Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia announced on Thursday, May 7, that lockdown measures will be lifted in Tbilisi from Monday, May 11, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Gakharia further stated that lockdown measures will be lifted in Rustavi (Kvemo Kartli province) from Thursday, May 14. A state of emergency remains in place for the rest of the country until Friday, May 22. Under the state of emergency, gatherings of more than three people are prohibited.
All flights to and from Georgia, except for repatriation flights organized by the government for Georgian citizens, have been canceled until further notice. Borders have been closed to all foreigners, including passenger rail traffic. All nonessential businesses remain closed, including resorts, restaurants, cafés, casinos, nightclubs, and gyms. Additional checkpoints have been erected in Tbilisi and six other major cities to screen individuals and to enforce movement restrictions. An overnight curfew is in effect from 21:00 until 06:00 (local time) nationwide. All public transportation services, including the metro, are also suspended. People over 70 years of age are only allowed to leave their homes to go to the nearest market, pharmacy, or hospital.
As of May 7, health authorities have confirmed 615 cases of COVID-19 in Georgia, including nine associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the coming days and weeks
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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