State of Emergency declared in Georgia
Georgia has declared the state of emergency starting today till April 21 in connection with the situation over the novel coronavirus in the country – Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia announced.
Prime Minister has already applied to President. Declaration of state of emergency requires approval of the parliament, which will hold the extraordinary sitting later this afternoon.
Georgia confirmed three new cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) bringing the total number of the infected individuals to 47 – reads the information posted on the special web-page stopcov.ge created by the government of Georgia.
According to the latest data, 1966 remain under quarantine, while 251 under hospital supervision. Only one patient recovered from the virus.
Statement of the State Security Service of Georgia
In relation to the information disseminated via mass media, we would like to inform you, that the Counterterrorism Center of the State Security Service detained a citizen of the Russian Federation on charges of purchase and storage of forged documents envisaged by article 362, paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code of Georgia.
The accused individual – V.B. has been detained in the framework of an investigation of a criminal case launched into the fact of preparation of murder by contract, which has been carried out by the State Security Service on the basis of respective operational information.
Throughout the process of investigation of the mentioned criminal case, in order to obtain evidence and attach it to the case in line with criminal procedure, on the basis of judge’s orders, numerous overt and covert investigative activities have been carried out; furthermore, operational control over V.B and his contacts have been continuously underway, due to which, a crime committed by V.B., in particular, the fact of purchase and usage of the forged documents by V.B. has been outlined. On the basis of authentic and consolidated evidence obtained by the investigation, the investigative authority took a decision to detain V.B., as a result of which the exposed individual on the one hand has been brought to justice and at the same time a graver crime has been prevented.
It is worth mentioning that intensive investigative activities are ongoing into the case on the very stage, numerous forensic examinations are scheduled, additional information is requested within the framework of international cooperation, through Interpol channels, witnesses are being interviewed.
On the basis of the above-mentioned, State Security Service of Georgia calls on every person, including a party of the criminal case, refrain from disseminating of any clarified or unclarified information so that the investigation is not obstructed, dissemination of significant and/or fake information is prevented, that eventually will damage a major public interest – to establish an objective truth in relation to the case.
Press release of the State Security Service
Giorgi Gakharia: Every citizen of the country should call a doctor and get PCR tested on COVID-19 as soon as feverish or suspecting other respiratory symptoms
Giorgi Gakharia, Prime Minister of Georgia instructed respective institutions to extend the coverage of COVID-19 tests in parallel with re-opening of the economy and on the background of increased epidemic risks. Head of the Government of Georgia held a working meeting today on the topic.
On the background of COVID-19 circulation and restrictions being lifted in the country, greater importance is acquired by the timely detection and treatment of possible cases. Every citizen should immediately call 112 or a family doctor and get PCR tested on COVID-19 if and when gets fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing or other respiratory symptoms.
As of June 11, 2020 the country has identified 6 new cases, out of which 4 are not traceable and thus contain an outright threat. Hence, Government of Georgia and healthcare professionals once again urge the population to strictly adhere to the pre-defined measures.
Gradual lifting of restrictions and resumption of the economy should not serve as a basis of lessening the effort or lead to an illusion that a virus has been defeated. Examples of various countries have been discussed at the working meeting, which have had repeated epidemic outbreaks. Significance of joint efforts and high degree of responsibility has been underlined in the process of tackling the global pandemic.
Prime Minister of Georgia and management officials of the National Centre for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC) discussed the current stance at Fever Centers and inbound calls to 112, along with the resources required for the greater extension of testing practices. It was noted that as of today 18 labs in Georgia perform the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and this number will increase to 24 in July 2020. Average daily number of tests performed in the country is around 1500, which is expected to increase to 4500 in the nearest future. By autumn daily indicator of tests will reach 6000-8000. Along with possible cases, tests at present will be performed among some number of groups, which will be defined in the nearest future under the Government Resolution. In line with the instructions issued by the Head of Government of Georgia, stock of test kits will be periodically increased. NCDC is also replenishing its material-technical base.
Press Service of the Government Administration
Declaration by the Committee of Ministers on the COVID-19 pandemic
David Zalkaliani, President of the Committee of Ministers and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Georgia, has expressed his satisfaction following the Committee of Ministers’ adoption of a Declaration on the COVID-19 pandemic.
"During this very difficult time we are living through, I am pleased that the 47 member States of the Council of Europe have agreed on the need to continue to co-operate to fight the pandemic together, without ever losing sight of the Organisation's values and standards," he said.
The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, in which all of its 47 member States are represented, expresses its deep sadness at the suffering and bereavement caused in Europe and elsewhere in the world by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It expresses its profound gratitude to all those who, at the risk of their own health, are fighting to overcome this terrible disease and bring relief and care for those who are seriously ill. It also expresses its deep gratitude to all those who continue to work in order to ensure that people’s basic material needs can be met.
The COVID-19 pandemic is the worst health crisis since the Organisation was founded in 1949, and authorities at all levels must do their utmost to protect people's health in all circumstances, including the most vulnerable members of our societies.
The challenge we face today is unprecedented. The Committee of Ministers recalls its deep and constant attachment to its core values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, as expressed in the Statute of the Council of Europe and the European Convention on Human Rights. It also recalls that measures to combat the disease and its wider consequences must be taken in accordance with the Organisation's principles and the commitments entered into by member States. The Secretary General’s information document on “Respecting democracy, rule of law and human rights in the framework of the Covid-19 sanitary crisis: a toolkit for member States” provides useful guidance in this respect.
The Committee of Ministers considers that solidarity and co-operation between States is essential to deal effectively with the pandemic, and underlines that the Council of Europe, including its Development Bank, will continue to make every effort to assist its member States during this crisis and its aftermath.
Presidents of EBRD and ADB Confirm Readiness To Help Georgia Return to High Rate of Economic Development in Video Conference With Giorgi Gakharia
Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Gakharia held a video conference with the presidents of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) regarding the possible assistance and financial resources to be allocated to Georgia due to the challenges associated with the global pandemic.
Economic problems caused by the global spread of COVID-19 were emphasized during the video conference. Funding allocated by EBRD and ADB to the Georgian private sector, Georgian banks, and other business entities was noted in particular.
The sides also discussed post-crisis measures and the assistance that Georgia might receive from the financial institutions, which would enable the government to continue the state funding programs that are being implemented today to support citizens and private businesses.
It was noted that the government team is actively working with the local representatives, as well as the head offices of both EBRD and ADB to jointly develop a package of measures that will focus on overcoming the ongoing challenges.
According to the assessment of the presidents of the financial institutions, the fact that Georgia is successfully coping with the crisis constitutes sufficient grounds to say that the country will very quickly regain the rate and positions of economic development that it possessed at the beginning of 2020. Suma Chakrabarti and Masatsugu Asakawa confirmed their readiness to actively support Georgia in this area.
The Georgian side stressed that EBRD and ADB are very strong and serious partners for Georgia. It was noted that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Asian Development Bank have financed extremely important projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars in Georgia, including in the area of infrastructure. It was noted that all major systemic infrastructural projects funded by them are still in the active phase of implementation today, despite the ongoing crisis.
The head of government thanked EBRD and ADB for their active cooperation and their support of Georgia.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure Maia Tskitishvili and Minister of Finance Ivane Machavariani participated in the video conference.
Visa Foundation Commits $210 Million to Support Small and Micro Businesses and Immediate COVID-19 Emergency Relief
SAN FRANCISCO/Tbilisi (April 7, 2020) – The Visa Foundation today announced a commitment of two programs totaling $210 million to support small and micro businesses, aligning with the Foundation’s long-term focus on women’s economic advancement and inclusive economic development, and to address an urgent need from local communities following the spread of COVID-19.
The first program of $10 million is designated for immediate emergency relief to support charitable organizations on the frontlines responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as public health and food relief, in each of the five geographic regions in which Visa operates: North America; Latin America and the Caribbean; Europe; Asia Pacific; and Central Europe, Middle East and Africa.
“As COVID-19 continues to unfold, communities are feeling the effects and need our immediate support,” said Al Kelly, CEO and chairman of Visa. “As a global company that operates a very local business, we recognize this need. We’re also committed to the long-term recovery and will continue to explore ways we can accelerate economic activity in line with our mission to help individuals, businesses and economies thrive.”
The second program is a five-year, strategic $200 million commitment to support small and micro businesses around the world, with a focus on fostering women’s economic advancement. This action expands the Visa Foundation’s long-standing support for small and micro businesses globally. The funds from the Visa Foundation will provide capital to non-government organizations (NGOs) and investment partners supporting small and micro businesses.
Small and micro businesses are the backbone of the global economy, accounting for more than 90 percent of worldwide businesses and contributing 50 to 60 percent of global employment.[i] There is a $300 billion annual credit deficit in funding for women-owned small and micro businesses, which is expected to grow given the recent economic turmoil unfolding due to COVID-19.[ii]
“Now more than ever, we must accelerate our support for small businesses on the frontlines driving economic growth,” said Kelly. “As many small and micro business owners are women, there will be a ripple effect supporting women’s economic advancement, which we believe is one of the most important ways to achieve gender equality, reduce poverty and foster inclusive economic development.”
Through the $200 million small and micro business program, the Visa Foundation will provide $60 million in grants to NGOs dedicated to supporting small and micro business owners, many of whom are women, in every region where Visa operates. The Visa Foundation will also allocate $140 million with investment partners that generate positive social and financial returns for small and micro businesses.
“Two hundred million dollars in new financial resources demonstrates our continuing commitment to support small and micro businesses, with a focus on women’s economic advancement globally” said Graham Macmillan, President of the Visa Foundation. “When women thrive, communities thrive. We know this matters now more than ever as the global economy seeks to recover and rebuild.”
For more information:
- The Visa Foundation: https://usa.visa.com/about-visa/philanthropy/visa-foundation.html
- Visa’s recent commitment to support women’s economic advancement: https://usa.visa.com/about-visa/newsroom/press-releases.releaseId.17026.html
About the Visa Foundation
The Visa Foundation seeks to support inclusive economies where individuals, businesses and communities can thrive. Through grantmaking and investing, the Foundation prioritizes the resilience and growth of micro and small businesses that benefit women. The Foundation also supports broader community needs and disaster response in times of crisis. The Visa Foundation is registered in the U.S. as a 501(c)3 entity.
About Visa Inc.
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce.