Gov't Officials Claim Health Security during Elections will be Fully Guaranteed

Prior to the upcoming Parliamentary Elections scheduled for October 31, Georgian government officials claim that health and safety in the election process will be fully guaranteed, andthey call on citizens not to refrain from participation due to coronavirus fears. 

“Very important elections are approaching. The relevant services, the CEC, and epidemiologists have worked very actively on the rules. We can confidently say that safety will be fully guaranteed during the elections,” noted Natia Mezvrishvili, the head of the Government Administration.

“It is safe to go to the polling stations. We call on the citizens to take part in the elections,” stated Mezvrishvili.

“I would like to tell our citizens that visiting some shopping malls can be much riskier than voting at a polling station,” said Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia at the meeting of the Interagency Council on Coronavirus.

The head of the government called on the citizens to make their choice on October 31, as “they are responsible for their country’s future.”

"We will defeat the pandemic, regardless of how this might upset many people; we will hold the elections in an open and democratic manner, the Georgian Dream will win, and we will begin implementing the post-crisis economic plan on the next day, with the creation of jobs being the main goal," he told reporters.

In response to a reporter's question about why the government does not plan to impose strict restrictions despite the increasing number of infected persons, the Prime Minister noted that in contrast to the initial period of the pandemic, the reality is completely different today and therefore, the government will carry out pinpoint measures.

"When we carried out the strictest measures during the first wave, there were several factors. The degree of uncertainty was much higher. We did not know what we were dealing with, and not just us but the entire world did not know what it was dealing with. At the time, many other countries resorted to strict measures of closure. Basically, if you are wearing a face mask today, at that stage there was a shortage of face masks, and not just is the country but across the world. In addition, at the time, the country was able to carry out 200 PCR tests per day. High-quality rapid tests did not exist. Even then, the opposition was speculating on this topic. I can list many more arguments. The healthcare system was in a completely different state – there was the greatest shortage of ventilators.

"Today, the reality is completely different, which is why we maintain that the measures implemented will be pinpoint in nature. We have not rejected restrictions and lockdowns but they will not be systemic in nature, spanning the entire country. They will be imposed in a pinpoint manner, wherever needed.  The clinical management system has been fully reorganized and there are several layers of protection: primary healthcare and family doctors, quarantine spaces, COVID hotels, and the hospital system. All of this ensures that no matter how many infected persons we have, the stability of the system will be able to withstand it. The resources of even the most developed and economically strong countries are exhaustible and our main goal is to redistribute the scarce resources that Georgia possesses. A person who has no symptoms has a low fever and is a mild case should be managed at home or at a COVID hotel. We created this specifically for this purpose. If a person does not have the conditions to isolate at home, we will create the conditions for him or her and take him or her to a COVID hotel. Over the past week, many European countries have reported record numbers of infection, some of them in the tens of thousands. Systemic lockdowns are not being imposed even in those countries," he stated.

By Ana Dumbadze 
28 October 2020 13:45