another infected patients was delivered to hospital from the quarantine zone.

Thursday, May 21

20:50 GMT+4 – Police Reports 79 New Cases of Emergency Law Violation

According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, 79 people have been fined within the last 24 hours for violating emergency regulations. Law enforcement officers fined 74 people for breaching nighttime curfew. 4 individuals were fined for violating driving restrictions. Police also uncovered 1 new case of defying self-isolation protocol. 

11:00 GMT+4 – Eight New Cases, Ten Recoveries

Government-run StopCov.ge website reports that eight more persons have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Georgia, bringing the number of total confirmed cases to 721. In the meantime, the website reports that ten more patients have recovered, increasing the overall number of recoveries to 485. 

Wednesday, May 20

12:30 GMT+4 – Georgia Buys 30,000 Rapid Tests with World Bank Aid

Georgian Health Ministry said it has purchased 30,000 rapid antibody test kits manufactured in China within the framework of World Bank’s aid program.

The Ministry highlighted that several Western countries, including U.S., Germany and Austria, have also bought COVID-19 tests from the same Chinese producer. 

COVID-19 test kits delivered from China. Source: Health Ministry’s Facebook page.

Earlier, on May 13, Health Ministry said it has cancelled a contract with Solemart, a Georgian medical importer, to purchase 30,000 rapid antibody test kits for GEL 930,000 (USD 290,625) due to “a delay in shipment.” The test kits – marketed as Dutch-produced – were reportedly relabeled goods manufactured in China.  

12:20 GMT+4 – One New Case Recorded in Abkhazia, Total Rises to 25

Moscow-backed Abkhaz authorities have registered one more case of COVID-19 infection, taking the total to 25 cases in the region.
According to local media, the infected patient is a cadet at a Russian military academy.

12:10 GMT+4 – TI Georgia Advises Authorities on How to Curb Corruption amid Pandemic

Transparency International Georgia, a local watchdog, issued a statement highlighting increased “likelihood of corruption” during the public health crisis.

The watchdog advised the Government on the measures to take in order to curb the risk of corruption.

TI Georgia singled out three challenges facing the country amid the pandemic:

  • Integrity challenges in public procurement;
  • Accountability, control, and oversight of the economic stimulus packages;
  • Increased risks of integrity violations in public organizations.

The watchdog recommended state authorities to put in place following measures:

  • to ensure that restriction of civil rights is “proportionate and based on public health needs alone, and no selective application of law takes place;”
  • to conduct public procurement through “competitive tendering” unless urgent need arises;
  • to Parliament and State Audit Office: to scrutinize and monitor Government’s activities, including spending of allocated funds to address pandemic’s impact;
  • to ensure parliamentary opposition’s inclusion in devising of measures aimed at weathering the crisis;
  • to ensure “maximum transparency” of Government’s activities and “regularly publish detailed reports” concerning implementation of containment measures, as well as relief programs. 
  • to internal oversight bodies: to double down on detecting and preventing corruption;
  • to law enforcement bodies: to closely examine “all information about possible cases of corruption.”

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11:15 GMT+4 – Police Reports 67 New Cases of Emergency Law Violation

According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, 67 people have been fined within the last 24 hours for violating emergency regulations. Law enforcement officers fined 59 people for breaching nighttime curfew. 6 individuals were fined for violating driving restrictions. Police also uncovered 2 new cases of defying self-isolation protocol. 

11:10 GMT+4 – Six New Case, 19 Recoveries

Six persons have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Georgia, increasing the number of total confirmed cases to 713, according to Government-run StopCov.ge website. The website also reports that 19 more patients have recovered, bringing the overall number of recoveries to 475. 

Tuesday, May 19

20:10 GMT+4 – Georgia Reports Five More Cases

Georgia reports five more cases of the novel coronavirus, taking the number of total confirmed cases to 707, according to government-run StopCov.ge website. 

12:40 GMT+4 – 101 People Fined for Defying Emergency Rules

The Ministry of Internal Affairs revealed 101 cases of state of emergency violation within the last 24 hours. From 21:00 on May 18 to 06:00 on May 19, police fined 92 citizens for violating nighttime curfew. Eight persons were fined for violating driving restrictions, and one person – for breaching self-isolation requirement. 

10:30 GMT+4 – One New Case, 24 Recoveries

One person has tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Georgia, increasing the number of total confirmed cases to 702, according to Government-run StopCov.ge website. The website also reports that 24 more patients have recovered, bringing the overall number of recoveries to 456. 

06:00 GMT+4 – Strict Quarantine Measures in Several Bolnisi Municipality Villages Lifted

The governmental task forced charged with tackling coronavirus challenge in Georgia decided to lift strict quarantine measures in several villages of Bolnisi Municipality, the location of Georgia’s worst coronavirus outbreak. 

The strict quarantine measures were lifted in the villages of Nakhiduri, Parizi, Tsurtavi, Tamarisi, Khidiskuri, Mukhrana, Balakhauri and Mtskhneti. 

The nationwide restrictive measures envisaged by the state of emergency, such as the ban on gathering of more than ten people, still apply to all of the municipality, however, noted the gov’t task force. 

00:50 GMT+4 – Four More People Test Positive for Coronavirus in Abkhazia

Moscow-backed Abkhaz authorities confirmed four more cases of the novel coronavirus in the region, local media has reported. The four new COVID-19 patients are the students of the Russian higher education institutions, who have recently returned to the region from the Russian Federation. They have been undergoing mandatory quarantine in one of the hotels in Sokhumi, noted the ad hoc Abkhaz task force charged with tackling coronavirus challenge in the region. The patients will be transferred to Gudauta Hospital, Abkhazia’s main medical facility treating coronavirus patients. 

Monday, May 18

18:00 GMT+4 –U.S. Donates PPE Worth $ 500,000 to Georgia 

The U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency has delivered personal protective equipment worth around $ 500,000 during May to Georgian authorities, including the Georgian Border Police, Emergency Management Services, State Laboratory of Agriculture, and other subsidiaries of Ministries of Health and Internal Affairs, respectively. 

According to a statement released by the U.S. Embassy to Georgia, the equipment – goggles, safety shields, disinfection spray, respirator units, infrared thermometers, and coverall suits – will help Georgia’s healthcare authorities ensure “they are able to respond to the threat of COVID-19 in a safe and sanitary environment.”

11:35 GMT+4 – 99 People Fined for Defying Emergency Rules

The Ministry of Internal Affairs revealed 99 cases of state of emergency violation within the last 24 hours. From 21:00 on May 17 to 06:00 on May 18, police fined 98 citizens for violating nighttime curfew. One person was fined for violating driving restrictions.

11:30 GMT+4 – 6 New Cases, 7 More Recoveries

Government-run StopCov.ge website reports that six persons have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Georgia, increasing the number of total confirmed cases to 701. In the meantime, seven more patients have recovered, bringing the overall number of recoveries to 432. 

09:00 GMT+4 – UN Allocates USD 1 Million to Support COVID-19 Response in Georgia

Georgia is among the 46 countries that were eligible for immediate support from the United Nations COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to protect vulnerable groups from the shocks of the current pandemic.

The United Nations Multi-Partner Trust Fund for COVID-19 Response and Recovery, an inter-agency finance mechanism, was launched by the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres on 31 March 2020, noted the UN country team Georgia, adding that their proposal of USD 1 million project was approved on May 15.

The UN country team in Georgia stated that together with partners they will support the equipment of front-line workers for the challenges ahead. The project will also focus on providing critical hygiene and medical supplies  for healthcare and social and public-sector workers, and their beneficiaries.

Supporting vulnerable rural households and older people to withstand the shock is also an important component, noted the UN country team in Georgia, adding that the project also has a component to improve access to water, sanitation and hygiene in conflict-affected areas, and provide vital support to municipalities and village representatives to deliver critical social services.

06:00 GMT+4 – Marneuli Municipality Reopened

Georgian Government reopened today Marneuli Municipality after 56-days long shutdown. Together with Bolnisi Municipality, Marneuli district has been put under lockdown and strict quarantine regime on March 23 following the failure of Georgian health authorities to detect the source of COVID-19 infection in the region. Bolnisi Municipality, the location of Georgia’s worst coronavirus outbreak, however, still remains under strict quarantine regime. 

Sunday, May 17

13:00 GMT+4 – 89 People Fined for Defying Emergency Rules

The Ministry of Internal Affairs revealed 89 cases of state of emergency violation within the last 24 hours. From 21:00 on May 16 to 06:00 on May 17, police fined 81 citizens for violating nighttime curfew. Seven persons were fined for violating driving restrictions, and one person – for breaching self-isolation requirement. 

10:00 GMT+4 – 12 New Cases, 6 More Recoveries

Georgia reports 12 more cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing the number of total confirmed cases to 695, according to government-run StopCov.ge website. In the meantime, six more patients have recovered, bringing the overall number of recoveries to 425. 

00:39 GMT+4 – Family of Three Tests Positive for COVID-19 in Sokhumi

Moscow-backed authorities in Abkhazia have reported that a family of three has tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Sokhumi, bringing the region’s number of total confirmed cases to 20, local media has reported citing Abkhaz task force charged with tackling the COVID-19 crisis. 

The region’s new coronavirus patients are the two parents and their daughter, with the later showing no signs of virus-related complications, while the mother is diagnosed with double pneumonia and the father is being treated for respiratory failure. 

The patients were transferred to Gudauta Hospital, Abkhazia’s main medical facility treating coronavirus patients. 

Saturday, May 16

20:40 GMT+4 – Six More Cases Reported, Total Reaches 683

Six more patients tested positive for COVID-19, taking the number of total confirmed cases to 683, according to government-run website StopCov.ge. As of May 16, 20:45, the number of active cases stands at 252. 

12:00 GMT+4 – 93 People Fined for Defying Emergency Rules

The Ministry of Internal Affairs revealed 93 cases of state of emergency violation within the last 24 hours. From 21:00 on May 14 to 06:00 on May 15, police fined 84 citizens for violating nighttime curfew.

Law enforcement officers also fined eight persons for violating driving restrictions, and one person for breaching self-isolation requirement. 

Violating the emergency regulations in Georgia results in an administrative responsibility – natural persons breaching the laws are fined with GEL 3,000 (USD 940), while legal entities pay the fine in the amount of GEL 15,000 (USD 4700).

11:14 GMT+4 – Tskhinvali Reveals Four More Cases

Four more patients, including two medical workers, have tested positive for COVID-19 in Moscow-backed Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, taking the region’s total confirmed cases to 34, RES news agency reported

Two of the new patients are the residents of the region who have returned from the Russian Federation, while two others are healthcare workers in Znauri (Kornisi) settlement hospital, said local health officer Anna Gagloeva. 

10:30 GMT+4 – Six More Cases, 26 More Recoveries Reported

Georgia reports six new cases of COVID-19, bringing the number of total confirmed cases to 677, according to government-run StopCov.ge website. In the meantime, 26 more persons have recovered from the disease, bringing number of recoveries to 419. 

Friday, May 15

15:35 GMT+4 – U.S. Donates 4,000 PCR Test Kits, Personal Protection Equipment to Georgia’s Health Ministry

The U.S. Embassy donated equipment and materials to conduct 4,000 gold-standard RT-PCR tests, as well as almost USD 20,000 in personal protective equipment to the Ministry of Health of Georgia today. 

“This donation of these testing kits, procured from the U.S. company Thermo Fisher, will significantly improve Georgia’s ability to increase COVID-19 testing and help to control the spread of the virus,” the Embassy noted. 

15:15 GMT+4 – Gov’t: University Entrance Exams Will be Held in Summer ‘As Usual’

Georgia’s Education Minister Mikheil Chkhenkeli announced that university entrance exams will be conducted in summer in compliance with public health recommendations.

Speaking at the meeting of the Inter-Agency Coordination Council, Chkhenkeli noted that a maximum of ten students will be allowed to sit the exam in a single room. 

The Government also announced that 2019-2020 school year in Georgia will not be suspended. Twelfth-grade students will conclude school year on May 20, first-graders – on May 27, and all other pupils – on June 15. 

15:00 GMT+4 – State of Emergency Will not be Extended in Georgia After May 22

The Georgian government has decided not to extend state of emergency, which has been in force since March 21 in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia announced at a meeting of the Inter-Agency Coordination Council that he will not appeal to the President and the Parliament to prolong the emergency after May 22 – when it is set to expire.

Gakharia stressed that restrictions will only be lifted gradually, and that the government will take into account public health officials’ advice regarding the epidemiological situation.

13:30 GMT+4 – Flight Restrictions Remain Effective through June 30 

Restrictions on regular flights in Georgia will remain effective through June 30, the Georgian Civil Aviation Agency (GCAA) announced on May 15.

13:26 GMT+4 – Tskhinvali Extends Ban on Crossing Border with Russia for its Residents until May 25

Kremlin-Backed authorities of Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia have extended a travel ban for the region’s residents until May 25 in an effort to “contain the spread of coronavirus,” according to “RES“, a local news agency.

The ban excludes Russian drivers transporting foodstuff, building materials, drugs and medical equipment, and other “essential goods” to the occupied region. Crossing border will also be permitted in case of medical emergencies.

Tskhinvali residents are allowed to enter Russia – without returning back to the region.

Fearing the outbreak of COVID-19, Kremlin-supported Tskhinvali authorities imposed a temporary travel ban on nationals hailing from more than 60 states on March 2. The ban, however, excluded Russian nationals.

On April 2, Tskhinvali announced the closure of Roki crossing point that connects the occupied region with the Russian federation “until further notice.”

The ban excluded Tskhinvali residents, returning to the region – and willing to undergo a 14-day mandatory self-isolation upon arrival – as well as Russian military servicemen and FSB employees stationed in the occupied region. Later, on April 30, the closure was prolonged until May 31.

13:00 GMT+4 – 119 People Fined for Defying Emergency Rules

The Ministry of Internal Affairs revealed 119 cases of state of emergency violation within the last 24 hours. From 9 p.m. on May 14 to 6 a.m. on May 15, police fined 104 citizens for violating nighttime curfew.

Law enforcement officers also fined five persons for violating driving restrictions, and ten persons for gathering in a group of more than three and defying two-meter social distancing guideline. 

11:35 GMT+4 – Quarantine Regime Tightened in Bolnisi’s Geta Village

Georgian government introduces strict quarantine regime in Geta village of Bolnisi Municipality amid the “high epidemiological risks.” 

Police, charged with ensuring public order and strict quarantine measures, has already set up checkpoints at the entrances of the village.

Citing Bolnisi Municipality officials, Georgian media reported yesterday that all 15 cases of COVID-19 reported on May 14 evening were recorded in Bolnisi Municipality. 

Bolnisi and Marneuli Municipalities have been in lockdown since March 23. However, the latter will reopen from May 18.

10:30 GMT+4 – 4 More Patients Test Positive; 10 Others Recover

Four more people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Georgia, increasing total confirmed cases to 671, according to the Government-run website StopCov.ge. The website also reports that ten more patient have recovered, bringing the number of recoveries to 393.

Thursday, May 14

21:30 GMT+4 – Abkhazia Extends Travel Ban, Other Emergency Measures until June 1 Due to Pandemic

Kremlin-supported Abkhaz authorities extended COVID-19 emergency measures, including travel ban, until June 1 to stem the spread of the virus, ApsnyPress, a local news agency reported.

Following restrictions will remain in force until June 1:

  • vendors and customers in open agricultural markets – bazaars – wil be required to wear personal protective equipment (masks and gloves);
  • a ban on holding large-scale events, such as wedding and funeral ceremonies, sporting and entertainment events;
  • Border with Russia will remain closed for foreign nationals and “stateless persons,” excluding members of the “diplomatic corps,” FSB personnel and Russian military servicemen. Additionally, travel ban will not apply to freight transportation.

21:10 GMT+4 – Georgia Reports 15 New Cases, Total Hits 667

Fifteen more people have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, according to stopcov.ge, a state-run website. Total number of confirmed cases has risen to 667.

21:00 GMT+4 – USAID Gifts Medical Tents to Georgia to Help Tackle Pandemic

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has handed over field hospital tents to the Emergency Management Service of Georgia (Interior Ministry subsidiary) to enhance Georgia’s “response capabilities” and “support the safety of communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The aid was provided in the framework of USAID Zrda Activity program and with the help of the Association Rural Development for Future Georgia, USAID’s local partner organization.

Hospital fields tents will be deployed to COVID-19 quarantine zones  and at-risk communities.

20:10 GMT+4 – Abkhazia Reports Two New Cases of Infection

Moscow-backed authorities of Abkhazia have recorded two new cases of the novel coronavirus, raising the total to 17, according to ApsnyPress, a local news agency.

According to the source, one of the infected persons is a student at a Russian university, and will undergo treatment in Gudauta hospital.

ApsnyPress reported that another infected is a serviceman at a Russian military base stationed in Gudauta, who had arrived from the Republic of Dagestan [Russia]. He will be treated at Gudauta military hospital. 

17:10 GMT+4 – Gov’t: Restriction on Gatherings of More Than 10 People Will Remain in Force

The Georgian government announced that, despite recent easing of some lockdown measures, restriction on gatherings of more than ten people in both indoor and outdoor spaces will not be lifted. 

Additionally, an emergency regulation limiting number of passengers to three while driving a private vehicle will also remain in force.

12:30 GMT+4 – 102 People Fined for Defying Emergency Rules

The Ministry of Internal Affairs uncovered 102 cases of state of emergency violation within the last 24 hours. From 9 p.m. on May 13 to 6 a.m. on May 14, police fined 89 citizens for violating nighttime curfew.

Law enforcement officers also fined seven persons for violating driving restrictions, and six persons for gathering in a group of more than three and defying two-meter social distancing guideline. 

11:10 GMT+4 – Beauty, Aesthetic Salons to Reopen from May 18 

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia announced today that beauty and aesthetic salons will reopen from Monday, May 18. 

Gakharia also added that restrictions on public gathering in a group of more than three persons will also be lifted. 

However, he said, driving-related restrictions – limiting three persons per car – remains in force. 

11:05 GMT+4 – Georgia Reports 12th Coronavirus-related Death

Georgia has reported 12th coronavirus-related death. Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia announced at the cabinet meeting that an 81-year-old woman has passed away this morning. 

11:00 GMT+4 – Georgia Reports 5 New Cases, 11 Recoveries 

Five more persons have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Georgia, bringing the number of total confirmed cases to 652. Meanwhile, 11 patients recovered, increasing the number of recoveries to 383.

10:05 GMT+4 – Tskhinvali Registers Five New Cases of Coronavirus

Kremlin-backed authorities of Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia recorded five new cases of the coronavirus within the last 24 hours, according to “RES,” a local news outlet. 

According to the source, among the infected persons are four cadets of Russian military academies. “All patients have been quarantined,” Alina Gagloeva, Tskhinvali region’s public health “official” said. 

The total number of confirmed cases in the occupied region now stands at 30. 

06:00 GMT+4 – Restrictions on Entering, Leaving Rustavi, Gardabani Lifted

All restrictions imposed on entering and exiting the city of Rustavi and Gardabani municipality, southeast of Tbilisi, have been lifted from today.

Georgia shut down the country’s four largest cities – the capital city of Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Batumi and Rustavi on April 15, 21:00.

However, restrictions imposed on entering and exiting Tbilisi were lifted on May 11, while resrictions imposed on entering and exiting Kutaisi and Batumi were lifted on May 5. 

Wednesday, May 13

21:21 GMT+4 – Abkhazia Confirms Two More Cases

Moscow-backed Abkhazia authorities confirm two more coronavirus cases, bringing the number of total confirmed cases in the region to 15, according to Apsnypress news agency. 

19:00 GMT+4 – EBRD Predicts Georgia’s GDP to Shrink by 5,5 % in 2020 Due to Coronavirus Impact

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has revised Georgia’s GDP growth forecast, expecting country’s economy to fall 5,5 % in 2020. EBRD estimated a 5,5 % growth in 2021, indicating an economic recovery after a slump due to the COVID-19 crisis.

According to an economic outlook published by EBRD, the global economy witnessed increased volatility in financial markets, and a drop in tourism receipts in March 2020, which boded ill for Georgia.

It noted that the “[Georgian] authorities secured additional financing from multilateral creditors.”

EBRD predicted that the hospitality sector will be “severely” hit as countries contain the spread of the coronavirus and travel abroad.

“With tourism receipts normally amounting to nearly one-fifth of GDP, the negative impact will be widespread across many sectors,” EBRD concluded.

15:30 GMT+4 – Georgia Cancels Contract to Purchase Rapid COVID-19 Tests of Controversial Origin

Georgia’s Health Ministry said it has cancelled a contract with Solemart, a medical importer, to purchase 30,000 rapid antibody test kits for GEL 930,000 (USD 290,625) due to “a delay in shipment.” 

The Ministry signed a contract with Izotek on April 24 to buy the diagnostic material through simplified procurement, according to Deputy Health Minister Tamar Gabunia. She added that the Ministry later scrapped the agreement due to the breach of shipping terms.

Antibody tests, imported by Solemart, are reportedly manufactured by Inzek International Trading, a Dutch biotech firm.

However, Dutch investigative outlets – the OCCRP and Investico – reported on May 6 that test kits marketed by Biozek were “in fact” relabeled Chinese products, which were found “in some independent trials to be less accurate than claimed.”

Gabunia claimed that Izotek-manufactured tests were certified by Ministry’s regulatory agency and “complied with all requirements.” NCDC head Amiran Gamkrelidze said his agency did not carry out quality assessment for the said product.

Solemart’s director Zurab Tukvadze concurred with the Ministry’s official statement, stating in an interview to TV Pirveli that the contract was annulled on May 8 on account of late delivery – rather than a controversy over the country of origin, as his company “could not” ship test kits in due course. “We will now return the entire batch of kits to the Dutch company [Biozek],” he said.

This is not the first time when the issue of importing COVID-19 diagnostic kits has been caught in the spotlight. On March 27, the Georgian government annulled a supply contract worth USD 1,182,500 with Shenzhen Bioeasy Biotechnology, a Chinese biotech company that had reportedly shipped “unreliable” test kits to Spain.

Back then, Health Minister Ekaterine Tikaradze stated that all delivered tests are subject to rigorous “quality control” in Georgia to confirm their accuracy and that “our citizens will not be put at risk by imprecise diagnosis.”

11:21 GMT+4 – Tskhinvali Confirms Two More Cases

Moscow-backed Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia authorities confirmed two more cases of COVID-19, bringing the number of total confirmed cases in the region to 25, according to RES news agency. 

11:20 GMT+4 – 132 People Fined for Defying State of Emergency Rules

Georgian Interior Ministry has revealed 132 new cases of disobeying state of emergency regulations within the last 24 hours. Police fined:

  • 109 citizens – for defying the nationwide curfew between 21:00-06:00;
  • 10 citizens – for transporting passengers and violating state-imposed restrictions on driving;
  • 13 citizen – for public gathering and violating 2-meter distance.

11:15 GMT+4 – Georgia Reports 5 New Cases, 23 Recoveries

The number of total confirmed cases in Georgia has increased to 647 as five persons have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Meanwhile, 23 patients recovered, bringing the number of recoveries to 372.

Tuesday, May 12

20:00 GMT+4 – Three New Cases Confirmed, Total Hits 642

Georgia confirms three more cases of the novel coronavirus, taking the number of total confirmed cases to 642, according to StopCov.ge website. 

19:58 GMT+4 – Abkhaz Authorities Confirm Three More Cases

Moscow-backed authorities of Abkhazia have confirmed three cases of COVID-19, Apsnypress news agency reported. According to the same report, the region’s new coronavirus patients are the Abkhaz students of Russian higher education institutions who have recently returned to Abkhazia from the Russian Federation.

The students have been undergoing mandatory quarantine since their arrival, noted Abkhaz task force charged with fighting COVID-19 pandemic in the Black Sea region. They will now be sent to Gudauta Hospital, Abkhazia’s main medical facility treating coronavirus patients.

The task force stated that as of today there are 256 persons undergoing quarantine in Sokhumi’s Aitar Hotel, 216 of which are the students of the Russian military academies. 

14:00 GMT+4 – Gov’t Lifts Restrictions on Gvankiti Village in Imereti Region

The Georgian Government decided today to reopen village Gvankiti (Terjola Municipality, Imereti Region) that has been shut down since April 23 following confirmation of 10 COVID-19 cases in the settlement inhabited by some 1968 people. 

Although the quarantine regime has been lifted in Gvankiti, police checkpoints will remain deployed at the entry/exit points of the village through May 22 until the end of emergency,  allowing authorities to continue thermal screenings of the inhabitants. 

Imereti governor Zviad Shalamberidze added that police checkpoints enacted at the boundaries of Kutaisi, Georgia’s second largest city that has been closed for leaving and entering during the period of April 15 – May 5, will be dismantled starting from today. 

11:45 GMT+4 – 87 People Fined for Defying State of Emergency Rules

Georgian Interior Ministry has revealed 87 new cases of disobeying state of emergency regulations within the last 24 hours. Police fined:

  • 83 citizens – for defying the nationwide curfew between 21:00-06:00;
  • 3 citizens – for transporting passengers and violating state-imposed restrictions on driving;
  • 1 citizen – for public gathering and violating 2-meter distance.

11:25 GMT+4 – Georgia Reports 1 New Case, 32 Recoveries

According to StopCov.ge website, the number of total confirmed cases in Georgia has increased to 639 as one person has tested positive for COVID-19 in the country. Meanwhile, 32 patients recovered, increasing he number of recoveries to 349. 

Monday, May 11

20:10 GMT+4 – Abkhaz Authorities Confirm One More Case

Moscow-backed authorities in Sokhumi have reported one more case of COVID-19, bringing the number of total confirmed cases in the region to 10, according to Apsnypress news agency.

In April Abkhazia confirmed its first three cases of COVID-19, of which two persons have recovered, while one patient, born in 1925, has died of coronavirus complications.

The last week Abkhaz authorities reported six new cases. On May 8, four students of Russian military academies who have recently returned from the Russian Federation to the region were diagnosed with the disease. Two other patients have tested positive for coronavirus the following day. 

13:50 GMT+4 – Georgia Reports 11th Coronavirus Death

Georgia has reported 11th coronavirus death, according to government-run StopCov.ge website.

11:50 GMT+4 – Tskhinvali Reports 23rd Case

Moscow-backed Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia authorities have reported one new case of COVID-19, bringing the number of total confirmed cases in the region to 23, according to RES news agency. 

11:25 GMT+4 – 153 People Fined for Defying State of Emergency Rules

Georgian Interior Ministry has revealed 153 new cases of disobeying state of emergency regulations within the last 24 hours. Police fined:

  • 106 citizens – for defying the nationwide curfew between 21:00-06:00;
  • 1 legal entity for violating restrictions in the sphere of business activities;
  • 3 citizens – for transporting passengers and violating state-imposed restrictions on driving.

According to the state of emergency regulations, natural or legal persons failing to observe the conditions of the state of emergency are to face criminal responsibility. For breaching the law, the decree sets a GEL 3,000 fine for individuals and GEL 15,000 for legal entities.

11:15 GMT+4 – 3 New Cases, 8 Recoveries Reported in Georgia 

According to StopCov.ge website, three people have tested positive for coronavirus in Georgia, increasing the number of total confirmed cases to 638. Meanwhile, 8 patients recovered, bringing he number of recoveries to 317. 

06:00 GMT+4 – Restrictions on Entering, Leaving Tbilisi Lifted

The city of Tbilisi has reopened as all restrictions imposed on entering and exiting the Georgian capital have been lifted today. 

Production activities, as well as wholesale and retail trade (except for clothing stores) will also be resumed from today. 

However, the nationwide curfew between 21:00-06:00 will remain effective through May 22, the last day of state of emergency.

Georgian government announced the restrictions on entering and leaving the four largest cities of Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Batumi and Rustavi effective for 10 days from April 15.

The restrictions were then extended until further notice as the country prolonged state of emergency on April 21. However, restrictions imposed on Batumi and Kutaisi were lifted on May 5.

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia announced on May 7 that restrictions on entering and exiting Rustavi and Gardabani will be lifted from May 14.

Sunday, May 10

12:05 GMT+4 – Police Fine 61 People for Defying State of Emergency Rules

Georgian Interior Ministry has revealed 61 new cases of disobeying state of emergency regulations within the last 24 hours. Police fined:

  • 57 citizens – for defying the nationwide curfew between 21:00-06:00;
  • 1 legal entity for violating restrictions in the sphere of business activities;
  • 3 citizen – for transporting passengers and violating state-imposed restrictions on driving.

11:55 GMT+4 – Georgia Reports 9 New Cases, 12 Recoveries 

Nine people have tested positive for coronavirus in Georgia, bringing the number of total confirmed cases to 635, StopCov.ge website reports. Meanwhile, 12 more recoveries bring the number of recovered patients to 309. 

11:47 GMT+4 – Tskhinvali Confirms 5 New Cases, Total Reaches 22

Moscow-backed Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia authorities have confirmed five more cases of the novel coronavirus, that takes the number of total confirmed cases in the region to 22, according to RES news agency. 

Saturday, May 9

19:05 GMT+4 – Abkhazia Reports Two More Cases

Abkhazia confirms two more cases of the novel coronavirus, taking the number of total confirmed cases in the region to 9, Apsnypress news agency reported.

The Black Sea region’s two new COVID-19 patients are the Abkhaz students who have recently arrived to Abkhazia from the Russian Federation, according to the report. The students were undergoing quarantine in Sokhumi since their arrival to the region. They will be transferred to Gudauta Hospital, Abkhaz health authorities noted.

Yesterday, on May 8, four other students of Russian military academies who have recently returned from Russian Federation to Abkhazia were diagnosed with COVID-19. 

Prior to that, in April, Abkhaz authorities have recorded the first three cases of the novel coronavirus, of which two patients have recovered, while the third patient, born in 1925, has died of COVID-19 complications. 

13:50 GMT+4 – Tskhinvali Confirms Two More Cases, Total Reaches 17

Moscow-backed Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia authorities have reported two more COVID-19 cases in the region, taking the number of total confirmed cases to 17, according to “Res” news agency. The region’s chief sanitation officer told “Res” media outlet that in total regional authorities carried out a total of 297 tests.

12:05 GMT+4 – Police Fine 69 People for Defying State of Emergency Rules

Georgian Interior Ministry has revealed 69 new cases of disobeying state of emergency regulations within the last 24 hours. Police fined:

  • 55 citizens – for defying the nationwide curfew between 21:00-06:00;
  • 12 citizens – for public gathering and violating 2-meter distance;
  • 2 citizen – for transporting passengers and violating state-imposed restrictions on driving.

11:20 GMT+4 – Georgia Reports 3 New Cases, 9 More Recoveries 

Three more people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Georgia, increasing the number of total confirmed cases to 626, according to StopCov.ge website. In the meantime, 9 infected patients have recovered, taking the number of recoveries to 297. 

Friday, May 8

22:19 GMT+4 – Abkhaz Authorities Report Four More Cases

Moscow-backed authorities of Abkhazia reported four more cases of the novel coronavirus in the region, according to Apsnypress news agency. 

Abkhazia’s new coronavirus patients are cadets from Russian military academies, who were undergoing quarantine in Sokhumi following their arrival to the occupied region from Russian Federation several days ago. All four patients were hospitalized, wrote Apsny Today media outlet. 

According to Abkhaz task force charged with fighting the disease in the region, as of May 8, 209 persons are observing quarantine regime in Aitar Hotel in Sokhumi. 

13:10 GMT+4 – Georgia Reports 10th Coronavirus Death

Tenth coronavirus patient has died in Georgia, according to StopCov.ge.

12:35 GMT+4 – 80 People Fined for Defying State of Emergency Rules

Georgian Interior Ministry has revealed 80 new cases of disobeying state of emergency regulations within the last 24 hours. Police fined:

  • 74 citizens – for defying the nationwide curfew between 21:00-06:00;
  • 5 citizens – for public gathering and violating 2-meter distance;
  • 1 citizen – for transporting passengers and violating state-imposed restrictions on driving.

12:30 GMT+4 – Strict Quarantine Regime Lifted in Kvemo Bolnisi Village

Georgian authorities lift strict quarantine regime in the village of Kvemo Bolnisi of the Bolnisi Municipality, according to the local government.

No new cases were confirmed in the village since April 6, allowing authorities to reopen the village for a free movement with four adjacent villages. 

Kvemo Bolnisi that has been under lockdown since April 1 has seen six coronavirus cases and two deaths, local authorities reported.

Number of other settlements in the municipality, however, including town of Bolnisi, Kazreti, Rachisubani, Balichi, Khatisopeli, Mushevani and Savaneti, still remain as strict quarantine zones. Authorities restrict entering and exiting the said settlements. 

With 120 total confirmed cases, Bolnisi Municipality is one of the hotspots of coronavirus outbreak in Georgia. 24 patients from the municipality have recovered, while three patients have died.

Georgian Government shut down the entire Bolnisi Municipality, along with Marneuli on March 23, after Georgian health officials failed to track the source of COVID-19 infection of a local patient. In the course of events, the authorities toughened quarantine regime in various settlements within the municipalities. 

12:15 GMT+4 – 13 Georgian Nationals Died of Coronavirus Abroad in Total

In total, 13 Georgian citizens have died of COVID-19 complications abroad according to the data provided by Georgian Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani. 

11:13 GMT+4 – Tskhinvali Authorities Extend Restrictions Through May 31

Moscow-backed authorities in Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia prolonged coronavirus-related restrictions, which was set to expire on May 12, through May 31. The decision comes as the number of reported cases hit 15 in the region today.

Tskhinvali recorded the first case of COVID-19 on May 6. 

10:58 GMT+4 – Tskhinvali Reports Four More Cases

Moscow-backed authorities in Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia reported four new cases of the novel coronavirus, taking the number of total confirmed cases in the region to 15. Russian-occupied region reported the first three COVID-19 cases on May 6. 

10:10 GMT+4 – Georgia Reports 8 New Cases, 13 More Recoveries 

Eight more people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Georgia, increasing the number of total confirmed cases to 623, StopCov.ge website reports. Meanwhile, 13 infected patients have recovered, taking the number of recoveries to 288. 

Thursday, May 7

13:30 GMT+4 – Tskhinvali Reports Eight New Cases, Total Rises to 11

Moscow-backed authorities of the occupied Tskhinvali Region/South ossetia recorded eight cases of COVID-19, taking the total to eleven, according to “RES,” a local news agency.

“One of the infected persons arrived in Tskhinvali from a treatment course in the Republic of North Ossetia – Alania (Russia)… some are students at Russian universities, who entered the region this week,” Anna Gagloeva, “deputy head” of the public health committee stated.

12:30 GMT+4 – 77 People Fined for Defying State of Emergency Rules

Georgian Interior Ministry has revealed 77 new cases of disobeying state of emergency regulations within the last 24 hours. Police fined:

  • 106 citizens – for defying the nationwide curfew between 21:00-06:00;
  • 37 citizens – for public gathering and violating 2-meter distance;
  • 7 citizen – for transporting passengers and violating state-imposed restrictions on driving;
  • 3 citizen – for breaking the regulations on self-isolation. 

According to the state of emergency regulations, natural or legal persons failing to observe the conditions of the state of emergency are to face criminal responsibility. For breaching the law, the decree sets a GEL 3,000 fine for individuals and GEL 15,000 for legal entities. 

11:55 GMT+4 – EU, UNDP Launch GEL 9 Mln Grant Programme to Help Georgian Regions Recover from COVID-19 Crisis 

The European Union and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have launched a GEL 9 million grant programme together with the Agriculture and Rural Development Agency (ARDA) of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture “to help Georgia’s rural regions respond to the economic and social challenges emerging amidst the COVID-19 crisis” under the ENPARD programme.

According to UNDP, the program will assist non-agricultural business start-ups and growing enterprises with grants worth up to GEL 170,000 per project. Additional grants worth up to GEL 30,000 will be provided to businesses to improve energy efficiency. 

The new grants program aims to “boost rural entrepreneurship, create sustainable jobs, improve the management of natural resources and promote climate action” in eight municipalities – Akhalkalaki, Borjomi, Dedoplistskaro, Kazbegi, Keda, Khulo, Lagodekhi and Tetritskaro – where UNDP and the EU are working together “to promote livelihoods outside agriculture.”

EU Ambassador to Georgia Carl Hartzell said the European Union is mobilizing “all possible resources to assist Georgia to recover from the current crisis.” “I am especially glad that these grants will target rural areas around the country, where economic development can be a challenge even in normal times,” he added.

UNDP Head Louisa Vinton also stated that the new grants programme aims to save livelihoods that are threatened by the shutdown. Vinton then noted that “we have a chance now to promote green alternatives in rural areas that will benefit both people and planet.”

10:15 GMT+4 – 5 New Cases, 6 More Recoveries Reported

Five new patients tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Georgia, bringing the number of total confirmed cases in the country to 615, according to StopCov.ge website. Meanwhile, six more patients have recovered, taking the number of recoveries to 275. 

Wednesday, May 6

19:00 – GMT+4 – Tskhinvali to Seal Border with Russia “Completely” Due to Coronavirus

Tskhinvali authorities will shut down the  border connecting Georgia with the Russian Federation restricting all kinds of traffic from May 10 effective until May 17, “RES“, a local news agency reported on May 7.

The decision will now apply to Russian military servicemen and freight transport as well, that were exempted from the travel ban back when Tskhinvali closed Roki crossing point on April 2.

16:00 – GMT+4 – 2 New Cases Registered in Tskhinvali Region, Total Stands at 3

Two new cases of COVID-19 infection were recorded in Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, “RES”, a local news agency reported

The two infected individuals arrived in Tskhinvali on May 5 from the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania, Russian Federation. According to Marina Kochieva, chief physician of the occupied region, patients were tested in North Ossetia, and “Ossetian colleagues” then reported positive results to Tskhinvali authorities.

Tskhinvali region reported first case of the novel coronavirus earlier today.

12:30 – GMT+4 – 88 People Fined for Defying State of Emergency Rules

Georgian Interior Ministry has revealed 88 new cases of disobeying state of emergency regulations within the last 24 hours. Police fined:

  • 66 citizens – for defying the nationwide curfew between 21:00-06:00;
  • 19 citizens – for public gathering and violating 2-meter distance;
  • 2 citizen – for transporting passengers and violating state-imposed restrictions on driving;
  • 1 citizen – for breaking the regulations on self-isolation. 

10:30 – GMT+4 –  Georgia Reports 6 New Cases of Coronavirus, 29 More Recoveries 

Stopcov.ge, a government-run website, reported 6 new cases of COVID-19 infection, raising the total to 610. In the meantime, 29 more patients have now recovered from a disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The total figure of recoveries increased to 269.

Tuesday, May 5

16:00 – GMT+4 – UNDP: 40,000 Face Shields Produced by Georgian Company Will be Distributed to Frontline Personnel

Around 40,000 protective face shields produced by CaucasPack, a Georgian company, will be provided to country’s frontline healthcare staff, local civil servants and other “at-risk” personnel in Georgia through assistance programs, the United Nations Development Program has stated.

According to UNDP’s statement, the first batch of 16,000 shields will be distributed this weak as part of a joint project with the EU in an effort to support a “competitive” private sector in the country.

“I am pleased that they [face shields] are produced by a Georgian company, which has adapted to new challenges,” noted Carl Hartzell, the EU Ambassador to Georgia.

UNDP Head Louisa Vinton stated that, against the backdrop of overloaded global supply chains and impeded cross-border procurement, “we are delighted to see Georgian manufacturers rise to the challenge.” She said CaucasPack was a case in point of how local producers had “stepped up” to provide personal protective equipment – vital for healthcare professionals and civil servants during the pandemic.

UNDP announced that, in partnership with Swiss and Austrian governments, it will purchase another 23,000 shields for distribution through a network of partner CSOs in 23 municipalities – including in southern and mountainous regions, where COVID-19 outbreak had hit “the hardest.”

The organization noted that the face shields manufactured by CaucasPack “are produced from recycled plastic bottles, and are adjustable and reusable.”

12:00 – GMT+4 – 107 People Fined for Defying State of Emergency Rules

Georgian Interior Ministry has revealed 107 new cases of disobeying state of emergency regulations within the last 24 hours. Police fined:

  • 86 citizens – for defying the nationwide curfew between 21:00-06:00;
  • 16 citizens – for public gathering and violating 2-meter distance;
  • 4 citizen – for transporting passengers and violating state-imposed restrictions on driving;
  • 1 citizen – for breaking the regulations on self-isolation. 

11:00 GMT+4 – 11 New Cases, 17 More Recoveries Reported

StopCov.ge website has reported 11 more cases of COVID-19 in the country, taking the number of total confirmed cases to 604. In the meantime, the website has reported 17 more recoveries, bringing the number of recovered patients to 240. 

10:45 GMT+4 – Coronavirus Patient Hospitalized since March 5 Recovers

A patient hospitalized since March 5 has now fully recovered from COVID-19, according to Marina Ezugbaia, Medical Director of Tbilisi Hospital of Infectious Diseases, Georgia’s major medical facility treating coronavirus-infected patients.

The patient belonged to a cluster of first 5 recorded cases in Georgia, Ezugbaia noted.

As stated by the physician, the patient experienced an unusually long period of convalescence – almost two months.

S/he had ceased to show COVID-19 symptoms and was seemingly clinically healthy, though did not test negative for the infection until recently.

09:00 GMT+4 – Restrictions Eased on Construction Business, Car Maintenance Services

Starting from Tuesday, May 5, government lifted coronavirus-related restrictions on construction business and car maintenance services. Initially, opening of carwashes and car repair services, and resuming the economic activities of construction companies and building material manufacturers were planned from May 11. The government said “restrictions will be lifted in stages, judging by the epidemiological situation.” 

06:00 GMT+4 – Kutaisi, Batumi Reopened After 20 Days of Closure

After 20 days of shutdown, Georgia lifts all restrictions on entry and exit in Kutaisi and Batumi, the nation’s second and third largest cities, respectively. The decision was announced by the government yesterday.

Georgian government announced the restrictions on entering and leaving the four largest cities of Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Batumi and Rustavi effective for 10 days from April 15, few days before widely celebrated Orthodox Easter holiday.  

The restrictions were then extended until further notice as the country prolonged state of emergency on April 21.

The government maintains the restrictions on entry and exit in the capital city of Tbilisi and nearby city of Rustavi, however, citing epidemiological risks in the adjacent municipalities. 

Monday, May 4

12:50 GMT+4 – Public Service Halls and Community Centers to Reopen on May 5

Georgian Justice Minister announced that Public Service Halls and Community Centers, Ministry’s subsidiaries providing a number of public services (including issuing ID cards passports, birth and marriage registration, property registration and etc.) in cities and villages, respectively, and “temporary” notary bureaus will reopen on May 5 nationwide – operating following the “new” guideline.

Citizens will have to book their visits in advance via online queuing system, the Minister added. She noted that no citizen will be allowed to enter the building without online booking.

The sole exclusion will be conducting of wedding ceremonies, as the number of people present in a closed space is limited.

Individuals not wearing face masks, as well as minors will not be allowed to enter public service center buildings.

“This temporary rule will remain in force until the expiry of the state of emergency – at least – and in accordance with the epidemiological situation. We may alter the rule in the future,” Tsulukiani said.

12:40 GMT+4 – Bazaars Reopen in Gardabani Municipality

All types of open agricultural markets – bazaars – have reopened today in Gardabani municipality, southeast of Tbilisi, the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection has stated, adding that “all necessary recommendations devised to stem the spread of COVID-19 are being observed.”

Source: Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection

“Local workers and consumers are screened for temperature on the spot,” said the Ministry, noting that it is mandatory to wear face masks and gloves in markets

11:45 GMT+4 – 108 People Fined for Violating Emergency Regulations

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia announced that 108 people were fined for violating state of emergency regulations within the last 24 hours.

Law enforcement officers fined 78 persons for defying the nationwide curfew from 9 p.m. of May 3 and 6 a.m. on May 4. 24 civilians were fined for gathering in public in a group of more than three people and defying the two-meter social distancing regulation. 

Police officers fined 5 persons for violating rules of transporting passengers during the state of emergency. Police also reported that one case of breaching self-isolation regime was exposed. 

11:20 GMT+4 – Restrictions on Entering, Leaving Kutaisi, Batumi to be Removed Tomorrow

Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia announced at the cabinet meeting today that restrictions on entering and leaving Kutaisi and Batumi, the country’s second and third largest cities, respectively, will be lifted tomorrow. 

The capital city of Tbilisi and nearby city of Rustavi will remain in shut down considering the “epidemiological situation” in their surrounding areas. However, PM Gakharia expressed hope that restrictions will be removed in the two cities by the end of the week.

Georgia shut down the country’s four largest cities – the capital city of Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Batumi and Rustavi – for 10 days effective from April 15, 21:00. However, the ban has been further extended until further notice as the government extended state of emergency on April 21.

11:00 GMT+4 – 4 More Patients Test Positive for Coronavirus; 2 Others Recover

Four more people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, increasing total confirmed cases to 593, accoridng to the Government-run website StopCov.ge. The website also reports that two more patient have recovered, bringing the number of recoveries to 223.

Sunday, May 3

14:55 GMT+4 – Ninth Coronavirus Death Reported

Georgia reports ninth coronavirus death, according to StopCov.ge website run by the government. 

14:50 GMT+4 – Six More Recovered; Recoveries Hit 221

Six more patients have recovered from the novel coronavirus in Georgia, taking the number of recoveries to 221, according to StopCov.ge website. 

11:19 GMT+4 – Total Confirmed Cases Rise to 589; Recoveries Total 215

Government-run website StopCov.ge reports that seven new cases of the novel coronavirus were confirmed in the country, bringing total cases to 589. In the meantime, eight more patient recovered, increasing the number of recoveries to 215. 

Saturday, May 2

15:30 GMT+4 – Food Agency: 28 Agricultural Bazaars Resumed Their Work

National Food Agency has reported that as of today 28 open air agricultural bazaars resumed their work throughout the country.

Georgia started lifting some of the coronavirus-related restrictions since April 27, paving the way to reopening agricultural bazaars.

Number of open air agricultural bazaars that reopened since April 27 include agricultural markets in the country’s largest cities of Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Batumi and Rustavi.  

15:05 – GMT+4 – 105 People Fined for Defying State of Emergency Rules

Georgian Interior Ministry has revealed 105 new cases of disobeying state of emergency regulations within the last 24 hours. Police fined:

  • 86 citizens – for defying the nationwide curfew between 21:00-06:00;
  • 17 citizens – for public gathering and violating 2-meter distance;
  • 2 citizen – for transporting passengers and violating state-imposed restrictions on driving. 

11:20 GMT+4 – Georgia Reports 8th Coronavirus Death

One more patient has died of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, stopcov.ge, a government-run website has reported. Death toll now stands at eight. 

10:30 GMT+4 – 16 New Cases Take Total to 582

16 more patients tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Georgia, taking the number of total confirmed cases to 582, according to StopCov.ge website.

Friday, May 1

19:35 GMT+4 – Georgian President: Critical and Slanderous Statements against Lugar Lab are ‘Unacceptable’

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili released an address slamming recently made “critical and slanderous statements” directed against the Lugar Research Center, a biological laboratory built owing to U.S. support, and a subsidiary of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC).

“Today in the fight against the pandemic, as in the past, Lugar Center’s scientific achievements and its key significance, deserve acclaim and our gratitude,” stated the President.

Zurabishvili emphasized that the “center’s experience, as well its long-running partnership with U.S. partners, and preparedness of our healthcare system have led to Georgia’s success in combating the pandemic at the first stage.”

The head of the state stressed that “an attack against the laboratory, and spreading fake information will be perceived as as an attempt to discredit Georgia and its achievements.”

The President reiterated the role played by laboratory’s management and staff in handling the coronavirus emergency.

19:35 GMT+4 – Georgia Reports 7th Death from Coronavirus

One more patient has died of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, stopcov.ge, a government-run website has reported. Death toll now stands at seven. 

17:35 GMT+4 – 23 More Patients Recover, Total Recoveries Increase to 207

Twenty three patients have now recovered from COVID-19, stopcov.ge, a government-run website has reported. Total recoveries now stand at 207.

16:00 GMT+4 – UK Donates Personal Protective Equipment Worth GEL 100,000 to Georgia

The United Kingdom’s Embassy to Georgia has donated personal protective equipment (masks, gloves, disinfectants and etc.) worth GEL 100,000 (USD 31,200) to Georgian Armed Forces.

“Equipment will help reduce the risk to soldiers controlling the spread of coronavirus and policing measures taken by Georgia”, UK Defense Attaché Antony Brumwell stated.

11:25 GMT+4 – 156 People Fined for Defying State of Emergency Rules

Georgian Interior Ministry has revealed 156 new cases of disobeying state of emergency regulations within the last 24 hours. In particular, police have fined 88 citizens for defying the nationwide curfew between 21:00-06:00; 61 citizens – for public gathering and violating 2-meter distance; seven citizen – for transporting passengers and violating state-imposed restrictions on driving. 

11:00 GMT+4 – Total Confirmed Cases Increase to 566

27 more patients have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, bringing the number of total confirmed cases in Georgia to 566, government-run StopCov.ge website reports.

Medical Director of Tbilisi Hospital of Infectious Diseases, Marina Ezugbaia told journalists that the source of infection of seven patients is still being identified, while others were infected in quarantined Bolnisi (13 patients) and Marneuli (two patients) south to capital city of Tbilisi; Tetritskaro Municipality in Kvemo Kartli region (one patient). Four patients were delivered to hospital from the quarantine zone. 

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