BBC: How 'Three Musketeers' Helped Georgia Fight Coronavirus

BBC has published an article about Georgian epidemiologists Paata Imnadze, Tengiz Tsertsvadze and Amiran Gamkrelidze, entitled "How 'Three Musketeers' Helped Georgia Fight Coronavirus." 

The author of the article, Georgia is enjoying the distinction of being included in a list of 15 non-EU states the European Union considers safe enough to open its borders to, being the only former Soviet republic to achieve that status.

"Fewer than 1,000 cases of Covid-19 have been registered, and 15 people have died out of a population of 3.7 million. A group of public scientists, dubbed the three musketeers, are being praised for steering the Caucasus state's successful response to the pandemic," the publication reads.  

The author further emphasizes that Georgia's first Covid-19 case was registered at the end of February, and the government's response was swift.

By mid-March, all schools, universities and non-essential businesses were closed and public transport was suspended.

After the introduction of a state of emergency on 21 March, large gatherings and intra-city travel were banned. Nightly curfews were introduced.

During the Orthodox Easter, Georgia's most important religious holiday, the authorities banned private transport and closed cemeteries.

"We took note of the pandemic's threat a month before the first confirmed case," Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia told the BBC via email. "Given our country's specifics, such as our location and small size, we could not use the examples of other countries."

"An information campaign and regular updates were led by the country's top scientists and Georgia's National Centre for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC). The NCDC's Lugar Laboratory has been a constant target of Russian disinformation, which has accused it of being part of a US secret bio-weapons program.

"But its scientists have led the country's fight against the pandemic," the author of the article concludes. 

Who are the 'musketeers'?

"In Georgia, the NCDC's scientists have become widely respected for their decision-making. The trio included the head of the NCDC, Amiran Gamkrelidze, the man in charge of the Lugar lab, Paata Imnadze, and the main virologist, Tengiz Tsertsvadze, who is head of Tbilisi's infectious diseases, Aids and immunology research center.

"Another popular figure was the face of the public health campaign, Marina Egubaia, who is the medical head of Tbilisi's infectious diseases hospital.

"There are now 19 laboratories across Georgia testing for coronavirus," BBC reports.  

By Ana Dumbadze 

Source: BBC 

Read the full article here 


06 July 2020 11:17