How is the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Being Spread?
COVID is an infectious disease caused by the novel coronavirus which is transmitted from human to human during close contact via small droplets. An infected person spreads infected droplets when speaking, coughing and sneezing. These droplets are spread in an approximately one metre radius and usually rapidly fall to the ground. The virus remains contagious on surfaces and, therefore, contaminated surfaces that we touch are one of the sources of infection.
The novel coronavirus symptoms usually appear in the range of two to 14 days. The virus may show no symptoms.
COVID-19 Common Symptoms
• Fever (when temperature is 37.5 or above)
• Dry cough
• Shortness of breath
How to Protect Ourselves from the Coronavirus?
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean them with an alcohol-based hand rub.
• Avoid touching your face – mouth, nose and eyes since this is a way how the virus passes through and infects a person.
• Keep social distancing with people around you (at least two metres).
• Clean surfaces, clothing and other items often.
• Follow household and workplace hygiene and frequently ventilate rooms.
• Do not use common items (including a communion spoon).
• Avoid mass gatherings (including church ceremonies).
• Particularly during the Holy Week and Octave of Easter, avoid gatherings in families, churches and cemeteries.
How Protect People Around Us from Getting Infected?
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or with your upper sleeve when you cough or sneeze. Discard your used tissue immediately in a closed waste basket.
• Wash your hands after coughing and sneezing or clean them with an alcohol-based hand rub.
• If you have respiratory symptoms wear a medical face mask, avoid contact with people and visit a medical facility as soon as possible.
• Wear a face mask in public places (shops, pharmacies, etc.) and remember that spreading the virus is possible even before the onset of symptoms.
Who Are the Risk Groups for the Coronavirus?
People of any age may get infected by the novel coronavirus. The elderly and people with chronic diseases (cardiovascular diseases, respiratory airways diseases, diabetes, etc.) are in high-risk groups of infecting and further complications. It is recommended for people in the high-risk groups to curb contact with the others as much as possible and stay at home.
What Restrictions Have Been Imposed in Georgia?
The state of emergency was declared in Georgia to prevent the spread of the virus.
• Curfew is in effect from 21:00 until 06:00 every day. In this period of time, the movement of pedestrians and transport is prohibited throughout the country.
• All types of public transport (including subway) are fully suspended. Private vehicles (including taxis) are allowed to travel with a maximum of three people (two passengers have to ride in the backseat).
• Gatherings of more than three people are prohibited.
• People over 70 years of age are allowed to leave their houses only if they go to the nearest grocery store, nearest pharmacy or nearest medical facility.
• All citizens are required to carry their IDs with them.
• From 21:00 on 15 April 2020, the administrative boundaries of Tbilisi, Rustavi, Kutaisi and Batumi were closed. The lock down is in effect for a duration of ten days.
Only people with official address residence in the aforementioned municipalities are allowed to enter these cities (municipalities). Only people whose official address of residence is in another municipality are allowed to leave those four cities.
People whose actual or official address of residence is in the suburbs (for instance Tsodoreti, Mukhatskaro, Napetvrebi, etc.) of the closed cities should call the hotline (144) if they need to move around.
Given their official line of work, these restrictions do not apply to people carrying out their professional duties (healthcare workers, media representatives, diplomatic corps, cargo truck drivers, etc.).
Why Isolation is Important?
The global spread rate of the coronavirus is alarming. However, there is neither a vaccine against the coronavirus nor a specific medication to cure the disease. Social distancing and isolation are the ways to contain the spread of the virus.
If you have COVID-19 signs and symptoms or if you have been in contact with a sick person, please remain self-isolated and immediately call:
National Centre for Disease Control and Public Health: 116 001, Ministry of Health: 15 05 or call 112.
If you have any questions in regard to the state of emergency please call the government hotline – 144.