The messenger logo

Georgian government shifts to emergency regime

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Friday, March 13
In order to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, the Georgian government moved to a 24-hour emergency regime from March 12th.

Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia announced that the shift to a 24-hour work schedule is particularly relevant to the Ministry of Healthcare, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Education and Justice.

He explained that given the unfortunate statistics in the world, the Georgian government is relatively capable of dealing with these challenges, but “we have no reason to relax or complain,” since these challenges seem to be increasing day by day and “we have to be ready to respond.”

Gakharia once again instructed the Ministry of Internal Affairs, in full coordination with the Ministry of Health, to ensure strict adherence to the isolation regime by preventing the mass circulation of Coronavirus COVID-19.

Before the government meeting on March 12th, Gakharia said that the most important challenge facing the Coordination Council for the Prevention of Coronavirus Mass Distribution was to protect the self-isolation regime, emphasizing that the people who could potentially be carriers of the virus have a certain obligation to every citizen.

At the cabinet meeting held yesterday, the PM instructed the government's economic team to submit an economic stimulus plan by the end of March 12th.

According to the government, entry into Georgia from Germany, France, Spain and Austria will be tightened.

According to this rule, all Georgian citizens entering the country will undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine, and foreign nationals must submit a proof of the coronavirus test,otherwise they will also be quarantined.

Until now, similar restrictions have only been in place for arrivals from Italy, China and South Korea.

The PM also recommended all government and public agencies as well as the private sector to move to remote work.

Justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani, urges citizens to refrain from using the Ministry of Justice’s services to prevent the coronavirus. She recommends not going to the house of justice, community centers, registries and notary bureaus unless there is an urgent need.

According to Tsulukiani, probationers will no longer be required to appear in probation offices until April 14 because of the threat of the coronavirus. This means that mandatory appointments with probation officers, social workers or psychologists have been canceled.

According to the Minister of Health Ekaterine Tikaradze, there is no need to declare a state of emergency in Georgia at this stage.

Tikaradze’s Deputy is in self-isolation. She said that her assistant was already in isolation at the time when his wife tested positive for the coronavirus. Tikaradze explained that despite the low risk, this employee now works remotely.

Paata Imnadze, the Deputy Head of the National Center for Disease Control, said that the government may have to ban social gatherings, remarking that such restrictions could apply to weddings and funerals as well. According to him, the time will come, when this situation could apply and we should be prepared in advance; in order not to face the situation that some countries have come across.

As of the morning of March 12th, a total of 24 cases of the new coronavirus have been laboratory confirmed in Georgia. There are 295 people in quarantine and 49 under inpatient care.

On March 11th, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19 as a pandemic.