The number of infected people has been high over the past week, as it has as over the last two weeks. Unfortunately, the death rate has also increased. The epidemic situation in Georgia has thus deteriorated even further, – stated Amiran Gamkrelidze, head of the National Center for Disease Control, after a meeting of the Interagency Coordination Council on Tuesday.
“Today, we have 3666 new cases. In total, there are 25,844 active cases in the country. 17 people have died in the last 24 hours. The mortality rate is 1.4%. All the parameters, the incidence, the positive rate, unfortunately, have deteriorated. The positivity rate fluctuates within 6%. We now have more infections than we did in May, at the peak of the third wave, and we are up 50-60% from what we were at the peak of the second wave in late November to early December. There is one difference: vaccines are available in the country today,” Gamkrelidze said.
He went on to stress the need for intensive vaccination and the wearing of face masks, as well as the importance of the complete prohibition of large gatherings.
On Thursday, Georgia reported 2796 coronavirus cases, 2088 recoveries, and 17 deaths. This was down from the 3141 coronavirus cases, 1509 recoveries, and 20 deaths on Wednesday, where 40,553 tests were conducted in 24 hours throughout the country.
Testing throughout the week revealed that Georgian capital Tbilisi consistently recorded the highest number of cases, followed by the Adjara and Imereti regions.
The total number of confirmed cases on Thursday reached 413,626, among them, 379,685 had people recovered and 5768 had died.
The daily test-positivity rate on Thursday stood at 6.71%.
To date, 29,450.026 people in Georgia have received the coronavirus vaccine.
On July 23, OC Media reported that “All foreigners staying in Georgia, all those residing in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, irrespective of their citizenship, and all prison inmates are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccines.
“According to the order of Georgian Health Minister Ekaterine Tikaradze on 22 July, all foreign citizens who have legally entered Georgia and have stayed for a period longer than three months are entitled to register to receive vaccination against COVID-19,” OC Media wrote.
“Foreign students that have overstayed their visa in Georgia due to the pandemic will be eligible through their host educational institutions in Georgia.
“Those to be allowed to get vaccinated also include the staff and relatives of the foreign diplomatic corps in Georgia, employees of international organizations, as well as any foreigners in Georgia’s penitentiary system, including those without identification documents.”
On July 23, Amiran Gamkrelidze said at a briefing that employers should ensure that a newly vaccinated person stays at home for one or two days.
“Employers must give their employees time to get vaccinated, and time to rest afterwards,” he said. “At the Centers for Disease Control, for example, I give a day off to people who are getting vaccinated. Currently, 61% of people working at the NCDC are vaccinated and we want to reach 80-85% by the end of August,” Gamkrelidze stated.
He noted, however, that this is only a recommendation and that the NCDC had also presented other recommendations. He called on employers to encourage their employees to get the vaccine and added that certain allowances should be offered to those who are fully vaccinated.
The Arrival of Pfizer
Vaccination with the much in-demand Pfizer jab kicked off again on July 26.
On July 24, 500,000 doses of Pfizer arrived in Tbilisi as a gift from the US Government to the people of Georgia, and vaccination with Pfizer is now available in 37 medical institutions across the country.
People from 16 years of age can receive a Pfizer vaccination, which consists of two injections at least 21 days apart.
Paata Imnadze, deputy head of the NCDC, this week noted that pregnant women can be vaccinated with Pfizer, but not with Sinovac or Sinopharm yet, as neither Sinovac nor Sinopharm had completed clinical trials on pregnant women.
“Pfizer has written in its instructions that after consulting a doctor, pregnant women can be vaccinated. Sinovac and Sinopharm do not have such instructions,” he said.
Imnadze highlighted that those who do not get vaccinated, or do not keep to the mask-and-distancing rules, face a high risk of infection with Covid-19. He also added that he considers people who distinguish the vaccines from each other as anti-vaxxers.
In a similar push to get citizens vaccinated, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili once again spoke out.
“Our country can no longer endure a new lockdown! Neither a lockdown nor restrictions can be justified. Please get vaccinated,” he implored.
The PM noted that a million Pfizer vaccines had been ordered directly from the manufacturer, and the supply of this million doses has already begun.
“In total, the country will have three million vaccines. The country already has two million, 1 million will arrive in around a month and a half, gradually, every weekend,” he said.
“I would like to appeal to the population once again and explain the importance of vaccination. Too many questions are being asked as to why vaccination is necessary. The answer is that after vaccination, if you catch Covid-19, there is a much higher chance you will not die from it. The loss of life is a painful fact for us. Therefore, I would like to call on everyone once again to get vaccinated, to protect their own lives, their own health, and at the same time, the health of our parents, children, and relatives. There is a lot of misinformation about vaccines out there. I want to ask the population to rely on and believe in scientists and science, and not the lies spread through social media,” Garibashvili said.
The Prime Minister also noted that he wants vaccines taken to the villages so that the population can be vaccinated on the spot. He noted the Ministry of Health is actively working on this issue.
A vaccination visit can be booked on the electronic portal booking.moh.gov.ge and the hotline 1522.