COVID-19 Update for Representatives of Embassies and Development Agencies
- Sixty representatives of embassies, international organizations and development agencies gathered today in Tbilisi
The representatives of the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia and the World Health Organization (WHO) Office in Georgia briefed the participants on the current situation with the COVID-19 outbreak.
The meeting was moderated by Dr. Sabine Machl, UN Resident Coordinator in Georgia.
“We recommend the authorities of different countries to prepare for three possible scenarios”, said Dr. Silviu Domente, WHO Representative and Head of WHO Country Office, Georgia. “The first scenario is when the country has imported cases, as it is now in Georgia. The second phase is local transmission, and the third is widespread transmission. Each country has to prepare for these three scenarios. In general, response measures and readiness should be complex, we should consider various aspects, ranging from state coordination and communication to hospital readiness, healthcare readiness, and then increase of the capacity of laboratories,” said Silviu Domente.
Dr. Ekaterine Tikaradze, Health Minister of Georgia and Dr. Tamar Gabunia, First Deputy Health Minister of updated about concrete measures undertaken by the government to detect, assess, contain and treat the first cases of COVID-19.
It was noted that Georgia is coping well with the global crisis regarding the novel Coronavirus.
Dr. Amiran Gamkrelidze, Director General of the National Centre for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC) outlined efforts by the NCDC in responding and containing the spread of the disease. He noted that NCDC keep close communication and coordination with WHO, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Chinese CDC and US CDC.
The representatives of the Ministry and NCDC focused on national coordinated multisectoral response to slow transmission and save lives: monitoring health situation, strengthening surveillance and case investigation, including airport checks, health service readiness in the country (e.g. clinics in Batumi, Kutaisi, Zugdidi and Tbilisi and national laboratories, in particular the Lugar lab), restrictive public health measures (quarantines and self-isolation), disinfection activities, maintaining essential services, improving risk communication and disseminating timely, accurate and comprehensive information to the public through social and other media outlets for ensuring the uptake of protective measures by the public.
It was noted the Georgian government launched a website – StopCov.ge – dedicated to help preventing the novel virus in the country.
The meeting was held with support of the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in Georgia.