The Georgian government hasn’t seen its best side put forward in headlines as of late, yet its response to the coronavirus pandemic has been drawing praise from often-critical sources. Georgia was one of the first countries in the world to react to the outbreak in Wuhan, China, suspending flights, conducting border temperature checks, and launching an information campaign for citizens. As a result, as of March 28, Georgia only has 85 confirmed cases, and no deaths.
The Georgian government’s swift reaction to the pandemic has been widely lauded, including by JAMnews editor-in-chief Margarita Akhvlediani, who commended the government’s work so far.
“Absolutely great job by the government and the medical staff, because everything is clear and announced and checked...People are applauding the medical staff and the government, probably for the first time in years,” commented Akhvlediani on a recent airing of the Weekly Wrap-up.
The first case of coronavirus in Georgia, on February 26, triggered immediate school closures, office closures, and other closures of public spaces. “[It was] absolutely perfect organization,” noted Akhvlediani.
In contrast, many neighboring countries in the region, such as Armenia (instituted quarantine restrictions on March 16) and Azerbaijan (instituted quarantine restrictions on March 14) have seen far more cases of the disease.
While Georgia’s coronavirus case numbers are still growing, cases grew on average 8% per day, with the previous few days having 5% or less growth. But Georgia may not be out of the woods yet, despite their authorities timely response to the pandemic – as Akhvlediani puts it, “Maybe [the measures] will help, but only god knows.”