On May 27, five days after lifting of the state of emergency in the country, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia gave an hour-and-twenty-minute long address to the Parliament, discussing the steps and “necessary” restrictions taken by the government to halt the spread of COVID-19. During the address, the Prime Minister also voiced two initiatives aimed at supporting the construction sector battered by the pandemic.
PM Gakharia stated that the government plans to support the construction sector, by subsidizing all new mortgage loans “starting from today until the end of the year”.
In addition, the Prime Minister said the government intends to subsidize the construction sector with GEL 150 million to provide housing for the internally displaced people (IDPs).
PM Gakharia explained that the government had imposed various restrictions on the prevention of the spread of coronavirus, taking into account various international studies and recommendations. He said the main concern of the government was to strike a fine balance between the capabilities of the health care system and saving the economy from the pandemic fallout.
Responding to the critics, he said “no one is going to keep these restrictions for a long time” and that no one can name an example of “the government using these restrictions inappropriately.”
Speaking of the opposition’s criticism about the economic shutdown of the country, the Prime Minister said “No agricultural enterprise, no [vital] infrastructure project, no [vital] industrial company has been stopped in the country, which provide thousands of jobs.” In addition, Gakharia said the government saved local agricultural produce from perishing.
The Prime Minister then said that in parallel with the simultaneous opening of various enterprises, it is necessary to develop mechanisms for adaptation to the virus.
He also stressed about the importance of maintaining strict quarantine zones in the battle against COVID-19 and noted that their implementation “was one of the most effective and correct steps” taken.
Responding to the criticism about the lack of rapid tests in the country, PM said the government ”consciously” refused to expand rapid testing for its large margin of error. He noted that the country currently conducts 2,500 PCR tests a day, the number that is bound to rise to 10,000 by the end of September.
The Prime Minister hailed the health sector, the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC), its subsidiary the Lugar Research Center, as well as law enforcement agencies for their contribution in the fight against pandemic.