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An update on epidemiological situation

By Khatia Bzhalava
Thursday, October 15
After an inter-agency coordination council meeting, at the briefing yesterday, the Head of National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC) Amiran Gamkrelidze talked about the increased coronavirus cases and named three hotspots of the virus as of October 14th.

According to Gamkrelidze, out of 680 new coronavirus cases, 362 are symptomatic and 167 are the contacts of the infected patients. He also noted that the number of infected medical staff has increased.

The distribution of the newly-detected cases according to the regions is following: 297 in Tbilisi (44%), 189 in Adjara (28%), 150 in Imereti (22%), 12 in Shida Kartli, 11 in Kvemo Kartli, nine in Mtskheta-Mtianeti, six in Guria, three in Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, two in Kakheti and one in Samtskhe-Javakheti. As Gamkrelidze noted, in September, Adjara was the most infected region in the country, constantly recording 65-70% of the cases, however, the situation in Adjara is gradually stabilizing.

The head of NCDC said that 748 000 PCR tests have been taken in the country since the beginning. The daily rate of tests for the last few days is 8000 and the average of last month is 8500 tests(daily). Based on the changes that have been made to the testing regime, all the medical workers will be tested once every two weeks. The most critical workers such as resuscitation doctors in the clinics will be tested once a week, emergency ambulance staff will be tested every 72 hours “to avoid shortage of medical workers.”

According to Gamkrelidze, the epidemiological situation is escalating gradually.

“This was expected in Autumn, the second wave has started, which is stronger quantity-wise, but relatively lighter severity-wise, that is to say, there are more mild and asymptomatic ongoing cases,” said Gamkrelidze.

As he noted, Georgia’s policy is that there will be no large-scale restricting measures, but there will be different types of ‘pinpoint’ restrictions.

Ekaterine Tikaradze, the Minister of Healthcare, who also attended the briefing, said that the council had had a discussion about imposing restrictions in Tbilisi, but the decision has not been made yet. She noted that the state will continue imposing local restrictions, ‘since these kinds of restrictions work well,’ however, as she said, discussions will proceed and if necessary, regulations will be adopted, which will ensure to ‘break the infection chain.’

According to Tikaradze, the number of cases does not define whether restrictions will come into force or not.

“We will consider the number of available beds, the number of infected people as well as the patients who are in severe condition, also the number of hotels available for quarantining and will make a further decision based on the overall result,” said Tikaradze.

She also stated that there are 3500 hospital beds available and 2000 more will be added if necessary.

Georgia reported 680 new coronavirus cases yesterday, which makes the total number of infected people 13 521, with 7 159 cured and 109 deaths.