Corona Updates: Nearly 1000 New Cases in a Day

On October 15, 919 new cases of coronavirus were detected in Georgia, bringing the total number of infected people since the March outbreak to 14,440.

Of the new cases, 366 were reported in Tbilisi, 286 in Adjara, 104 in Imereti, 57 in Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, 44 in Kvemo Kartli, 21 in Shida Kartli, 13 in Kakheti, 13 in Guria, 11 in Mtskheta-Mtianeti, 3 in Samtskhe-Javakheti and 1 in Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti.

Marina Endeladze, Head of the Isolation Department of the Infectious Diseases Hospital, told reporters that there has been a serious increase in infections in Georgia in the last 24 hours.

"As expected, there is a serious increase. We warned the population it would happen. The number of cases has increased both in Tbilisi and in the regions. The number of recoveries is about 53% (7367). 7073 active cases are people being treated in hospitals and COVID hotels, while mild and asymptomatic patients are being treated at home," she stated.

The number of recovered patients increased by 208 and reached 7367, while four more patients died of coronavirus, bringing the total death toll in Georgia to 113.

On Thursday, the government’s Interagency Coordination Council decided that no strict systemic restrictions were needed in the country despite the rising number of COVID-19 cases. The practice of targeted restrictions and localization, as needed, will be continued.

The meeting emphasized that despite the growing numbers of coronavirus infections, with the most cases in the previous 24 hours identified in Tbilisi, no strict systemic restrictions are being considered at this point. "At the virus adaptation and management stage, the practice of targeted restrictions continues, and these will be localized, if needs be," they said.

The Interagency Coordination Council once again urged the population to wear facemasks, maintain social distancing, and avoid mass gatherings. In light of the growing numbers of infections in Tbilisi, the recommendation to wear masks outdoors stands.

Regarding the situation in clinics, the growth in infection statistics is not expected to result in a lack of hospital beds, with the Health Ministry continuously working on mobilizing additional beds. To do so, new clinics will be engaged in the fight against COVID-19.

First aid serves a key role and function at the management stage, which involves patient management in COVID hotels and at home, with consultations from family physicians. “That is why streamlined work in this direction requires special attention,” the Council noted.

The Health Ministry reports that clinics throughout Georgia are presently treating almost 2,200 coronavirus patients, under the supervision of the clinical team led by Tengiz Tsertsvadze, while ICU patients are being treated under the supervision of a special intensive care group.

As of Thursday, Georgia has 13,521 confirmed infection cases, of which 7,159 have recovered. 41 Georgian citizens have been transported for treatment from abroad, and 109 have died.

At this point, 5,590 people are under quarantine, 1,393 in COVID hotels and 836 are hospitalized under inpatient supervision.

Travel, Dining & Entertainment Restrictions

Public transport in Adjara, including intercity transport, which has been shut since September 25 due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases, will reopen on October 19.

Yet in the Adjara region, restrictions still apply to the educational process, and to restaurants and entertainment facilities, which no longer operate after 22:00. Starting this weekend, the same restriction to entertainment facilities will enter into force in Tbilisi and Imereti.

"We have decided that from tomorrow, October 16, restaurants and all entertainment facilities in Tbilisi and Imereti will not operate after 22:00," Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia stated on Thursday. “This is to attempt to slow down the spread of the COVID-19 virus.”

"However, everyone should understand that this is not enough,” the PM added. “We all have our share of responsibility and this responsibility is distributed between the government, the authorities and private and state organizations," Gakharia said, urging organizations to work remotely as far as possible.

From November, Georgian citizens who have negative PCR test answers when returning to the country will no longer have to undergo mandatory quarantine in a space rented by the state; they will instead spend 12 days in self-isolation at home. Those who do not have a test answer will still have to spend 12 days in quarantine.

The Prime Minister also announced this week that new flights to Munich and Paris are to be added to the existing routes from the end of October, to “provide more oxygen to the economy."

New direct flights to Europe from Kutaisi and Tbilisi will open in November, after which the above-mentioned change in the mandatory quarantine rule will come into effect.

Yet Paris and eight other cities in France are this weekend to be put under a 9 PM-6 AM curfew to combat a new increase in coronavirus cases. The move comes as European nations struggle to control COVID outbreaks, French President Emmanuel Macron announced during a television interview on Wednesday.

From Saturday, the French cities of Paris, Rouen, Lille, Saint-Étienne, Lyon, Grenoble, Montpellier, Marseille and Toulouse will be put under curfew starting at 9 PM.

"The curfew will affect close to a third of France's population, with the intention of curtailing late-night visits to private residences and restaurants. We have to act. We need to put a brake on the spread of the virus," Macron said.

"Experts at Johns Hopkins University warned the changing of the seasons from fall to winter was expected to bring about a second wave of coronavirus infections as people spend more time in smaller spaces indoors.

"The US has similarly seen a recent rise in coronavirus cases as temperatures drop and governments prepare for the concurrent flu season," The Hill reports in an article by Joseph Choi.

France has reported more than 700,000 cases and more than 32,000 deaths due to the coronavirus.

Remdesivir to be Used to Treat Critical Cases

Tengiz Tsertsvadze, director of the Tbilisi Infectious Diseases Hospital, this week announced that at the initiative of the Georgian government, and with the direct participation of the Ministry of Health, Georgia will receive Remdesivir for COVID-19 treatment from October 25-30.

“This medicine is a luxury: in some cases, it takes two months to deliver the medication. From October 25-30, critically ill patients with coronavirus will be treated with Remdesivir," he noted.

Remdesivir is being tested as a treatment for COVID 19, and has been authorized for emergency use in the US, India, Singapore, and approved for use in Japan, the European Union and Australia for people with severe symptoms. It also received approval in the United Kingdom in May 2020; however, it was to be rationed due to limited supply. It is thought to shorten the time it takes to recover from the infection.

Image source: CNN

15 October 2020 18:54