Georgia’s Health Minister offers his car for doctors to serve flu patients

Elderly, children, pregnant women and people with chronic illnesses are the most at-risk of contracting the flu this winter. Photo by N.Alavidze/, 22 Jan 2016 - 16:47, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s Health Minister is giving an example to society by offering his work car to doctors so they can visit flu patients isolated at home.

Georgia’s Minister of Health Davit Sergeenko announced he will offer his work car to the Republican Hospital in Tbilisi to be used by local doctors to serve patients all over the capital city.

The Minister noted a seasonal increase in the H1N1 virus, otherwise known as swine flu, and there was a need of additional vehicles so doctors could see affected patients isolated at home. 

Today Sergeenko also appealed to other officials to temporarily offer their cars to medical clinics.

Earlier today Georgia’s Health Minister Davit Sergeenko revealed new guidelines to tackle the flu virus in Georgia. Photo by the Ministry of Health of Georgia. 

Despite saying there was a seasonal increase of the H1N1 virus in Georgia, he stressed there was no risk of a flu epidemic.

The same news was repeated by Georgia’s National Centre of Disease Control (NCDC), which said the situation was typical for the winter season. 

This year there had been "considerably low” numbers of flu-related deaths compared to the same period in previous years, said the NCDC.

Since December 1 four people with existing chronic illnesses have died as a result of the flu; three were confirmed to have H1N1 while the fourth suffered from another strain of the flu. 

Today Health Minister Sergeenko revealed new guidelines where family doctors instead of ambulance staff would visit high-risk flu patients at home. 

At-risk patients included people with various chronic diseases, children and pregnant women. Sergeenko added family doctors were more qualified to render assistance to these vulnerable patients.

Earlier this morning president of international consulting company, Global Alliance Jean-Elie Malkin, who is currently in Georgia, praised the Health Ministry for its activities.

The Health Ministry and Minister Sergeenko revealed an excellent and effective reaction in terms of the swine flu. All their activities were focused on people’s needs and necessities,” Malkin said, noting the importance of primary healthcare services.

President of international consulting company, Global Alliance Jean-Elie Malkin praised Georgia's Ministry of Health for its efforts. 

Additionally, Georgia’s Ministry of Health has organised four family medical centres in capital Tbilisi to operate 24 hours a day where the public can go for flu-related observation and treatment, free of charge.

If people began to feel the effects of the flu, they are urged to visit a medical centre or hospital in a timely manner, particularly if patients have the following symptoms:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills;
  • Cough;
  • Sore throat;
  • Runny or stuffy nose;
  • Muscle or body aches;
  • Headaches; 
  • Fatigue (tiredness); and/or
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhoea, though this was more common in children than adults.

Looking ahead NCDC specialists predicted several different types of flu virus will spread in Georgia in the next few weeks resulting in an increase in cases however this will mostly be the A/H1p strain of the virus. This strain was spreading faster than other types of the flu virus and could cause some complications in healthy people.

The NCDC said this type of virus was typical for Georgia’s winter seasons in 2009-10 and 2010-11.

The best prevention against all flu viruses was vaccinations and ensuring a high standard of general hygiene.