In Georgia, the first confirmed coronavirus case was reported on 26th February. To prevent the spread of the virus, in the beginning of March schools and universities cancelled in-person classes and switched to online teaching. All the cultural and sport events were postponed. Cafes, restaurants, bars, theaters and cinemas were closed. To raise public awareness of the novel virus a special website was launched by the national government www.stopcov.ge.
As the number of cases had started increasing, on March 21st, Prime-Minister of Georgia declared national emergency over COVID19. On 30th of March, even more strict measures and restrictions were introduced.
These restrictions include:
Citizens are prohibited to leave their homes from 9 pm until 6 am.
All public transport (buses, mini-buses and subway) is suspended. Only taxis are allowed to operate.
As the Elderly is the most vulnerable, people at 70 and over are restricted to leave their homes except going to local groceries, pharmacies and medical institutions in close proximity.
Big shopping malls are closed. Only groceries and pharmacies continue to work. Only three people are allowed to enter groceries and pharmacies. Others have to wait in line keeping at least 1.5 – 2 meters away from each other.
Only three people are allowed in one car.
All gathering like wedding is prohibited.
Anyone who violates quarantine rules, could be fined. For repeated violation, they could be put in jail.
Social distancing and Stay at Home still remain the most effective tool to limit the spread of the infection.
People are encouraged to work from home except those who cannot do their job in their home.
In terms of the city, in an effort to combat the spread of the disease, the Tbilisi City Hall has taken the following measures:
- Kindergartens in Tbilisi have been closed; children will be providing with non-perishable food until kindergartens are closed due to an epidemic situation;
- Pubic transport sanitation works have been carried out;
- Citizens’ Service Center at Tbilisi City Hall has been disinfected;
- Soup kitchens have been cleaned and disinfected;
- Volunteers have been trained to serve beneficiaries of soup kitchens;
- Within the Event ‘Help the elderly’, old people received food, essentials and medicines;
- Those old people who live alone will be receiving food and essential items;
- Employees of cultural, sport, educational and youth centers will receive their salaries in spite of temporary suspension of their work;
- Around 600 small and medium sized enterprises who hire a plot of land or premises under ownership of the Tbilisi City Hall have been exempted from lease payment for three months;
- A memorandum was signed between the Tbilisi City Hall and Georgia Red Cross Society to work closely on the prevention of the spread of the COVID19 and mitigation of the outcome of the virus;
- A campaign in support of old people by the Tbilisi City Hall and the Red Cross Society, Citizens can buy products in hypermarkets for the elderly and the city hall will ensure their delivery;
- Bus stops, underground passages and streets disinfection works are carried out in the city.