One Georgian citizen tests positive for coronavirus, Health Minister says no need to panic

  • Georgian health officials say the individual was immediately delivered to the hospital upon arrival, therefore he did not have communication with other citizens but the border guards who will also be in quarantine. Photo: Georgian Heath Ministry/Facebook, 26 Feb 2020 - 22:41, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Health Minister Ekaterine Tikaradze announced today that a Georgian citizen who recently travelled to Iran for business has tested positive for the coronavirus. 

Tikaradze said that the individual who returned to Georgia via Azerbaijan yesterday was immediately delivered to the Tbilisi infectious disease hospital and did not have any communication with other citizens, except for border guards.

The Health Minister also noted that although the Georgian border guards wore protective equipment, they will also be placed under quarantine. 

I would like to assure Georgian citizens. We do not have reason to panic, because our government does everything and we use all of our efforts to avoid the coronavirus epidemic in Georgia”, Minister Tikaradze said.

Georgia suspended flights with Iran amid the recent coronavirus outbreak on Sunday. Minister Tikaradze stated today that a two-week restriction will be imposed on movement by land as well. 

Head of the Georgian National Centre for Disease Control Amiran Gamkrelidze recommended citizens temporarily avoid travelling to China, Iran, South Korea and Italy amid the coronavirus outbreak. 

The new virus is thought to have emerged from illegally traded wildlife at a seafood market in Wuhan, China last December. Since then it has spread in over 30 countries worldwide, with Georgia revealing its first case of the infection today.