Following the lifting of several COVID-19 restrictions, the number of newly detected coronavirus cases daily has continued to increase in Georgia.
The increase is significant, and is causing concern among epidemiologists, who call on the population not to relax and to continue observing safety norms, such as maintaining social distance, washing hands and wearing face masks indoors and on public transport.
During the week, the country recorded no less than 1000 new cases and 10 deaths on a daily basis.
Considering the increased risk of pandemic spread, on July 2, Georgian Airways announced that starting from July 5, all vaccinated persons will also need to submit a negative PCR.
“Dear Passengers! Further to the existing regulations, updates have been made and starting from July 5, all vaccinated persons will also need to submit a negative PCR test result not older than 72 hours upon arrival at the airport, along with a document confirming a full course of Covid vaccine,” read the statement.
The total number of confirmed cases reached 372,685 on Wednesday, among them, 356,780 people had recovered and 5394 died.
Presently, the daily test-positivity rate stands at 3.65%.
Of 633 critical patients, 164 require mechanical ventilation.
The good news was that on July 2, the country received one million doses of the Chinese Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines. The reservation window for Sinopharm was opened for a period of two weeks, after which the registration for Sinovac will start.
Unfortunately, on Saturday, the vaccination registration portal booking.moh.gov.ge was hacked, which hindered the process for those seeking to book their place throughout the day. The Ministry of Internal Affairs is investigating the cyber-crime.
The next day, Deputy Minister of Health Tamar Gabunia stated that despite the web portal resuming work, only about 27,000 bookings, fewer than expected, had been made.
Gabunia warned that the number of daily new coronavirus cases was still high and the healthcare sector is fully mobilized.
“There are 100,000 bookings open for citizens,” Gabunia claimed, going on to call on the population not to postpone immunization. She said that 160 vaccination centers across Georgia were involved in the mass immunization program, while up to 350 COVID-19 vaccination teams across the country were ready to start vaccinating.
NCDC Head Amiran Gamkrelidze also claimed that the vaccination process is moving forward, “but specialists are not satisfied with the pace.”
“About 6,000 doses have been booked today. Activity is gradually increasing, but the pace, of course, does not satisfy us. 33,000 bookings were made for Sinopharm, which was launched yesterday. Slightly more than 5,000 people were vaccinated on Monday and Tuesday.
“The epidemic situation is unfortunately deteriorating. The positivity rate is going up, the only way to stop it is mass vaccination,” he noted.
The country awaits another one million doses of coronavirus jabs in the coming weeks.
As of July 7, a total of 277,872 vaccinations had been administered, while 109,825 people can claim to be fully vaccinated.
Booking a vaccine is possible online at booking.moh.gov.ge, or through hotline 1522.
The Global Spread
Regarding the COVID situation and the spread of the Delta (Indian) strain worldwide, the situation still remains alarming.
Some epidemiologists in Georgia believe that the Indian strain will completely replace the traditional strain in the country within a few weeks.
In order to prevent the spread of Delta, a number of European countries have already introduced restrictions on arrivals from countries that have recorded higher numbers of Delta variant cases. However, experts believe that it is only a matter of time until the variant entirely takes off in mainland Europe.
The Delta variant now accounts for half of the Covid-19 cases in many areas of the US, President Joe Biden said Tuesday, urging unvaccinated Americans to get the Covid-19 shots as the US faces a dramatic rise in the “hypertransmissible” variant of the coronavirus.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the public recently that the risk of the disease has been reduced via mass vaccination, but while has been far from eliminated, he announced plans to remove the legal enforcement of coronavirus restrictions as of July 19.
Sydney residents will be in lockdown for another week as Australia’s largest city fights to contain a Covid-19 outbreak. A stay-at-home order was issued on 26 June. Australia has recorded 910 deaths and fewer than 31,000 cases since the pandemic began.
In Turkey, up to 5000 new cases and 40 deaths on average were reported daily during the last week.
The same applies to Russia, as the country on Tuesday recorded 737 coronavirus deaths in 24 hours: a new pandemic record and a 13% increase from the previous record of 697 set on Saturday as the country continues to fight the more-contagious Delta variant. Moscow, the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic within Russia, recorded 114 deaths, slightly less than its record set last week.
“Russia set new coronavirus death records for five days straight last week as the surge in infections overwhelmed hospitals and healthcare systems,” reported the Moscow Times.
By Ana Dumbadze