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Coronavirus live updates | Georgian authorities outline relief eligibility

28 April 2020
Photo: OC Media

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28 Apr 2020, 20:31

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

28 Apr 2020, 19:41

Stavropol Krai begins rolling out federal bonus scheme for medical staff

Stavropol Krai has begun rolling out a federal scheme to pay bonuses to medical staff.

A total of ₽5 million ($67,000) has been allocated to employees of 47 medical institutions in the region, who will receive bonuses for the period of work from 18 March to 31 March. 

According to the Russian Government decree, medical staff working with coronavirus patients should receive an additional ₽25,000–₽80,000 ($337–$1,080) per month, depending on their role.

 The payments are not subject to personal income tax.

28 Apr 2020, 19:20

Georgia has tested 0.6% of population 

Georgian health officials say they have tested 0.6% of the population for COVID-19, which is ‘an average number for countries with capacity like Georgia’.

According to Amiran Gamkrelidze, the head of the National Centre for Disease Control, approximately 12,000 tests have been conducted since 4 February. 

On 28 April, Health Minister Ekaterine Tikaradze said they had started ‘aggressive testing’ and that their strategy was testing target groups.

She added that elderly shelters and boarding houses for people with disabilities would be the next target group for testing.

28 Apr 2020, 19:17

Armenian Prime Minister urges citizens to pay their utility bills

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has announced that the electricity of 4,300 households (out of 775,000 registered consumers) and the gas of 736 households (out of 623,000 registered consumers) have been shut off for not paying utility bills. 

Pashinyan explained that when the state of emergency was announced on 16 March, the government ensured that utilities would not be cut off for non-payment. However, he said this lasted only for the month of March after which it was expected that the state of emergency would be lifted.

According to Pashinyan, many of the households that were cut off were able to pay but did not. 

He explained that electrical bills of ֏30,000 ($62) or more and gas bills of ֏80,000 ($166) or more were not paid, an indication that many who are able to pay and could allow themselves such large consumption of gas and electricity had taken advantage of the situation. 

According to Pashinyan, this has left the country’s electricity and gas providers in a difficult situation of possibly not being able to pay thousands of their employees or their taxes. 

Pashinyan claimed that if people continued to not pay for their utilities, the country would face an energy crisis. 

He urged everyone to pay their bills if they were financially able to and, if not, to apply for the 11th and 12th state assistance packages which aim at supporting those with low utility bills that cannot be paid due to unemployment by the coronavirus. Currently, these packages have around 300,000 approved beneficiaries. 

Pashinyan also announced that in the next 10 days, the government will start gradually lifting restrictions of the state of emergency. According to him, all forms of economic activity will eventually be permitted and the Ministry of Health is now developing mandatory safety measures each sphere will have to abide by.

28 Apr 2020, 18:56

Second fatality in Kabardino-Balkaria

A second coronavirus patient has died in Kabardino-Balkaria — an 83-year-old man with a cardiovascular disease, RIA Novosti has reported.

According to them, there are currently 143 people with coronavirus hospitalised in the republic; 15 are in intensive care six of which are on ventilators. 

There are 1,349 people in mandatory self-quarantine under medical supervision in the republic.

28 Apr 2020, 14:44

The women on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new challenges to women workers in Georgia. Many have had to accept difficult working conditions to provide for their families. They often work a double shift, first at the job and then in the home. Three women share their experiences of life and work in the time of the coronavirus. 

Read more: Voice | The women on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic.

28 Apr 2020, 14:40

Number of active cases in Daghestan  surpasses 1,000

Daghestani officials have confirmed an additional 153 cases of COVID-19 since yesterday morning, bringing the total number of active cases to 1,060. The total number of cases confirmed in Daghestan now stands at 1,147.  

This was the fourth-largest among Russia’s federal subjects over the past 24 hours, with only Moscow, the wider Moscow Oblast, and Saint Petersburg registering more new cases. 

North Ossetia, another republic of the Russian North Caucasus, came fifth, with 148 new cases. 

In terms of confirmed cases per million, the relatively smaller Republic of Ingushetia remains the most affected area in the North Caucasus (see table above for more details).

28 Apr 2020, 14:29

‘No active cases’ in Abkhazia

According to the anti-coronavirus operational headquarters in Abkhazia, the last active patient was discharged from Gudauta Hospital on Monday.

The patient was the first case to be confirmed in Abkhazia, on 8 April. 

The second was reported to have recovered last week while the third patient — a 95-year-old woman succumbed to COVID-19-related complications on Sunday. 

According to Abkhazia's acting Health Minister Tamaz Tsakhnakiya, the authorities would not consider relaxing restrictions on public life before 15 May. 

However, the authorities already eased some limitations on 20 April, including reopening agricultural markets three times a week.

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.

28 Apr 2020, 12:57

Georgia to manage COVID-19 in a way ‘not to damage the economy’

Georgian Health Minister Ekaterine Tikaradze has said health officials plan to manage the infection in a way that ‘the economy won’t be damaged any further’.

‘Our citizens have complied with all the obligations and calls we have been giving for two months. As a result, we no longer expect to have a peak in April and May, instead, we have reached a plateau’, she said. 

As of 28 April, 511 patients have been diagnosed with coronavirus in Georgia; 156 of them have recovered and 6 have died.

28 Apr 2020, 10:14

Welcome to OC Media’s coronavirus live updates for Tuesday, 28 April. We will be bringing you the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic from around the Caucasus.

The biggest developments from yesterday:

Workers who recently became unemployed and who were not employed by a legal entity (and were not self-employed) cannot benefit from the state social assistance program, Georgia’s Deputy Health Minister Tamar Barkalaia said yesterday.

Armenia’s Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture announced that online schooling will continue until the end of May. School will recommence in September. 

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