TBILISI, DFWatch–The government in Georgia is facing a setback in its fight against the coronavirus as experts predict an increase in daily cases in the next 2-3 weeks, but the government reiterates that it’s not planning another lockdown.
Meanwhile, the mass vaccination program is continuing and the government plans to set up vaccination centers in large shopping malls.
Closing down the country, or returning to strict restrictions, is also ruled out by epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists, because if there are not more than about 3,000 cases a day, then the hospital sector will be able to withstand it.
“I rule out the return of lockdown and [additional] strict restrictions in the coming days. I personally do not support it and as far as I know, the government does not support it either. Businesses have opened, people have returned to normal life. We will provide care for all patients,” said Tengiz Tsertsvadze, director of the Tbilisi Center for Infectious Diseases, AIDS and Clinical Immunology, one of the most important facilities in Georgia in the treatment of Covid-19 patients.
He said there are now more than 20,000 active cases, while the peak of the second wave in November 2020 was 30,000 which the hospitals managed to handle.
Paata Imnadze, deputy director of the National Center for Disease Control, who has been widely criticized by anti-lockdown opponents as the main initiator of the Covid Restrictions, also believes that it is to strictly enforce existing restrictions rather than introducing the new ones.
“Today, first of all, we have a vaccine and the existing regulations, in case of their observance, allow us to no longer impose restrictions. As many people as possible should be vaccinated in a timely manner, and the regulations that still exist today, for example – wearing a face masks indoors, which is the most effective means of self-defense – must be continued,” Paata Imnadze said.
Meanwhile the government starts establishing makeshift vaccination centers in the big malls – Tbilisi Mall, East Point, etc. There are already two such centers in Hualing Mall and Lilo Market. Similar spaces will be established in large cities as well. The private sector was asked to manage them.
As of Friday, 2,460 new cases of Covid-19 were detected, 38,945 tests were performed in the last 24 hours, and the daily positive rate was 6.32%, the last 14 days – 5.38% and the 7-day period – 6.03%. 20 people have died from the Covid-19 complications.