COVID-19 in Georgia: The Gov’t Fights Back

I would like to thank each and every citizen, particularly the residents of Tbilisi, for the understanding with which they have approached the new curfew imposed throughout Georgia,- Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia stated at the session of the Inter-Agency Coordination Council on the Coronavirus this week, noting that it shows how the citizens perceive a sense of shared responsibility. He was referring to the prohibition of citizen movement on streets from 9 PM to 6 AM. During the day, citizens can leave their homes to go grocery shopping, to pharmacies or banks, but should carry their IDs with them in case they are stopped and questioned by police as to the reason for their being out.

The PM went on to discuss the decisions taken to support the economy, which sees the gov’t allocating 2 billion GEL for direct assistance to the economy, aimed at the retention of jobs as well as supporting companies to ensure ongoing production.

"We understand that each of our citizens has suffered a direct economic impact in connection with the measures that the government is forced to implement in order to protect their health. This damage is often direct and tangible. In many cases, people have lost their income and their jobs. Precisely for this reason, at this stage, and considering the fact that this crisis differs from all other crises because it is impossible to make accurate predictions concerning its duration, as well as in terms of correctly estimating the damage to the economy, we are forced to utilize even the modest capabilities of our economy today in a manner that is as effective and rational as possible," the PM stated.

To this end, the government has decided to fully fund the utility payments of all Georgian citizens who consume less than 200 kilowatts of electricity per month and less than 200 m3 of natural gas per month for the duration of three months – March, April, and May.

"Ultimately, all of us understand that our goal is to overcome the virus in such a manner that our economy can retain the potential for rapid growth, and so that job losses are minimal. It is difficult to make concrete and high-quality predictions. We must operate while facing new challenges on a daily basis, and our main goal should be to act in a rational and effective manner in terms of management and budget spending, while also acting effectively in terms of the fight against the virus," he stated.

Further changes made this week, as the number of confirmed cases hits 130 and 26 recovered patients are discharged from hospital, see the full restriction of all travel by public transport countrywide and the prohibition of more than three people travelling in any one car (or taxi).

By The GT Team

02 April 2020 19:23