Schools to Shut as Georgia Confirms Third Coronavirus Case

As the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to spread around the world, there is more and more talk of closing schools. 

The Prime Minister of Georgia held a meeting with the Interagency Coordination Council today, during which it was decided to conduct extra disinfecting activities in schools, kindergartens and public transport in order to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

“In order to have enough time to disinfect all schools, planned school holidays in Georgia will begin on March 2 instead of March 9, and continue until March 16,” reads a press release issued by the Prime Minister's office.

Georgia is not the only country to close its schools, as the Japanese Prime Minister ordered the closure of all schools in Japan for a month in a bid to halt the spread of coronavirus.

Panic continues to escalate in Georgia as the third case of the novel coronavirus was registered earlier today.

The infected Georgian citizen is a 50-year-old man who is thought to have been in close contact with the first Georgian citizen diagnosed with the illness. He also entered Georgia via an Azerbaijani land border, yesterday. “The patient is in a satisfactory condition, and doctors are monitoring his health”, Director of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health, Amiran Gamkrelidze, said.

Georgia registered its first case of coronavirus on February 26. The second case was confirmed on February 28. Gamkrelidze said all three patients are in satisfactory condition.

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili has called on Georgian citizens to remain calm and stay responsible amid the coronavirus emergence in the country. “Let’s spread #SafetynotFear! We need to show people that safety means remaining calm and being responsible”, Zurabishvili wrote on her Instagram page yesterday. 

Georgian citizens have been recommended to temporarily avoid travelling to China, Iran, South Korea and Italy amid the coronavirus outbreak. 

South Korea has reported 594 new COVID-19 cases, the most reported infections in a single day since the outbreak began. The new numbers bring the total in the country to 2,931, with 17 deaths. 

Iran's health ministry announced this morning that 205 new cases of COVID-19 have been registered in the country in the last 24 hours, with nine new deaths reported. The new numbers bring the total deaths in the country to 43 among 593 cases. 

Meanwhile, Italy has reported 888 coronavirus cases and 18 deaths, the most in Europe. 

More than 83,650 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed globally, the vast majority of them in China, where 78,961 people have been infected and 2,791 have died.

29 February 2020 15:36