PM Gives Instructions to Ministries of Healthcare, Economy, and Finance

Today, the Ministry of Healthcare was instructed to inspect the full readiness of the main clinics of the hospital sector within the next two days, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia stated at a session of the Inter-Agency Coordination Council.

The head of government discussed the current situation with regard to the coronavirus at the session of the Council, stressing that the main burden is shifting to the Ministry of Healthcare and the hospital sector today.

"Unfortunately, today we have 18 new confirmed cases. We had 15 yesterday. It is clear that in addition to the situation becoming increasingly more serious, the pace is also picking up. We can clearly see that the main burden is shifting to the Ministry of Healthcare and the hospital sector," the PM stated.

He requested detailed information from the Ministry of Healthcare concerning the state of readiness on the first line of defense against the virus.

"We have about 1,200 village doctors and about 2,000 family doctors. Correspondingly, where are these people and what are they doing? How prepared are they and to what extent is this information readily available? First of all, providing these people with training and preparing them to deal with the problems caused by the fever is extremely important as this is the only insurance that can alleviate the pressure on the healthcare system and the hospital system," Gakharia stated.

He pointed out that the government is effectively fighting on two fronts today – healthcare and the economy.

"Today, we are fighting on two fronts – the first is healthcare, the health and life of our citizens, and the second is the economy. Attaining a complete victory on one of these fronts will be meaningless if we suffer a loss with regard to either of the two," the PM stated.

He noted that greater and greater emphasis should be placed on the economy.

"The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Economy were given the task of launching credit-guarantee schemes at the post-crisis stage, once we have emerged from the crisis, and we have already made the corresponding decision. The assistance of our partner donor organizations is a possibility here. It is important for our businesses to know that these will be credit-guarantee schemes, which will enable us to help companies develop faster at the post-crisis stage. According to our calculations, we can say that this concerns assistance with about 2 billion in credit guarantee schemes – and I emphasize that this applies to the post-crisis period. All of us must understand that just as we started to fight against the epidemic earlier than many others, today, we must begin creating a post-crisis economic program and we must have a clear distinction between what we do during the crisis and what we will do in the post-crisis period," he stated.

PM noted that this is of great importance as global competition will begin between countries after the crisis, in terms of how fast they will be able to overcome their economic problems.

The head of government said that in the context of economic programs, the main focus is on the development of local production.

"The Ministry of Economy has already presented a plan, which has received a positive assessment from the government. The main focus is on renewing Georgian production – for example, renewing the operation of enterprises such as Agara Sugar Company – as the structures of both demand and supply have completely changed not only in our economy but in the region as well. Therefore, enterprises that may not have been significant in terms of effectiveness some months ago, for instance, acquire a new significance today. Correspondingly, the Ministry of Economy is being tasked with developing local production support schemes, not just within the framework of the Produce in Georgia program (which will have significantly improved criteria for granting credit to local production) but in other areas as well. This includes not only restricting imports but also utilizing various support instruments so that we can meet our domestic demand through our local production. This is of critical importance and we must start laying the groundwork for this today," he stated.

The Prime Minister spoke about the necessity of meeting safety standards in case of online sales and noted that every company that can prove that they meet these safety standards will have the opportunity to continue to operate. He stressed that the government welcomes the development of delivery services in the country.

Gakharia then commented on the Georgian Dream's initiative concerning transferring funds from monthly salaries to the relevant fund and noted that this is one of the most important acts of solidarity.

He said that the Georgian Dream's decision to transfer funds from their monthly salaries to the relevant fund constitutes yet another demonstration of how state institutions are created and how the country is becoming stronger while facing such challenges.

"I would like to comment on the Georgian Dream's initiative concerning politicians, as well as members of Parliament, the government, making transfers from their monthly salaries to the relevant fund. Of course, I am of the opinion that this is one of the most important acts of solidarity and I'm certain this will become a mass movement involving not just the representatives of our team.

"This is yet another demonstration of how state institutions are created and how the country is becoming stronger while facing such challenges," he said.

The Prime Minister gave a positive assessment of the disinfection works carried out by Tbilisi City Hall and instructed Sozar Subari to implement similar measures in major regional cities.

"I welcome the initiative of the Mayor of Tbilisi concerning the disinfection works carried out in the streets. This is an absolutely correct measure, it is to be welcomed, and I would like to ask Mr. Subari to implement similar measures in major regional cities. This is extremely important as these are the simple and straightforward steps with which we can hinder the spread of this infection," Gakharia stated.

Source: Government of Georgia's Press Service 

03 April 2020 16:09