11 EMPLOYEES OF THE MINISTRY OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 DISEASE

Published in Justice
Wednesday, 12 August 2020 09:48

According to the laboratory test results taken in recent days, it has been confirmed that 11 employees from various structural units under the Ministry of Internal Affairs were infected with COVID 19 disease. Out of 11 confirmed cases – 7 have been registered at Border Management and Coordination Main Division of the Patrol Police Department, 3 in Mestia municipality, where firefighter, Security Policemen and Border Police officer tested positive for the disease, while 11th case was confirmed in Tbilisi, to Security Police inspector.

All seven employees of Border Management and Coordination Main Division were fulfilling their official duties at Dariali border crossing point. At this moment, they have already been transferred to Tbilisi Infectious Disease Hospital.
The health condition of all infected employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs is stable at this stage.
Epidemiologists are actively studying their contacts. More than 20 employees, being in interaction with the infected persons, have already been transferred to the quarantine zone.
In the workspaces of the mentioned employees, disinfection activities were carried out, including service car fleet, that has already been treated with special solutions.
It should be noted that the staff of the Ministry of Internal Affairs strictly follows recommendations of the World Health Organization as well as norms norms defined by the safety protocol when working with citizens.
In coordination with the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health, targeted testing for coronavirus is carried out on a regular basis to employees of various departments of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Information on the preventive measures implemented in Turkmenistan against the coronavirus

Published in Health
Wednesday, 24 June 2020 12:45

On June 23, 2020, an announcement containing distorted information on the preventive measures implemented in Turkmenistan against the coronavirus infection was placed on the official website of the Embassy of the USA in Turkmenistan.  In particular, it is asserted that the citizens with the symptoms of the disease resulting from the new type of infection are going through examination and can be sent to compulsory quarantine without the supervision of conveniences and for undefined period of time.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan emphasizes the invalidity and partiality of such informational fakes. In this regard, the official representatives of the Ministry have repeatedly informed the Ambassador of the USA to Turkmenistan about the unacceptability of spreading biased information which is not supported by facts.

Relying on the principles of openness in international cooperation on combatting the coronavirus pandemic, the Turkmen side regularly holds thematic briefing meetings for the diplomatic corps and foreign journalists during which the most complete information is presented on the preventive measures applied in Turkmenistan on infectious diseases.  

Unfortunately, the American side does not take part in such meetings despite of invitations. 

Based on the above said, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan announces the counterproductive nature of the actions of the American Diplomatic Mission in Ashgabat.  

PRESS RELEASE

Ukrainian Culture Held At Gunpoint Amidst Coronavirus Crisis

Published in Culture
Thursday, 07 May 2020 10:49

In its fight to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the country, the Ukrainian government may sacrifice one of the country’s biggest assets since the Euromaidan Revolution, its culture. While the Ministry of Finance plans to cut funding in 2020 by 7 billion hryvnias, UkraineWorld sums up why representatives of the country’s creative industries believe it might lead to a disaster.

On 27 March, thousands of Ukrainians joined an online-protest called "No To the Destruction of Culture". The initiative came as a desperate response to the government's plan to cut state budget expenditure and reallocate money to combat the spread of the coronavirus in Ukraine. 

However, those working in the country's cultural sector warn: cutting vital funding for, inter alia, the cinema, books, and development of tourism will turn into a great loss, both on a personal and national scale. Here are some key thoughts from the representatives of Ukraine's cultural sphere, who oppose the decision to cut budget funding of culture:

JULIA SINKEVYCH, GENERAL PRODUCER OF THE ODESA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

We see that governments in more developed and even less developed countries are creating funds of support, instead of cutting the budget for culture. They even exceed the planned budgets, despite the situation [with coronavirus] in the world.

The UK has unveiled an emergency 160 million pounds response package for its cultural sector, Germany rolled out 50 billion euro aid to support creative industries, Italy allocated 130 million euro aid [for the film and theatre industry -ed.].

MYKOLA KNIAZHYTSKIY, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE ON HUMANITARIAN AND INFORMATION POLICY

Our Committee has stood unanimously against the budget cuts for Ukrainian culture, regardless of the party that each member belongs to. People who are quarantined should have something to watch and read, besides the fact that other essential sectors need support.

We should remember that, in addition to the virus, we have another war in the East of Ukraine.

It's obvious, if we won't deliver our own cultural product, this niche will be taken by Russian products of culture.

We are aware that many cultural events will not take place due to the quarantine in Ukraine and abroad. These expenses can be cut and allocated for healthcare workers or other social needs. However, we have to support national cinematography in different ways. For example, by launching a competition through the Ukrainian Cultural Fund or the State Film Agency for people to write scripts, and give them the opportunity to prepare future movies.

Last year, the Ukrainian Book Institute allocated 100 million hryvnias for books in libraries. This year, this number was reduced to 20 million hryvnias and only for children's books. No one cares about publishing houses and bookstores.

We also have to think about our regions. Ukraine has cut funding  for local budgets, and cutting expenses for culture is the first thing they do at local level.

ANNA MACHUKH, CO-FOUNDER AND THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE UKRAINIAN FILM ACADEMY

The mission of our Academy is the popularization of Ukrainian culture, but now we are talking about saving it in general.

The survival of the nation, with even a short downtime in culture, is under threat. The downtime for even a year might throw us back for a minimum of several years.

From the period of 2006-2010, we had 1-2 movies maximum. In 2011, there was no Ukrainian movie screened in the cinema. In the period of the so-called Renaissance of Ukrainian cinematography, 2010-2019, we had more than 100 movies released. We are not talking about quantity but already about quality. We showed that Ukrainian cinematography has its place on the international landscape.

More than 10,000 people, who work in the movie industry alone, will be left with no means to live without support from the government.

PAVLO SUSHKO, DEPUTY HEAD OF SERVANT OF THE PEOPLEFACTION IN PARLIAMENT

As a member of the Ukrainian Parliament and Chairman of the Cinematography and Advertising Subcommittee, I find the situation with reducing financing of the culture and film sector unacceptable.

When we have just heard about possible cuts, and we are united in the Committee. Here are some of the economic and social consequences that will come:

1) breaking of creative industry enterprises;

2) decrease in export of creative industry goods;

3) increasing unemployment in the field of film production, tourism, book publishing;

4) loss of human potential.

5) reduction of the general level of culture of the population of Ukraine > increase in crime rates and "social" diseases;

6) the lack of perception of the policultural nature of Ukrainian society and a general decline in the level of patriotism;

7) slowing down the processes of development of civil society institutions, etc.

IRMA VITOVSKA, UKRAINIAN ACTRESS

It is like a nightmare from the 90-s. I am an expert of the Ukrainian Cultural Fund, where many projects are now suspended in uncertainty. But cinematography is a difficult sphere in terms of technical assets, which we had grown.

We should look for ways to compromise. Culture creates a moral code, which is important in times of challenge like the coronavirus pandemic. This is a challenge and a marker that will detect many things in society.

We do not know what the atmosphere outside will be, so the moral code that culture gives is important so as not to allow people to fall into despair.

One year of downtime can count for ten for those people working in cinema. It is a question of information security, creativity, and competitiveness. For me, as an actress, the downtime is very critical. We might lose everything we have been acquiring for so long.

 
 
IRYNA MATVIYISHYN
Analyst and journalist at UkraineWorld and Internews Ukraine

Ukrainian Online Attractions Worth Checking Out During Quarantine

Published in Culture
Monday, 04 May 2020 16:02

Staying under quarantine due to the novel coronavirus poses challenges beyond just wearing masks and working from home. It also probably means you’re in for a lot of boredom, a lot of binge-watching, and a lot of scrolling your newsfeed. We’ve picked up the best Ukrainian online attractions that can help you to spend your quarantine time in Ukraine, wherever in the world you are!

Start with UkraineWOW, an interactive exhibition-trip around Ukraine and with Ukraine as a companion. It features a variety of rare items such as cubist works by Ukrainian-born sculptor Oleksandr Arkhypenko, silver hryvnia coins that date back to the Kyivan Rus, and much more. The virtual tour through the exhibition will not only show you why Ukraine is such a wowing country, but also give you the authentic feel of a journey by train that you may be missing during the quarantine.

If you are longing for outdoor activities, try going for a virtual walk through Ukrainian open-air museums. This website was created by the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture in cooperation with Google, and features seven open-air museums in different parts of the country. Guests can tour the unique ethnographic collection, learn more about their ancestors' lives, and feel the authenticity of Ukraine.

For those who can't  imagine life without travel, there's the Explore Ukraine! movie by Ukrainer, where you can discover the whole of Ukraine from above in 36 minutes with. It will show you how huge, multi-faceted, and undiscovered Ukraine is. You can also take a 360° virtual bike ride in a video by the Ukrainian Institute to explore the main sites of Ukrainian cities.

Art lovers can enjoy a 3D-tour of the Khanenko Museum, the top world art museum in Ukraine. Its collection includes original artworks by outstanding European masters, such as Pieter Paul Rubens, Gentile Bellini, Juan de Zurbarán, Jacques-Louis David, and François Boucher. You can find here beautiful and rare pieces of Iranian, Tibetan, Chinese and Japanese fine and decorative art, as well as small but interesting collections of ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian art.

The Odesa Western and Eastern Art Museum also has a large collection including works by Caravaggio, Gerard David, Jan van Scorel, Rubens, Abraham Bloemaert, Frans Hals, and others. Artwork from of China, Japan, India, Iran, and Tibet is also represented in the gallery, so you can discover the art of two continents at once while sitting on your sofa with the virtual tour around the museum.

Fans of performing arts who miss their visits to the theatre can follow the Lviv National Opera YouTube channel, which broadcasts opera and ballet every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The recordings of operas like Madame ButterflyNabucco, and Don Carlos are also available on the channel.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian pop musicians have followed the example of Robbie Williams and Coldplay and staged online shows, so you can listen to "home concerts" by JamalaO.TorvaldThe HardkissMELOVINFiolet, and NK. If you are looking for a more unique sound, also check out the Mariologia concert performed by the contemporary music vocal ensemble Alter Ratio. The concert was organised by the Ukrainian Institute in Vienna in 2019, but now you have a great opportunity to catch up.

In case your watch list is already empty, services that stream Ukrainian films can provide you with some interesting titles. The brand new online Ukrainian cinema site Takflix provides English subtitles for all the films it streams. Its movie library is not large, but already some great films on offer, including "Hutsulka Ksenya," a musical about love and discovery in the Carpathian Mountains, and "Heat Singers," a documentary about utility workers in Ivano-Frankivsk who also love to sing. If you are fond of documentaries, also check out Docuspace. The films on it tell the stories of Ukrainians trying to make positive changes in their country and communities.

The Ukrainian online-TV service OLL.tv also offers some Ukrainian movies for English-speaking audiences. One of these is the famous Ukrainian film "The Tribe" by Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy, which won four prizes at Cannes Film Festival in 2014. The plot of this social drama evolves in Ukrainian boarding school for the deaf people, so the story is told entirely through sign language.

There's no reason to be bored, annoyed, or angry about staying home under quarantine now - take it as a chance to learn more about Ukraine.

 
 
MARIA SIDENKO
journalist at UkraineWorld and Internews Ukraine

 

5th patient dies from COVID-19 in Georgia

Published in Health
Wednesday, 22 April 2020 12:08

One more patient has died from coronavirus in Georgia, bringing the death toll to 5.

According to the latest figures, the number of patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in Georgia has reached 411. 98 patients recovered from the virus.

Three Georgian citizens are brought from abroad for medical treatment.

Currently, 5015 people remain under quarantine and 573 – in inpatient care.

 

Georgia reported 195 confirmed cases of COVID-19

Published in Health
Tuesday, 07 April 2020 14:09

The number of confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) increased up to 195 in Georgia.

The information was recently updated on a special website stopcov.ge created by the Georgian government.

Also, according to the official data, 39 patients have fully recovered from the virus. Two people died of COVID-19 in the country.

There are 4735 people under quarantine and 383 – in inpatient care.

 

Coronavirus: The European Union stands by its Eastern partners

Published in Health
Monday, 06 April 2020 13:39

As part of the global response to the coronavirus outbreak, the European Commission stands by Eastern partner countries and has reallocated €140 million for the most immediate needs in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine. In addition, the Commission will also redirect the use of existing instruments worth up to €700 million to help mitigate the socio-economic impact of the coronavirus crisis.

Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi said: “These are very difficult times not only for the EU, but for our partner countries as well. We are doing all we can to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on human lives and livelihoods. We are responding both to the immediate needs of the health systems, as well as longer term needs to the most vulnerable groups in society and small and medium-sized enterprises, which are the backbone of the economies in the six countries”.  

Responding to immediate needs

At the request of the partner countries, the Commission will respond to immediate needs by supporting the supply of medical devices and personal equipment, such as ventilators, laboratory kits, masks, goggles, gowns, and safety suits. The European Commission is working with the World Health Organisation (WHO), and is deploying €30 million to ensure these necessary supplies are jointly purchased and effectively distributed to the health systems of the six countries in the coming weeks. In addition, the funds will support national health administrations to train medical and laboratory staff and carry out awareness raising measures to the wider population.

The Commission has also made available more than €11.3 million in small grants to civil society organisations. These funds are already responding to immediate needs, through the ongoing regional “Rapid Response Mechanism”, such as supporting local schools with distance learning. By the summer, and as part of this package, the Commission will launch the “Eastern Partnership Solidarity Programme” which will target the most affected parts of the populations through civil society support and notably sub-grants to smaller, local organisations.

Mitigating the socio-economic impact of the outbreak

The Commission is working closely with International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and relevant financing institutions from EU Member States as TEAM EUROPE providing a coordinated European response for the real economy, including SMEs, in particular through: 

-    Launching of a new support programme of €100 million to help SMEs, including self-employed and others to easily access credit and boost their businesses after the crisis;

-    Facilitating, simplifying, accelerating, and reinforcing €200 million worth of existing credit lines and grants to SMEs in local currency including through its EU4Business Initiative;

-    In addition, in the current crisis the EU has mobilised its major de-risking instrument the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD), worth a total of €1.55 billion, with €500 million being made available for the EU’s neighbourhood. This will rapidly provide liquidity in the EU’s neighbourhood, including through working capital, trade finance, or moratoria on debt service. This support is in addition to the ongoing macro financial assistance support to partners, including Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. 

The Commission also stands ready to provide assistance through TAIEX, its peer to peer instrument, by using EU Member States expertise, experience and examples of good practices on assessing emergency preparedness response scheme and health systems.

The outbreak of coronavirus has accelerated the spread of myths and disinformation around it, coming from various sources both within and outside of the European Union. Learn more in the report on Disinformation on the coronavirus.

More information on the European Commission’s coordination of a common European response to the coronavirus outbreak   click here

Georgia reports first case COVID-19 death

Published in Health
Saturday, 04 April 2020 13:54

Georgia reported the first case of death from COVID-19 infection – Amiran Gamkrelidze, Head of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health told journalists.

A 79-year-old woman, placed at the clinic on March 31, died from novel coronavirus and accompanied health complications. The patient belonged to Marneuli-Bolnisi cluster.

"Earlier this morning, a fatal case of coronavirus infection was confirmed. The victim is a 79-year-old woman, whose main diagnosis was Covid-19 and acute pneumonia. The complications included respiratory distress syndrome, sepsis, septic shock, spontaneous pneumothorax, acute respiratory failure, acute failure of the cardiovascular system, acute heart failure. The concomitant diseases of this patient were quite severe,” said Amiran Gamkrelidze.

The number of cases of coronavirus infection has increased to 157 in Georgia. The information is posted on the government-run website stopcov.ge.

5 526 people are in quarantine and 344 are under inpatient care.

28 out of 157 people have recovered and one has died.

 

 

 

Giorgi Gakharia: We Have Decided To Significantly Tighten Measures Under State of Emergency, Effectively Declaring Universal Quarantine

Published in Justice
Monday, 30 March 2020 19:06

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

The United States is providing $1.1 million in health funding to Georgia to help prepare laboratory systems

Published in Health
Monday, 30 March 2020 11:27

The United States is providing $1.1 million in health funding to Georgia to help prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk communication, and more. This information was reported by the administration of the US Embassy in Georgia.

For information a total number of people worldwide infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has reached 720,100, according to Johns Hopkins University. 33 550 people died from the virus and 150 734 recovered.

Top 5 virus-hit countries include United States (139,675), Italy (97,689), China (82,122), Spain (80,031) and Germany (62,095).

On March 11 World Health Organization(WHO) declared COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

 

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