Executive Government Meeting held on September 10, 2020 Print Version

2020-09-10

Today's Government meeting at the Administration of the Government was held under the chairmanship of Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia. The Cabinet discussed 7 issues on its meeting agenda.

The Prime Minister Made the Following Statements During the Session of the Government

There has been a clear increase in the number of infections in recent days. The 57 cases of infection that we have today, and the 44 cases that were detected yesterday, directly indicate that the epidemiological situation in the country is slowly changing, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia stated during the session of the government.

The head of the government noted that the second wave of the spread of the virus is practically beginning, though there is no reason to panic as the situation is under control.

"We were expecting the second wave to begin in the fall, and this process is practically beginning. Most importantly, there is no reason to panic as we are in full control of the situation. As you know, from the very first day of the epidemic, the Government of Georgia took timely and rapid steps, and one of the most important directions of these steps was to manage the risk of the spread of the virus, as well as to adapt socio-economic and even political life to the management of the virus. For example, in the initial days since the outbreak of the pandemic, our healthcare system was conducting about 150 PCR tests per day. At the moment, the healthcare system is capable of conducting 6,000-7,000 tests on average, and soon it will be possible to conduct 10,000 tests. The situation is fully under control and there is no reason to panic. However, we will need to impose certain restrictions - which do not pertain to basic human needs - in order to pursue the strategy which we have chosen from day one, and which entails quick detection, prompt treatment, and the swift return of infected persons to social and economic life," the Prime Minister noted.

According to the Prime Minister, the resumption of the operation of theaters, cinemas, and children's entertainment centers, which was planned for 1 October, will be postponed until 1 November.

"Starting today, the gathering of more than 200 people for sports or cultural events in outdoor spaces will be prohibited. At the moment, this prohibition is already in place with regard to enclosed spaces. Ceremonial events are also being prohibited. We understand that this may inconvenience and even irritate our citizens but a notable example is one of the weddings that took place in Tbilisi - I will refrain from naming the restaurant - which practically created five additional clusters. There is also another growing cluster in Tsageri, another one in Kutaisi, another one in Zugdidi, and so on. We are expecting an increase in the number of infections in these hotspots and unfortunately, the main events that precipitated the spread of the virus were weddings. We were forced to add [the clause concerning] the presence of more than 10 people to the ordinance regulating such ceremonies. This is aimed at protecting the health of our citizens," Giorgi Gakharia stated.

According to the head of the government, nightclubs operating in outdoor spaces are also being prohibited.

"The prohibition already applies to enclosed spaces. These are also events that are associated with a high risk of the rapid spread of the virus," the Prime Minister noted.

Giorgi Gakharia stressed that the restriction does not apply to election campaigning and agitation in any way, as these measures cannot hinder election campaigning and agitation in any way.

The Prime Minister also stressed the readiness of the hospital system, as well as the fact that elderly citizens are in the high-risk zone in terms of the virus.

"Even though, in accordance with the plan we have been implementing in recent months, the Ministry of Healthcare and the hospital system are fully prepared to receive patients, we must do everything possible to prevent our elderly citizens from becoming infected with the virus. This is very important," Giorgi Gakharia stated.

The head of the government urged teachers and the employees of educational institutions who have visited Adjara - or other regions with high epidemiological risk - since 15 August to refrain from reporting for work.

"I would like to urge all the people - first of all, teachers and employees of educational institutions - who have visited Adjara or other regions with high epidemiological risk in the last two weeks, or since 15 August, to inform the relevant ministry - the Ministry of Education, their agencies - and to refrain from reporting for work during the first two weeks of the academic year," the head of the government stated during today's session of the government.

Giorgi Gakharia also urged citizens to improve the quality of self-monitoring and to contact 112 as soon as initial symptoms appear.

"As soon as we feel the initial symptoms, we must dial 112, consult a doctor, and I assure you that there will be no problems. The healthcare system will take every step to protect the health of our citizens. However, basic daily precautions such as the use of face masks and maintaining distance are the norms that, unfortunately, will remain with us for some time. As we have always maintained, adapting to the virus and the appropriate management of the virus is key in order to avoid the necessity of imposing strict economic restrictions and stopping our economy, and to minimize damage to the economy as well as to the political process," the Prime Minister stated.

Giorgi Gakharia also called on employers to take maximum care of each employee, to carry out thermal screening, and make use of other methods to monitor their health.

"Control by the state will be tightened. The Ministry of Healthcare and the relevant agencies will do everything to ensure the full implementation of the legislative norms established by the government. Ultimately, we must all take care of our fellow citizens together, and we must all ensure that we do not have to impose strict restrictions on the economy. This is the main goal of each and every one of us and, of course, we must achieve this goal together. Until now, Georgia was one of the best examples in terms of virus management and the reduction of the risks associated with the virus; we must continue precisely in this manner, and this is possible only through the joint work of the government, citizens, businesses - all the people who are worried about the future of our country," the Prime Minister stated.

During the session of the government, Giorgi Gakharia also commented on the unique opportunity of the Georgian national rugby team to take part in the most well-known tournament of the Eight Nations.

According to the Prime Minister's assessment, we would not have been able to achieve such a result without the support provided by Bidzina Ivanishvili and Cartu Fund to Georgian rugby.

"The national rugby team has been given a unique opportunity to take part in the most well-known tournament of the Eight Nations. This will be the greatest success of Georgian rugby. This is the top-level competition in the world, where the Georgian team will have the opportunity to prove to everyone that rugby truly is our game. We met with the rugby players several days ago. We have done everything in our power to avoid hindering the ongoing championship, so that they could begin to compete in the usual manner. However, at this point we should mention the direct contribution of Mr. Bidzina Ivanishvili and Cartu Fund. We would not have achieved this result without their support of rugby. The investments made in the virtually dilapidated and nonexistent infrastructure - which amount to approximately 200 million - [provided us with the opportunity to] achieve these results today. We are being given the opportunity for Georgian rugby to prove to the world that rugby truly is our game. The Government of Georgia and the Rugby Union are doing everything to provide Georgian rugby players with this opportunity, and in just a few hours we can all celebrate our victory together. If we achieve this, I call on every single one of us to support Georgian rugby together," Giorgi Gakharia stated.

Press Service of the Government Administration