Tbilisi Speaks of Aid to Abkhazia, Tskhinvali amid Pandemic

The State Ministry for Civic Equality and Reconciliation of Georgia, overseeing Russian occupied regions, said on August 20 that the central government keeps providing assistance to Abkhazia amid pandemic, while authorities in Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia remain unwilling to cooperate with Tbilisi.

The statement comes as Tbilisi-based civil society outfits had called the Georgian Government to intensify humanitarian and medical assistance to Abkhazia as the region battles the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Ministry underscored that both the Government and international organizations are regularly providing Abkhazia with relevant aid, including medical equipment, medicine, and hygiene products.

It highlighted that since the outbreak of the pandemic four COVID patients from Abkhazia, including two medics, have been transferred to Tbilisi-controlled territory, of which three are currently undertaking relevant treatment.

The Ministry remarked that Tbilisi kept providing regular medical aid to Abkhazia residents in spite of pandemic and related restrictions.

In particular, State Ministry noted that since March 22 almost thousand persons have crossed the occupation line into Georgia proper, of which 316 patients have been directly transferred to hospitals, while 589 received relevant medical assistance after undergoing two-weeks long quarantine.

It added that Georgian authorities, helped by the international partners and local NGOs, translated COVID-related information materials, including recommendations and protocols into Abkhaz and Ossetian languages; as well as launched Abkhaz and Ossetian versions of website.

In regards with Tskhinvali region, the Civil Equality Ministry regretted that following the closure of Odzisi crossing point by the South Ossetian authorities in September 2019, the region remains “fully and artificially isolated” from the rest of Georgia.

Noting that Tskhinvali has rejected assistance pledge from Tbilisi, the Ministry said Georgian authorities had asked the Red Cross – the only international organization with access to the occupied region –  to increase medical and humanitarian assistance to Tskhinvali residents, which “yielded concrete results.”

As of August 20, Moscow-backed authorities in Abkhazia reported 224 cases of which 82 recovered and 3 died. Over the past month, the region is experiencing a surge in cases with 196 confirmed since July 22. Tskhinvali reported 89 cases since early May, all of which have reportedly already recovered.

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


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