Coordination Council: Adhering to Rules Lead to Reopening of Economy

A strategic partner of Georgia, the Republic of Turkey, was added to the list of countries admitted to Georgia through air traffic under the new regulations. This decision was made by the Inter-Agency Coordination Council led by Giorgi Gakharia, Prime Minister of Georgia at its regular meeting.

Namely, apart from the citizens and residents of the European Union (EU), Israel, Switzerland, Norway, United States of America (US), Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar and Bahrain, requirement of self-isolation is now voided from unvaccinated citizens and residents of Turkey when visiting Georgia. Upon the arrival of individuals from the listed countries to airports of Georgia, including through transit, a negative result of a valid PCR test taken within the last 72 hours should be presented and a mandatory PCR test again should be taken while being in Georgia on the third day of the visit at their own expense.

Regarding the vaccinated visitors, they will be unconditionally admitted to Georgia if and when they present a document at the border evidencing a full cycle of COVID vaccination of any type involving both doses.

By taking into account the epidemic risks, the Inter-Agency Coordination Council rules all the existing restrictions to remain valid for land border crossings. As instructed by the Prime Minister of Georgia, work is in progress for adjusting the regime of land entry to the country. In parallel, epidemic trends are being monitored and relevant decisions will be made on the grounds of a detailed analysis of the situation.

Head of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC) spoke at the meeting of the Inter-Agency Coordination Council about a stabilizing trend of the epidemic situation in the country. Amiran Gamkrelidze believes that the community transfer rate has declined nation-wide to 4.3% today. The average indicator for the last 7 days is 3.87%, while it is 4.6% for the last 14 days. As he explained, special attention is paid to 14- and 7-day indicators in the prism of stability, leading to relevant decisions on further easing of any restrictions if and when dropping under 4%.

Significance acquired by the uniform use of facemasks and social distancing has been once again underlined at the meeting of the Council Greater use of facemasks, intensive testing and vaccination were noted to be a mix of the most important measures leading to a reopening of the economy, quick recovery and return to a normal way of life as early as possible.

It was once again stressed at the meeting of the Inter-Agency Coordination Council that the greatest consistency and cautious steps need to be made in the process of a gradual easing of current restrictions to make sure that the results achieved so far do not get jeopardized and no risk is triggered to the human health or prospects of quick economic recovery in Georgia. It was noted that current trends allow for a careful optimism to exist and if maintained, gradual reopening will start earlier than currently planned. უპირველეს It will initially apply to educational institutions, while municipal transport will resume operation gradually and other restrictions will get eased.

Council discussed the logistical and operational matters related to the entry of the COVID vaccine to the country, as well as the performance of negotiations held with international partners and pharmaceutical companies. Georgia will receive the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine by the end of February. In line with the National Plan of Immunization, vaccination will start with the healthcare professionals. It was also noted that initially vaccination will be administered only in the hospital sector. Currently, 10 hospitals and 5 additional back-up clinics are selected in three large cities of the country to get vaccination administered by almost 40 brigades. Each of them consists of 3 persons trained in line with international standards: vaccinator, medical doctor and registrar. The latter will enter the data in the Electronic Module of Immunization. Beneficiaries will be asked to return for the second dose of injection in 3 weeks. Vials will be stored in Tbilisi, Kutaisi and Batumi at the warehouse facility of the NCDC, which will ensure the storage at the respective, ultra-low temperature at minus 70-80 degrees centigrade.

In addition, intensive work will be in progress to make sure that the ultimate dozes of the vaccine arrive in Georgia as early as possible. Key precondition for this is recognition by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the international community. Hence, vaccination of the priority target group – healthcare professionals – will be continued. They will be followed by beneficiary tenants and staff of the houses of elderly. Next in line will be individuals by grade-lower age groups and other groups.

In line with the National Immunization Plan, the targeted indicator of vaccination throughout 2021 is 60% of the population. Participation in the plan is voluntary.

In parallel with the COVID restrictions easing throughout the country, tight control over their enforcement continues. According to Beka Peradze, Head of Labour Inspection Department, 1719 facilities have been inspected since February 1, 2021, and 680 cases of violations have been detected under the currently imposed COVID-19 regulations by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia. In line with Article 42(10)E of the Administrative Offense Code of Georgia, police have penalized 110 individuals. Some offenders have breached the ban on mobility from 21:00 to 05:00. Penalties for not wearing the facemasks have been levied from 570 individuals within the last 24 hours.

Since the first detection, 259 897 lab-proven cases of COVID-19 have been witnessed in the country, out of which 251 077 individuals have recovered and 3 221 died.

At present 487 individuals are placed in quarantine, 292 – at clinical hotels and 2 384 – at hospitals, under medical supervision.

Inter-Agency Coordination Council led by Giorgi Gakharia, Prime Minister of Georgia actively engages the Parliament of Georgia chaired by MP Archil Talakvadze and Administration of the President of Georgia.

04 February 2021 12:58