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.
Government Allocates 2 Billion GEL To Directly Assist Economy, According to Giorgi Gakharia's Decision
The prime minister of Georgia would like to thank each and every citizen, particularly the residents of Tbilisi, for the understanding with which they approached yesterday's events throughout all of Georgia, especially after 21:00. Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia made this statement at the session of the Interagency Coordination Council on the coronavirus.
According to the head of government, this shows how the citizens perceive a sense of shared responsibility.
"This is of extreme importance to us as it shows the way in which we jointly perceived the responsibility, which is our shared responsibility - not just of the government but of each and every citizen of this country. Above all, this is a responsibility toward one another, toward our parents, the older generation. Only thus will we be able to overcome this challenge quickly," Giorgi Gakharia stated.
The head of government discussed the decisions taken to support the economy.
According to the government's decision, 2 billion GEL has been allocated for the direct assistance of the economy as of today.
According to the prime minister's assessment, this is the assistance that will be aimed at the retention of jobs, as well as the retention of companies, ongoing production, and current businesses.
"First of all, we understand that every one of our citizens has suffered direct economic damage in connection with the measures that the government is forced to implement in order to protect the health of our citizens. This damage is often direct and tangible. In many cases, people have lost their income and their jobs. Precisely for this reason, at this stage, and considering the fact that this crisis differs from all other crises because it is impossible to make accurate predictions concerning duration, as well as in terms of correctly estimating damage to the economy, we are forced - and in contrast to all other actors, it is our responsibility - to utilize even the modest capabilities of our economy today in a manner that is as effective and rational as possible," the head of government stated.
According to Giorgi Gakharia, this decision is of utmost importance in order to enable the Georgian economy to develop rapidly and to restore the starting positions it had at the beginning of the year as soon as the concluding phase of the crisis has been reached.
"In this regard, it is our unequivocal decision that we will do our utmost to maintain large-scale, systemic infrastructural projects under conditions of heath safety protection, as well as to support and enable systemic production to continue operating, and to do our best to support systemic fields of the economy to the greatest extent possible. In this regard, as of today, we have mobilized 2 billion GEL in the budget. This is only the beginning and the first stage, given the data that we possess today," the prime minister stated.
The head of government noted that at some stage, after some time has passed, it is possible that the country might face such challenges that this assistance might need to be increased.
The prime minister emphasized that the 2 billion GEL does not include the 351 million GEL that was directly allocated from the budget for the purposes of healthcare in the fight against COVID-19.
"This is the sum that was reserved in the crisis budget in order for us to fight for the health of our fellow citizens and to do everything in our power to hinder the rapid growth of the scale, as well as of the geographic distribution of the infection. These funds must be utilized in an extremely rational manner," the prime minister noted.
According to Giorgi Gakharia's assessment, how the government is managing to provide every citizen with direct assistance at this stage is of the utmost importance.
To this end, the government has decided to fully fund the utility payments of all of our citizens who consume less than 200 kilowatts of electricity per month and less than 200 m3 of natural gas per month for the duration of three months - March, April, and May.
"This includes both cleaning service and water utility payments. This assistance, which we decided within the framework of government, will directly reach our citizens. We understand that this will not be enough. Of course, we understand that we must identify every one of our citizens who have lost their job and we will then make special arrangements to provide them with direct assistance. Furthermore, I would like to emphasize once again that it is of extreme importance, in our case, to utilize each and every lari that was mobilized in the budget today in a rational manner - 2 billion GEL in terms of the economy and the direct assistance of our citizens, and 351 million GEL in terms of healthcare, for the direct fight against COVID-19," Giorgi Gakharia noted.
According to the prime minister, the crisis budget, within the framework of which the government is operating today, is of the utmost importance and the main thing is that the funds have been directed in order to maintain the most effective balance in terms of the fight against the infection, as well as in terms of economic potential.
"Ultimately, all of us understand that our goal is to overcome the virus in such a manner that our economy can retain the potential for rapid growth, and for us to overcome the virus in such a way that the damage to our economy is minimal, and so that job losses are minimal. I would like to call on every individual government agency to use the resources that are mobilized in the crisis budget for your agencies today in the most rational way possible. Of course, we will further discuss the radical reduction of ongoing expenses, which is also envisaged by the crisis budget and this concerns hundreds of millions. However, we must all understand that the main challenge is the following: It is difficult to make concrete and high-quality predictions. For this reason, we have to operate while practically facing new challenges on a daily basis and our main goal should be to act in a rational and effective manner in terms of management and budget spending, while also acting effectively in terms of the fight against the virus," the prime minister stated.
Press Service of the Government Administration
Giorgi Gakharia: We Have Decided To Significantly Tighten Measures Under State of Emergency, Effectively Declaring Universal Quarantine
The government made the decision to significantly tighten measures within the framework of the state of emergency, which will take effect at 8:00 in the morning tomorrow, stated Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia at a briefing held after the conclusion of a session of the Interagency Coordination Council on the coronavirus.
Today's session took place in an extended format and was attended by the mayor of the capital, members of the Cabinet of Ministers, and senior officials from the Center for Disease Control, in addition to members of the council.
"We have decided to significantly tighten measures within the framework of the state of emergency. Effectively - and I would like to emphasize this - effectively, we are declaring universal quarantine, which will begin tomorrow, at 8:00 in the morning. This quarantine means the following:
• It is completely forbidden to travel using any type of public transport (including the subway), both within and between cities and municipalities.
• It is only permissible to travel using light vehicles (including taxis), and only if the recommendation of the Ministry of Healthcare has been taken into consideration, i.e., if there are no more than three persons in an automobile, with the essential condition that the two persons are seated in the rear seat. This is a very important recommendation and relevant state bodies will make the appropriate decisions in case of noncompliance.
• Also, it is only permissible to carry passengers for the purpose of transporting employees of facilities of strategic importance in an organized and safe manner.
• Gathering of more than three persons is forbidden, with the exception of grocery stores and pharmacies, where maintaining a social distance of two meters is mandatory
• Furthermore, rules governing the operation of enterprises that are permitted by the government will be set out separately; they will have separate protocols that will be agreed with the Ministry of Healthcare. We are doing this so that the economy can continue to function and to ensure that the potential that the Georgian economy possesses is not brought to a standstill, as well as, of course, to ensure that our citizens can retain their jobs as much as possible.
• Our citizens above 70 years of age will be forbidden from leaving their homes, unless they are going to their nearest grocery store, their nearest pharmacy, or their nearest medical facility.
• If our citizens above 70 years of age live alone, the Ministry of Healthcare and the Ministry of Economy, as well as local municipalities, are obligated to provide them with assistance.
• Most importantly: Effectively, a full quarantine will be declared for the duration of the state of emergency. It will be forbidden to move on foot or using any other mode of transportation in the cities and throughout the entire country between the hours of 21:00 and 06:00. Effectively - and I would like to emphasize this once again - effectively, this means that a so-called curfew is being declared throughout the entire country between the hours of 21:00 and 06:00.
• Checkpoints will be set up in the cities of Tbilisi, Batumi, Kutaisi, Rustavi, Poti, Zugdidi, and Gori in order to control the movement of individuals, to check their health status, and to ensure the fulfillment of the tightened measures under the state of emergency, as well as to provide initial thermal screening and to control the administrative borders of these cities. These measures will be carried out by the forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, with the involvement of the relevant agencies of the Ministry of Defense.
• A very important point: Every citizen must carry their identity documents while moving within the city at any time," the prime minister of Georgia stated.
Press Service of the Government Administration
Thematic Healthcare Group of the Interagency Coordination Council Holds a Meeting under the Chairmanship of Giorgi Gakharia
The Thematic Healthcare Group of the Interagency Coordination Council on Coronavirus held a meeting today under the chairmanship of Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia.
To achieve greater effectiveness, the Interagency Coordination Council has been divided into thematic healthcare, economic, and law enforcement groups that will hold a series of regular meetings under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister.
During today's meeting of the Thematic Healthcare Group, the Head of Government was briefed on the health conditions of coronavirus-infected patients in Georgia, also on the readiness of designated clinics and additionally attracted capacities. The meeting reported that 38 people are currently infected in the country, with most of them in satisfactory condition. All patients are stable and receive necessary treatment.
The Coordination Council was informed that 1,261 people are currently under quarantine, and 216 are under hospital supervision.
The Prime Minister was also briefed on the conditions of clinics throughout the country, the number of rapid tests available and expected in the country.
The council's meeting was attended by the Health Minister, Deputy Director of the National Center for Disease Control, representatives of the healthcare system, and the Mayor of Tbilisi.
The Administration of the President of Georgia and the relevant parliamentary committee are actively involved in the council's work.
Press Service of the Government Administration
Armenian PM – Georgia cannot be a threat to security to Armenia
Georgia cannot be a threat to security to Armenia in the same way as Armenia cannot be a threat to Georgia – Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, being with an official visit to Georgia, said during the meeting with Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia at the Georgian Governmental Administration.
Pashinyan underlined that there is vast unused potential in Georgia-Armenia relations. “Democratization has a big importance. I believe that if Georgia and Armenia are perceived as democratic territories, the attraction of our countries will further increase. We respect Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration aspiration and it seems that the two countries have different opinions regarding security system. But I think that we have common standpoint,” Pashinyan said.
Within the framework of the official visit, Prime Minister of Armenia will hold meetings with President of Georgia Salome Zurabishvili and Speaker of Parliament Archil Talakvadze.
Nikol Pashinyan, together with the delegation members, will pay tribute to the memory of heroes who died in fight for Georgia’s territorial integrity.
The official visit of the Armenian delegation to Georgia will end on March 4.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to Hold an Official Visit to Georgia
On March 3-4, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan will hold an official visit to Georgia. An official welcoming ceremony will be held at the Government Administration. Head of Georgian Government Giorgi Gakharia will host his Armenian counterpart. A face-to-face meeting between the Prime Minister of Georgia and Armenia will be held along with an enhanced format meeting, followed by Giorgi Gakharia and Nikol Pashinyan making statements for the press.
During his official visit, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia will hold meetings with Georgian president Salome Zourabichvili and Chairman of Parliament Archil Talakvadze.
Nikol Pashinyan, together with the Armenian delegation, will visit Heroes Square to pay homage to the memory of the heroes fallen for Georgia's unity.
The official visit of the Armenian governmental delegation to Georgia will conclude on March 4.
Press Service of the Government Administration