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First Abkhazia Resident Tests Positive for Coronavirus

On March 30, Georgian citizen, who resides in Gali District of occupied Abkhazia, tested positive for COVID-19. The patient was diagnosed in Zugdidi Hospital for Infectious Diseases, where she now undergoes treatment for the disease.

As stated by Aleksandre Motserelia, the State Representative (governor) of Samegrelo Zemo Svaneti region, the infected woman had previously traveled to Moscow and returned by plane to Adler (Sochi), from where she crossed the Russo-Georgian border on Psou river, then passed Sokhumi, the capital of occupied Abkhazia, and arrived in Saberio village of Gali district. Then she crossed the dividing line (separating Russian-occupied region from Georgia proper) and arrived in Tbilisi-controlled village Pakhulani. Subsequently, she was delivered to Zugdidi hospital.

While staying in Abkhazia, the patient did not take part in any large social gatherings (weddings, funerals), a local news agency reported. According to the source, all people in close contact with the patient (during her stay in Gali village) had been detected and put in isolation by Moscow-backed Abkhaz authorities.

As the news about Gali resident’s COVID-19 diagnosis emerged, Sokhumi promptly restricted movement between Gali district and the rest of Abkhazia by setting up roadblocks on Gali-Ochamchire highway.

Abkhaz sources, as well as the sources acquainted with the case in Tbilisi confirm that the patient is a Georgian citizen residing in ethnic Georgian-majority (98%) Gali district of Moscow-backed Abkhazia. The overwhelming majority of Gali’s 30,000 residents, stripped off Abkhaz passports, hold Georgian citizenship.

Earlier, on March 28, due to coronavirus concerns, Sokhumi declared state of emergency effective until April 20. Abkhaz media outlets reported that on March 28, the regional authorities imposed a curfew from 00:00 to 06:00 [01:00 to 07:00 GMT+4, Tbilisi time –’s note] in occupied Gali district in an effort to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. According to the sources, the measure is aimed at barring local residents from crossing the dividing line willing to travel to Georgia proper.

Also read:

COVID-19: Occupied Abkhazia Declares State of Emergency until April 20

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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