WHO Europe Regional Director commends Georgia for early COVID measures, economic recovery plan

World Health Organisation Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge answered press questions during the latest COVID-19 briefing. Photo via WHO.

Agenda.ge, 25 Jun 2020 - 19:51, Tbilisi,Georgia

Hans Kluge, the World Health Organisation Regional Director for Europe, has commended the Georgian government for its early response to the pandemic and for its economic recovery plan.

Kluge made remarks in a response to a question from Georgian reporters, answered during the latest COVID-19 press briefing by the European office on Thursday.

Speaking about rising figures of the virus in Europe and a risk of a resurgence of the virus threatening to push health systems in Europe once again "to the brink", the WHO official also mentioned individual countries' efforts against the outbreak.

Austria, Georgia and North Macedonia are among the 27 countries that have released national solutions for digital contact tracing in Europe," Kluge noted in his introductory remarks.

In the briefing's section where questions from national press were answered, Kluge was asked by reporters from Rustavi 2 TV channel and Fortuna Online Media about reasons for low figures for COVID-19 infections in Georgia and a prospective timescale for a second wave of the virus.

The regional director's reply underscored Georgia's early response, testing capacity examination and imposition of physical distancing measures as factors in the successful work for containment.

Georgia is one of the countries which, early on, implemented public health measures. In fact, Georgia started to seriously look at its testing capacity even before the COVID really broke out in the country [...] and, as early as 2nd of March, also implemented physical distancing measures."

[B]ut Georgia - in fact, I must really commend [it] - goes a step further. Namely, working on an economic recovery plan - with putting health as a top political priority - and also, as was mentioned, working on the second wave." - WHO Europe Regional Director Hans Kluge.

The health organisation official's remarks follow earlier praise from the WHO to Georgia, including comments by Michael Ryan, Executive Director for the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, for its efforts in limiting the outbreak.

Also offered during a WHO press briefing, Ryan's remarks included commends for Georgia's "very strong and proud tradition in public health and science" and confidence about the country's prospects of dealing with the COVID-19.