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Police checkpoints, Sinopharm vaccine, and concerns over third wave: COVID-19 update in Georgia

By Veronika Malinboym
Monday, April 5
On April 3, 100,000 doses of China-produced anti-coronavirus vaccine, Sinopharm arrived in Georgia. According to Deputy Minister of Health Tamar Gabunia, the country is expecting to start vaccination with Sinopharm by mid-April, however, right now, it is waiting for the official approval of the vaccine by the World Health Organization:

“It is already used in various countries and more than 40 million people have already been vaccinated with it. Vaccine test trials are showing very good results and we expect the vaccine to be approved by the World Health Organization by mid-April,” Tamar Gabunia said.

She added that the vaccine is easy to store, as it only requires the average temperature of 2-8 degrees Celsius:

“We think that the vaccination will begin from the second half of April and it will be carried out in the medical facilities that are already involved in the nationwide vaccination program. This [Sinopharm] vaccine will also be added to the list of other vaccines used under our immunization program, and it will allow us to achieve the goals set out in the country’s vaccination plan,” Gabunia added.

Amidst the surge of the confirmed cases of coronavirus, police checkpoints and field tents have been set up in four villages in western Georgia, including Orsantia village in the Zugdidi municipality, Shroma village in the Ozurgeti municipality, as well as Chkonagora and Chochkhati villages in the Lanchkhuti municipality. According to the official statement of the Interior Ministry of Georgia, all citizens entering or leaving the territory of the aforementioned villages will be required to undergo thermal screening and on-site testing if necessary. Earlier this week, police checkpoints were also set up in three villages of eastern Kaspi - Igoeti, Samtavisi, and Kveo Chala, where a total of 81 cases have been reported within six days.

As of today, 464 new cases of COVID-19 have been detected in Georgia, as well as 454 recoveries and 7 deaths. The total number of confirmed cases since February 2020 in Georgia has now reached 283,833. On April 1, Amiran Gamkrelidze, head of the National Center for Disease Control, said that the new set of restrictions will have to be imposed if the number of clusters in the country increases.