Corona Updates: Georgian Cases Hit a Record High

On October 1, a record-high number of coronavirus infections was detected in Georgia, as the country reported 448 new cases of coronavirus in 24 hours, bringing the total number of infected people to 6640.

The head of the department at the Infectious Diseases Hospital, Marina Endeladze, told reporters that of the 448 new cases, 241 were confirmed in the Adjara region, where the situation in terms of virus spreading "becomes more alarming by the day."

At the same time, 62 new cases of COVID-19 were reported had been between 30-35 throughout the week.

"Adjara is still the leader, we have 241 cases there, in Imereti 98, in Tbilisi 62, Samegrelo - Zemo Svaneti 15, Samtskhe - Javakheti 9, Guria 7, Shida Kartli 7, Kakheti 2. We have 6 imported cases," Endeladze said.

The number of recovered patients increased by 299 to reach 3419.

Another patient died of coronavirus in Georgia on October 1, meaning the total number of deaths since the start of the outbreak in Georgia now stands at 41.

Currently, there are 3,155 active cases of coronavirus in the country, of which 35 are in critical condition and 33 are on artificial respiration. 9 of the patients on artificial respiration were transferred from occupied Abkhazia.

Endeladze commented on this drastic increase in infection cases, noting that there may be a peak of coronavirus cases for a few days and "then the number will gradually decrease."

She noted that it is good that all the infected are being identified.

Schools Re-Open, Soon to Be Followed by Kindergartens and Universities

On October 1, schools in Georgia’s major cities finally opened their classrooms to children in the 1st to 6th grades, who have been studying online since September 15. Other grades and university students will likely have to wait until October 19 to attend their institutions in person. Kindergartens will open for pupils from 12 October. Said changes will not apply to Adjara, where the education process will continue remotely.

Adjara Continues as Georgia’s Corona Hot-Spot

Considering the epidemiological situation in the Autonomous Republic of Adjara, the ban on public and intercity transport remains in force, and restaurants are open only until 22:00. The Interagency Coordination Council has advised elderly citizens, especially in Adjara, to refrain from leaving their homes except in cases of urgent necessity.

New Recommendations

New recommendations on assessing the recovery status of asymptomatic individuals were discussed this week. Public healthcare experts say that relevant recommendations have changed around the world. Namely, based on statements issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, individuals are practically no longer contagious once eight days have passed since the onset of symptoms – the test may give positive results but the ability of the virus to infect other people is minimal or virtually nonexistent. Correspondingly, persons who were tested 12 days prior and are no longer exhibiting any symptoms will be considered to have recovered and will be able to return to normal social life without a repeat test. The aforementioned scheme of granting persons recovered status will be reflected in the guidelines of the Ministry of Healthcare.

As regards symptomatic individuals, the minimum duration of hospitalization until recovery for patients in clinics is 13 days, which means ten days of exhibiting symptoms followed by a three-day asymptomatic period.

The Ministry of Healthcare also presented information about the process of treating COVID-infected persons at home. At present up to 800 infected persons are being treated at home under the supervision of a doctor, with more than 600 of these in Adjara.

New On-The-Spot COVID-19 Tests to Roll Out Shortly

New coronavirus tests that show results on-the-spot will soon be available around the globe. The tests, which look like pregnancy tests and are read by a health worker, will show whether the patient is COVID positive or negative in just 15 to 30 minutes.

The initiative was launched back in March by the WHO, the European Commission, the Gates Foundation, and the French government in order to slow the spread of the pandemic, save more lives and lend a special helping hand to low and middle-income countries. The rapid antigen tests will be supplied by two companies to these countries for $5 each or less.

One of the tests, from the South Korean company SD BioSensor, has recently been approved by the WHO. Another manufacturer, US company Abbott, is expected to get it shortly.

“The quick and easy but high-quality tests will allow mass screening of health workers, who are dying in disproportionate numbers in low-income countries,” writes the Guardian.

Bulk orders for the tests have been made to favor low and middle-income countries, according to Catharina Boehme, CEO of the non-profit Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (Find), one of the main initiators.

“We needed to secure volumes for low- and middle-income countries before all the other countries place their orders and the poor populations again lose out. For us, the message is about unprecedented collaboration. We are really able to show what can be achieved when the world and leading global health partners come together with a shared priority,” said Boehme.

01 October 2020 16:55