Georgian President calls for ‘safety, not fear’ amid COVID-19 outbreak

  • President Zurabishvili also underscored that the fight against the virus should not grow into xenophobia or any other form of violence and called for everyone to stay aware of their responsibility as the citizens of this country. Photo: Salome Zurabishvili/Instagram, 12 Mar 2020 - 22:24, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili encourages citizens to be more careful amid the recent coronavirus outbreak in the world, which has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

President Zurabishvili said in her video address today that considering the overall situation throughout the world, Georgia is effectively dealing with the outbreak. However, she said "it does not mean that we have to relax and not prepare for any possible scenario”. 

Calling on everyone to follow the recommendations of the health officials, President Zurabishvili said that Georgia has “no reason and right to panic”, as the steps made by the Georgian authorities to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 has been praised by the WHO. 

We should take and share responsibilities collectively. We are responsible for ourselves, our families, our relatives, everyone around”, she stated.

President Zurabishvili also underscored that the fight against the virus should not grow into xenophobia or any other form of violence and everyone should be very well aware of their responsibility as the citizens of this country. 

In her address Salome Zurabishvili also called on media organisations to stay professional and provide their audiences all the important information and updates about the spread of the coronavirus about the situation in the country. 

She also mentioned that the Georgians living in the Russia-occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia), who already live in humanitarian crisis are more unprotected now. 

Due to the closure of crossing points connecting the country with its occupied regions, the central government of Georgia lacks opportunity to provide those living in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions with the necessary healthcare services. 

However, Georgian officials are working closely with the international partners to inform people living in occupied regions and to ensure accessibility of healthcare services in case of necessity. 

The State Security Service of Georgia also reported today that the additional illegal restrictions imposed by the de facto officials on crossing points also refer to those people, who usually receive medical aid on Tbilisi-controlled territory. 

Yet another individual has tested positive for the COVID-19 in Georgia earlier today, increasing the total number of infected individuals to 25

Head of the National Disease Control Centre (NCDC) of Georgia Amiran Gamkrelidze called on everyone to avoid travelling, especially to the countries which are currently the largest centres of the outbreak. 

Gamkrelidze also called on those who return after travelling to go under quarantine or stay in self-isolation to minimise the risk of further spread of the coronavirus. He also called on everyone to avoid public gatherings and, if possible, work remotely