Georgian epidemiologists: if people don’t stay home, the healthcare system will collapse

  • On April 19, the Georgian Orthodox church celebrates Easter and epidemiologists once again have urged the parish to stay home in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Photo: Nino Alavidze:, 16 Apr 2020 - 18:07, Tbilisi,Georgia

If people don’t stay home, the collapse of the healthcare system will be inevitable in Georgia, the Head of the Georgian National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Amiran Gamkrelidze said in an interview with Rustavi 2 earlier today.

Gamkrelidze said that during the coronavirus pandemic, Georgia has made ‘two major leaps’ in terms of the development of the epidemic.

In the past three days we have had about 70 confirmed cases of coronavirus, which means that the amount of community transmission cases are more than have been identified. If we continue social distancing and stay home as we did until now, we may have about 2,000 confirmed cases of the virus in the first half of May. But if we do not obey doctors, the amount of confirmed cases may reach even 8,000, which will overload the healthcare system”.

On April 19, the Georgian Orthodox church celebrates Easter and epidemiologists once again have urged the parish to stay home in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Government says Easter service will be held with police supervision, but parish asked to stay home. Photo: Nino Alavidze/

It is hard for me to say, but I have to urge everybody not to go to the cemeteries on Easter. Also, don’t visit churches. If we don’t leave our homes in the next four days, we will not have a dramatic situation in terms of the virus spreading in the country. God will forgive us, as many more Georgians will survive”, said Gamkrelidze.

He also stressed out that there are only 488 intensive care specialists in Georgia and if we will not follow the rules given by the World Health Organization (WHO) and NCDC, many doctors will also be infected and there will not be enough staff to care for the patients in critical condition.

PM Giorgi Gakharia said on April14 that cemeteries of Tbilisi and other large cities may thus be closed, and that the decision would be made in one or two days. Photo: Nino Alavidze/

60 medics have already died in Italy. Georgia already has 16 infected doctors. These people are not able to work nearly for the next four weeks. We are at war. The world has not seen such a pandemic since 1918”, said Gamkrelidze.

The Head of the Centre also mentioned that 13 clusters have been already identified in Georgia and most of the infected individuals among them didn’t stay home and were in close contact with family members.

The Deputy Head of NCDC Paata Imnadze, also urged the society yesterday to stay home and keep social distance in order to prevent the spread of the virus. Otherwise ‘we will not be able to count coffins'.

As of today Georgia has 257 active cases of the virus.  Photo: Nino Alavidze/

If any family member often has to go out, you should avoid him. If we don’t understand this, we will have an increased death toll. If necessary, the measures taken by the state will be tightened even more. I understand that Easter is the most important day for Orthodox people, but if we want to save the church, we should not go there”, said Inmadze  in an interview with Georgian Public Broadcasting yesterday.

Director of the First University Clinic, Levan Ratiani, made a statement today, noting that patients with severe pneumonia are not able to breath and in most cases the main reason for such a situation is that their family members didn’t fulfil the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) and NCDC.

I have three children but I have not seen them for a month. I miss them for sure, but this is life for the moment. We have to move away from each other in order to stay alive”, said Ratiani.

Georgia has reported 30 new cases of the coronavirus earlier today, bringing the total number of cases to 336.

74 of the 336 have recovered, while three others have died.

As of today, Georgia has 257 active cases of the virus.

5,000 people are under quarantine in Georgia and 494 others are in hospitals.