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Coronavirus live updates | Georgia announces $94 million agricultural assistance programme

12 May 2020
A farm in Samtskhe Javakheti Region. Photo: Samkhretis Karibche.


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12 May 2020, 20:02

That’s it for today, join us again tomorrow for more Coronavirus live updates.

12 May 2020, 19:02

Daghestan makes wearing gloves mandatory in public

Daghestan has made it mandatory for people to wear gloves in public, the head of Daghestan, Vladimir Vasilyev, has announced. Wearing of facemasks has already been mandatory for some weeks.

Vasilyev also announced plans for an award for medical personnel battling COVID-`19.

12 May 2020, 16:05

Daghestan extends lockdown

The head of Daghestan, Vladimir Vasilyev, has announced that the local government will extend the lockdown in the republic.

Vasilyev, who made the comments at a meeting with district heads, did not indicate how long the extension would last.

12 May 2020, 17:58

Ingushetia announces phased withdrawal from lockdown

Ingushetia’s Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (Rospotrebnadzor) has unveiled the republic’s plan for a phased exit from lockdown.

The first stage, from 1 June, includes reopening organisations providing legal services and restarting intercity air and road transport — with facemasks being mandatory, increased disinfection, and with limits to prevent crowding.

The second stage, from 20 June, involves reopening and shops selling non-food products, hairdressers, beauty salons, and more. 

The third stage, from 15 July, will see playgrounds and outdoor entertainment centres and educational institutions reopening. Limits on the number of customers served by businesses simultaneously  will also be lifted

Rospotrebnadzor reported that the plan may be adjusted depending on the epidemiological situation.

12 May 2020, 17:40

Georgian government announces $94 million agricultural assistance programme

Farms in Georgia will receive ₾200 per 100 square metres of farmland they own, PM Giorgi Gakharia has announced. The move is a part of a ₾300 million ($94 million) government agricultural assistance plan, which Gakharia said would benefit 200,000 farmers.

A farm in Samtskhe Javakheti Region. Photo: Samkhretis Karibche.

According to Gakharia, farmers would also be able to purchase up to 150 litres of petrol per hectare of farmland at a subsidised rate ₾1 ($0.31) less than the market rate. 

Farmers will also be exempted from water tariffs for irrigation for 20 years, Gakharia said.

Benefits are also to include 50% subsidies for the purchase of technology for either greenhouses or setting up irrigation systems.

12 May 2020, 17:11

North Caucasus republics extend stay-at-home orders

Several North Caucasus regions have extended stay-at-home orders after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the country would begin to open up.

The head of Karachay-Cherkessia, Rashid Temrezov, extended the region’s self-isolation regime until 19 May.

The Chairman of the Government of North Ossetia, Taymuraz Tuskayev, extended the self-isolation regime in the region until 31 May and introduced the mandatory wearing of masks in public places.

The head of Ingushetia, Makhmud-Ali Kalimatov, announced a gradual easing of self-isolation rules starting only from 1 June. The final decision will depend on the situation in the republic by the end of May, he said.

Kalimatov also mentioned the need for honest statistics on the coronavirus. ‘We have to show the numbers as they are. Do not be afraid of numbers — this is a terrible figure, but you need to be very careful’, Kalimatov said.

Other regions of the North Caucasus must now also decide whether to open up or maintain their lockdowns.

The head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, said that the coronavirus operational headquarters would meet ‘soon’ to decide whether to lift restrictions. ‘In the meantime, we maintain a regime of self-isolation’, Grozny-Inform quotes Kadyrov as saying.

12 May 2020, 13:23

‘Dutch-made’ rapid tests sold to Georgia were relabelled Chinese tests

Thirty thousand ‘Dutch-made’ COVID-19 rapid antibody tests purchased by the Georgian Government were actually relabelled tests produced in China, it has emerged.

Biozek COVID-19 rapid antigen tests. Photo: Nizami Ganjavi International Centre

Doubts have also been raised about whether the accuracy of the tests, sold by Dutch biotechnology firm Inzek, match Inzek’s claims.

On 24 April, the Health Ministry purchased 30,000 additional tests for ₾930,000 ($290,000) through a simple procurement from Georgian medical importer Solemart.

The Georgian Government procurement order states that the manufacturer of the tests was Inzek International Trading, the Netherlands.

Read the full story: ‘Dutch-made’ rapid tests sold to Georgia were relabelled Chinese tests.

12 May 2020, 11:26

Georgia confirms just one new case within last 24 hours

This morning, Georgian authorities confirmed just one new coronavirus infection and 32 recoveries since yesterday morning, marking the biggest gap between new cases and recoveries so far.

Yesterday, Georgia relaxed some restrictions on economic activities and movement, including a ban on entering and exiting Tbilisi. Curfew hours remain in place for now.

12 May 2020, 11:23

Putin announces ‘gradual exit’ from restrictions

Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that people from all sectors of the economy were allowed to go back to work yesterday. He said the next stage would be to lift the remaining restrictions in a way ‘which will not be instantaneous’.

The governors of individual regions will make decisions on when to lift restrictions or to introduce new ones.

The restrictions will still apply for people over 65 years old and a ban on mass events will be maintained.

According to Putin, the governors of the regions should already have formed action plans that take into account the situation on the ground, where the final say ‘belongs to doctors and specialists’.

‘By the middle of May, we will almost double the number of testing, bringing them to 300,000 per day’, Putin added.

12 May 2020, 10:32

Summary

Welcome to OC Media’s coronavirus live updates for Tuesday, 12 May. We will be bringing you the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic from around the Caucasus.

The biggest developments from yesterday:

A number of restrictions meant to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Georgia have been lifted, including the ban on entering and exiting the capital city of Tbilisi.

The ban on manufacturing has also been lifted, and factories will be re-opening. Retail stores that have an entrance directly to the street have also been allowed to re-open, with the exception of garment and shoe stores.

Outdoor recreational zones such as parks are once again open to the public.

Nagorno-Karabakh’s outgoing president, Bako Sahakyan, has signed a decree extending the Emergency Situation which has been in place in the country since 12 April and was set to expire on 12 May.

Starting today, in Krasnodar Krai, regional Multifunctional centres for the provision of public services (MFC) will reopen. These centres provide passports, ID documents, registration of property, among many other essential services.

Meanwhile, the governor of Krasnodar Krai, Veniamin Kondratiev, has extended the region’s quarantine until 23 May.

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