Eurasianet: 'Georgia gets rare plaudits for coronavirus response'

  • Tengiz Tsertsvadze, director of the Center for Infectious Pathologies, AIDS and Clinical Immunology, with Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia. Photo: Government of Georgia

Review by Mariam Papidze

Economic Editor, 21 Mar 2020, Tbilisi,Georgia

Eurasianet has published an article on Georgia’s efforts to struggle against the coronavirus amid the global pandemic.

Giorgi Lomsadze, a Tbilisi-based journalist, says in the article that “along with coronavirus, Georgia has had an outbreak of something the country hasn’t had in years: public confidence in the government”.

To many observers, even long-time critics, this is evidence that the government is doing something right: stepping back and letting the health professionals take control”, Lomsadze wrote.

He then underscored that “as the virus spread, Georgia moved fast to suspend direct flights with emerging hot spots, profiled and quarantined travelers arriving from abroad, and conducted a public awareness campaign of unprecedented size – all well before most of Europe began switching to safe mode”. 

By the time epidemic broke out in nearby Iran in mid-February, proactive border checks, which included temperature tests and reviews of travel history, were already well in progress in Georgia”, he said.

Lomsadze further underscored that all of the “prudently timed steps were the result of the government’s deference to the nation’s best public health minds”.

Georgia has thrown all its efforts at containment, and at a very early stage of the outbreak compared to more affluent countries”, Lomsadze wrote.

He also stressed that “while most of Georgia’s confirmed cases have been imported or closely associated with foreign travel, now the country is teetering on the cusp of community spread”. 

Read the full story here.