State of Emergency To Be Extended Through 22 May Print Version

2020-04-21

Today, as per the council's decision, the Government of Georgia officially appealed to the president of Georgia to extend the state of emergency through 22 May, Prime Minister's Advisor and Spokesman Irakli Chikovani stated.
As the prime minister's spokesman noted, this decision will come into force as soon as the president issues the corresponding decree, which will subsequently be adopted by the Parliament. He also added that there is an agreement regarding this within the political team.
According to him, the Georgian Government's fight against the spread of COVID-19 was recognized as successful precisely because the government began making highly effective and purposeful decisions one month before the first case of infection was detected in the country.
"The global challenge of COVID-19 has had a profound effect on all of our citizens, as well as on our country's economy, and every one of us is very well-aware of this.
The Georgian Government's fight against the spread of COVID-19 in the country was recognized as successful precisely because the Georgian authorities began making highly effective and purposeful decisions aimed at hindering the spread of COVID-19 one month before the first case of infection was detected in the country. Of course, this process was consistent, in accordance with the plan, and each decision was based on the opinions of professionals and our experts.
This is precisely why there are 408 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection in the country at the moment, rather than significantly more. Unfortunately, the clusters are expanding and it is becoming increasingly difficult to identify the source from which these clusters are spread," Irakli Chikovani stated.
As the prime minister's spokesman noted, the country is at the stage of full-scale community transmission and based on analyses, experts predict that the country will enter the most active stage - or peak - of virus transmission in the next two-three weeks.
"Correspondingly, today, the decisions and actions of the government are even more important. We must continue taking the necessary steps that will enable the country to prevent the massive spread of the virus, so that we can then follow this phase with the so-called opening phase, which implies the gradual lifting of the imposed restrictions. This phase must also be planned step by step and it must proceed as successfully as the process of hindering the spread of the virus," Irakli Chikovani stated.
According to him, under the extended state of emergency, the government will have the opportunity to ease the restrictions that have been in place until now.
"The fact that the state of emergency is being extended does not mean that it will be impossible to gradually lift a number of imposed restrictions. The removal of certain restrictions will begin on Monday 27 April, including lifting the restriction on transportation. Furthermore, considering the specialists' predictions, in two-three weeks, if the peak has been passed, we will be able to start actively implementing the plan on the removal of restrictions and the facilitation of economic activities and economic life," Irakli Chikovani stated.
As the prime minister's advisor noted, the prevention of the mass spread of the virus allows the country's healthcare system to be prepared to provide every citizen with quality treatment and to successfully deal with this process.
"Our objective is to take care of the health of our citizens and the economy of our country at the same time, in order to be effective on both fronts and to minimize the damage done to the country while facing this global challenge," Irakli Chikovani stated.
According to him, in parallel with fighting against the epidemic, the government is working on a daily basis on an anti-crisis plan for the economy, which it has started to present on a step-by-step basis.
"We have introduced the necessary measures at the first stage. Among them were: The payment of three months of utility bills for the population of Georgia; price insurance for the nine main food products, that is, a special mechanism on the part of the government that contributes to the prices of these nine products remaining unchanged; providing businesses with tax benefits; the deferral of bank services for citizens and businesses for three months.
At the next stage, the results of the unprecedented hard work put in by the Government of Georgia and the results of the consistent reforms, as a consequence of which our country and its government managed to mobilize more than $3 billion for the country's economy from international financial institutions and donors, were already apparent," Irakli Chikovani stated.
According to the prime minister's spokesman, on Friday 24 April Georgia will present the draft economic anti-crisis plan that consists of two stages. These are the anti-crisis plan for targeted social assistance and the anti-crisis plan for business assistance.
"Additionally, the plan for the gradual easing of restrictions and, correspondingly, the plan for opening up the economy will be presented on Friday. It should be noted that the active development of the post-crisis plan will also continue.
We would like to tell our citizens that the more carefully and precisely the imposed restrictions are observed, the faster it will be possible to implement the plan to ease the restrictions that was developed by the government. Therefore, every citizen must approach this issue with a great deal of responsibility. We understand that living with these restrictions in place is difficult; however, the more accurately these recommendations are followed during this period, the sooner we will be able to return to the normal mode of life. Therefore, let's take care of ourselves, take care of others, and take care of our country's future," Irakli Chikovani stated.
According to the prime minister's spokesman, the Coordination Council's decision to ban transportation by car has been extended through Sunday, that is, until Monday 27 April.
"We understand our citizens who express dissatisfaction at seeing the movement of cars in the street during the period of restrictions. We would like to reiterate for their benefit that the aforementioned restriction does not apply to representatives of the medical field, the employees of food and grocery stores or delivery services, as well as entities carrying out infrastructural works, and all other physical or legal entities whose activities (including economic activities) are permitted under the state of emergency. They are making use of transportation in order to perform their official duties and their daily activity and transportation is essential in order for the main and essential functions to be performed in the country," Irakli Chikovani stated.

 

Press Service of the Government Administration