Become an OC Media Member

Support independent journalism in the Caucasus: Join today

Become a member

Coronavirus live updates | Georgian PM unveils six stages of reopening economy

24 April 2020
Giorgi Gakharia. Official photo.

The latest stories:

How have you been affected by the coronavirus crisis? We would like to hear from you. Get in touch via Facebook, Twitter, or email at [email protected].

24 Apr 2020, 20:09

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

24 Apr 2020, 20:08

Azerbaijan may face second wave of infections 

Ramin Bayramli, the chair of the Management Union of Medical Territorial Units, has announced at a government briefing that a second wave of COVID-19 infections may occur once the quarantine regime is completely lifted. 

He said that Azerbaijan did not have any shortages in medicine or ventilators in order to treat people infected with the virus.

24 Apr 2020, 17:59

Georgia will lift inter-city travel restrictions for 2 days

The Georgian government will lift a ban on inter-city travel for two days, to allow people to return to home or to their places of work.

The ban will be lifted on 27-28 April.

Photo: Mariam Nikuradze / OC Media

‘Considering that our restrictions were in force during public holidays and many of our citizens were away in the regions, we will make an exception for two days, Monday and Tuesday, when our citizens will be able to return’, PM Giorgi Gakharia said. 

A ban on driving cars will also be lifted on 27 April.

24 Apr 2020, 17:37

Azerbaijan to ease quarantine regime from 27 April

The Operational Headquarters under the Cabinet of Ministers has announced several of the special quarantine regime restrictions would be lifted. 

From 27 April, the work of the following economic activities will restart: 

  • Private teachers and tutors (excluding group classes)
  • Bookstores
  • Newspaper sales
  • Sale of stationary 
  • Copying and printing services
  • Photo studios
  • Home cleaning services
  • Tailoring services
  • Sale of cosmetics and perfumery
  • Sale of clothes
  • Sale of shoes and leather goods
  • Sale of gold and other jewelry and pawnshop services
  • Sale of electronics and household appliances
  • Sale of furniture
  • Sale of cars
  • Sale of chemical products
  • Sale of flowers and plants
  • Sale of agricultural machinery, spare parts and equipment, fertilisers, and agrochemical products.

According to the government, these services will still be banned in shopping centres, which will remain closed.

People will still have to notify the authorities via SMS in order to leave their homes, however, the time granted will be increased from two hours to three hours.

24 Apr 2020, 16:11

Azerbaijan to start using quick-tests 

Javakhir Suleymanova, a specialist at the World Health Organisation in Azerbaijan, has announced that the country will start deploying quick-tests that can detect COVID-19 within 45 minutes. 

Suleymanova did not specify when they would start being used. 

Photo: Trend.

24 Apr 2020, 16:01

Gakharia presents six stages of reopening economy

Economic activities in Georgia will restart in six stages, Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia has announced.

From 27 April, transportation via private vehicles and taxis will be allowed, online merchandise and delivery services on all products will be reopened, as will open agricultural marketplaces.

The second stage includes restarting construction, production of construction materials, car wash services, technology repair businesses, and recreational zones. 

Photo: Mariam Nikurade/OC Media.

The third stage includes reopening shops (but not shopping centres), open markets, and publishing houses. All kinds of production will also be restarted. 

The fourth stage will see shopping centres, restaurants, financial services, and beauty salons reopening. 

In the fifth stage, closed markets and restaurants will reopen.

Finally, the sixth stage will see all activities back to normal, including opening hotels, schools, bars, casinos, and entertainment and sports facilities.

The PM said there would be a 2-week gap between each stage.

24 Apr 2020, 15:41

Georgian government unveils social assistance plan

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia has presented a social assistance anti-crisis plan including aid for individuals and businesses. 

Giorgi Gakharia. Official photo.

The government will pay people who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus outbreak ₾200 ($63) per month for the next six months. According to Gakharia, the measure will benefit around 350,000 people costing a total of ₾450 million ($140 million). 

He added that businesses who did not fire workers will receive subsidies, and salaries below ₾750 ($240) will be free from income tax for the next six months.

Additionally, salaries under ₾1,500 ($470) will be free from income tax for the first ₾750.

Self-employed workers who can prove they have lost income will receive a ₾300 ($94) single-time payment.

Certain socially vulnerable people including people with disabilities will receive ₾600 ($190) over the course of six months. 

The prime minister also announced that from 2021, monthly state pensions will rise by at least ₾20 ($6.30) annually and by at least ₾25 ($7.90) for those over 70.

24 Apr 2020, 15:21

Daghestan’s case numbers jump 27% in 24 hours

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Daghestan has jumped by 113 in the last 24 hours, the largest increase to date. 

The total number of confirmed cases in the republic now stands at 567, up from just 154 a week ago.

The Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing of Daghestan told OC Media that 38 regions and cities in the republic have been infected with the virus. They said that over the past 24 hours, most new infections were registered in 16 areas. 

The largest numbers were in Makhachkala, Buynaksk, Karabudakhkent and Kaytag districts.

So far, 43 people have recovered in Daghestan and 11 have died. In total, 13,677 people have been tested and 2,171 people are currently in isolation.

24 Apr 2020, 09:30


Welcome to OC Media’s coronavirus live updates for Friday, 24 April. We will be bringing you the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic from around the Caucasus.

The biggest developments from yesterday:

Armenia’s State Commission on the State of Emergency announced that the restriction on movement between provinces has been removed and that checkpoints will be dismantled. Public transportation both between and within municipalities remains prohibited.

Police in Georgia have detained Zurab Japaridze, the leader of Girchi, the Georgian libertarian party. Several other party members have also been arrested. Japaridze and his allies organised a protest rally against State of Emergency regulations in the empty lot formerly occupied by the Tbilisi hippodrome. The rally, which had nearly 500 people say they were attending on Facebook, attracted only a few dozen.

President-elect of Abkhazia, Aslan Bzhaniya, was sworn on Thursday during an inauguration ceremony held by the presidential administration in Sukhumi. Abkhazian authorities said earlier that the ceremony would happen in a limited circle, without celebrations or foreign guests present due to the ongoing pandemic but that the Ambassadors of Russia, South Ossetia, and Transnistria would be among the guests. 

Authorities in Azerbaijan reported on Wednesday evening that a  total of 108,221 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in the country. The current testing rate is 5,000 people per day. 

If you appreciate our live updates during this difficult time, please consider supporting our work. Every little bit helps! 

Read more from yesterday as well as the latest stories:

Right now, online media in Georgia is in dire need of safety equipment, legal support, and technology as we cover increasingly challenging circumstances. Support small, independent media outlets in Georgia via our collective fundraiser.

Interested in directly assisting OC Media? Consider becoming a member.