The Georgian government issued a report on June 4 summing up measures taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic since late January – a month before the country registered its first virus case on February 26.
As stated in the report, Georgia has imposed restrictions on travel since the early days of the outbreak – in order to arrest ‘the rapid and mass import’ of the virus. Meanwhile, it notes, 12,720 Georgian citizens were brought back from abroad between February 2 – May 22.
As of May 22, the number of Georgian citizens residing abroad, who were infected with COVID-19, stood at 118. Sixteen Georgians have died of the coronavirus-related complications (1 in Austria, 4 in Spain, 1 in Turkey, 2 in the United Kingdom, 5 in the United States, 2 in France and 1 in Latvia).
The report highlights that ‘although the movement across the occupation line has significantly decreased’ amid the coronavirus, residents of occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia were admitted by hospitals on Tbilisi-controlled territory for emergency and scheduled medical care – “virtually on a daily basis.”
It also adds that a field hospital was set up at the Enguri Bridge crossing point, connecting Abkhazia with Georgia proper, where doctors examined patients from the occupied region and referred them to hospitals in case of need for further assistance.
As on June 2, only a single resident of Abkhazia had tested positive for COVID-19 in Tbilisi-controlled territory, 97 are in hospitals, 42 in self-isolation, and 127 delivered to quarantine zones. 15 residents of occupied Tskhinvali are in hospitals, one remains in self-isolation, and 10 have been delivered to quarantine zones.
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The Government argues that recent economic decline was caused by the “negative shock” related to the coronavirus pandemic. Based on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast, the report estimates that Georgian economy will shrink by 4% in 2020, followed by a 4% rebound throughout 2021.
Following “active cooperation” with international partners, the Government points out that Georgia has attracted USD 1.5 billion budgetary assistance during the pandemic, including USD 200 million from IMF; USD 400 million from ADB; USD 250 million from the World Bank; USD 200 million from AFD; USD 250 million from KfW; USD 200 million from the EU; and USD 100 million from AIIB.