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Coronavirus live updates | Officials remain silent on Kadyrov’s health and whereabouts

22 May 2020
Ramzan Kadyrov. Official photo.

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22 May 2020, 20:33

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

22 May 2020, 20:32

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22 May 2020, 20:18

Daghestan numbers ‘are underestimates’

A senior doctor at Daghestan’s Research Centre for Physiology and Infectious Diseases, Irina Tragira, has said that the coronavirus statistics in the republic are being underestimated. 

She said that many people who were ill were remaining at home and that long wait times for test results were affecting the validity of samples collected leading to false results.

She said that many people with symptoms of COVID-19 were being diagnosed with community-acquired pneumonia instead.

‘In Daghestan, 36 deaths from COVID-19 were officially registered, while unofficially, 820 people died from pneumonia not registered as coronavirus’, she said.

Tragira said this was resulting in not enough drugs being sent to the region from the federal government, which is allocating medication according to their official statistics.

She said that ‘high-class drugs’ were needed for patients in serious condition who had developed acute respiratory distress syndrome — a potentially deadly inflammatory lesion of the lungs.

‘Officially in Daghestan there are about 30 candidates for these drugs’, Tragira said.

‘There will be no [more] drugs until you show real statistics.’

22 May 2020, 19:53

Georgian parliament passes law allowing restriction of rights without state of emergency

The Georgian Parliament has passed a controversial law which will allow the government to impose restrictions on travel, assembly, economic activities, and property rights without introducing a state of emergency.

According to the bill, which passed today, the government will no longer require parliamentary approval for imposing such restrictions. Opposition parties and human rights groups criticised the bill harshly and claimed the amendments are unconstitutional.  

Initially, the bill would have instituted these changes indefinitely, after criticism, however, the text of the bill was changed so that the amendments made by the bill would be enforced between 23 May and 15 July. 

Read the full story: New law allows Georgian government to restrict rights without declaring state of emergency.

22 May 2020, 19:50

Officials remain silent on Kadyrov’s health and whereabouts for second day

Today is the second day of uncertainty over the health and whereabouts of the Head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov. 

Since reports yesterday that he had been flown to Moscow for treatment for COVID-19, officials both in Chechnya and the Kremlin have kept silent. 

The only official comment has come from Kadyrov’s assistant. Akhmed Dudayev, who insisted yesterday that Kadyrov was still ‘personally in charge of anti-coronavirus efforts in Chechnya’. 

22 May 2020, 18:28

Watchdog demands Harutyunyan, Pashinyan, and Mirzoyan be fined 

The Stepanakert branch of the Union of Informed Citizens, an Armenian rights group, has said they plan to appeal to the police in Nagorno-Karabakh to fine the newly-elected president of Nagorno-Karabakh, Araik Harutyunyan, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, and the Armenian Parliamentary Speaker Ararat Mirzoyan. 

A photo posted online of Harutyunyan’s inauguration party.

In a highly circulated image from Harutyunyan’s inauguration party, officials are shown observing no social distancing, leading to criticism on social media.

 For ease of reading, we choose not to use qualifiers such as ‘de facto’, ‘unrecognised’, or ‘partially recognised’ when discussing institutions or political positions within Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, and South Ossetia. This does not imply a position on their status.

22 May 2020, 18:12

South Ossetia to restart restaurants and public transport in June

The South Ossetian government has announced that food establishments and public transport will be allowed to operate again from June. 

President Anatoly Bibilov characterised the epidemiological situation as ‘stable’ but said all other restrictions brought in gradually since March would remain in force until July. 

South Ossetian authorities have so far confirmed 34 cases, 28 of which remain active.

 For ease of reading, we choose not to use qualifiers such as ‘de facto’, ‘unrecognised’, or ‘partially recognised’ when discussing institutions or political positions within Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, and South Ossetia. This does not imply a position on their status.

22 May 2020, 17:06

Armenian citizens return from Turkey through Georgia

The Embassy of Armenia in Georgia has announced that as a result of negotiations with Georgian authorities, 168 Armenian citizens residing in Turkey have returned to Armenia through Georgia today.

The Armenian Embassy coordinated the transfer providing citizens with food and essential necessities. The four buses moving the citizens were disinfected during two stops. 

22 May 2020, 17:03

Georgian Church sends anonymous aid to transgender women

The clergy of one Orthodox Christian Church in Georgia has reportedly donated supplies for transgender women hit by the COVID-19 crisis.

Nata Peradze, an activist who has been organising donations to the transgender community during the pandemic, claimed on Facebook that they received donations of cheese, potatoes, cigarettes and other products on behalf of 27 transgender women. She did not name the sender saying they had asked to remain anonymous.

Photo: Nata Peradze

Transgender women engaged in sex work have been among the hardest hit by the curfew in place since 31 March. Labour market discrimination and a lack of official recognition of their gender mean many transgender women in the country rely on sex work to make a living.

The news came a day after Madona Kiparoidze, a transgender sex-worker who three weeks ago set herself on fire at a protest, spoke on TV Pirveli about the lack of help they had received from the government.

22 May 2020, 16:19

Krasnodar Krai sets up checkpoints with Adygea 

Authorities in Kransodar Krai’s Ust-Labinsky District have set up checkpoints on pedestrian and traffic bridges connecting with Adygea following an outbreak in the republic’s Krasnogvardeysky District.

Photo: Inna Grigoriyeva/Ust-Labinsk Info.

The authorities in Krasnodar Krai scrambled to stave off movement from Krasnogvardeysky after five settlements there were put on lockdown due to an outbreak following a widely attended funeral. 

The press service of the head of Adygea quoted the local Minister of the Interior, Vladimir Alay, as saying that participants in the funeral procession will be held administratively liable for violating the stay-at-home order. 

Yesterday, Adygea's Health Ministry confirmed 171 active cases in the district.

22 May 2020, 11:53

Public transport to remain closed in Georgia 

Georgia’s ban on public transportation will remain in force despite the state of emergency and curfew ending at midnight, Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia has announced.

He added that the ban on more than 3 people in vehicles will apply only to Taxis from tomorrow.

Gakharia said that certain economic activities will continue to be limited, however, he didn’t specify which ones.

22 May 2020, 11:37

State of emergency and curfew to end at midnight in Georgia

Georgia’s state of emergency and curfew are due to end tonight at midnight.

The Quarantine regime will also be lifted in Bolnisi Municipality, however, it will remain in force in two of the municipality’s villages — Mushevani and Geta.

21 May 2020, 20:02


Welcome to OC Media’s coronavirus live updates for Friday, 22 May. We will be bringing you the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic from around the Caucasus.

The biggest developments from yesterday

Russian state-run news agency Interfax cited a source from the medical community in Moscow saying that Head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov is being closely watched in Russia’s capital city as he is suspected to have contracted COVID-19. 

Earlier reports came from Russian Telegram channel Baza saying today that he had suffered respiratory distress symptoms for several days before being transported to Moscow. The Chechen government has, for now, made no comment on the reports.

Paramedics in Buynaksk and Khasavyurt in Daghestan have uploaded video messages in which they complain that they did not receive the wage bonuses for medical workers promised by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Daghestani authorities have reported that payments of bonuses to medical staff in all medical institutions were complete.

The prosecutor's office and the Investigative Committee of Daghestan have since begun an investigation into the allegations. Investigators have already verified complaints from medical workers at the Tabasaran district hospital regarding the non-payment of promised bonuses.

During a government session yesterday, Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated that the public must take the country’s coronavirus infection numbers more seriously, and behave in a manner appropriate to the severity of the crisis. 

He has expressed concern that if the rise in cases does not slow down then based on the government’s predictions by 29 May the country will have 10,000 cases and by 12 June — 20,000 cases.

Read the latest stories:

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