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Coronavirus live updates | Georgia registers first fatality

4 April 2020
The First University Clinic of Tbilisi State Medical University. Official picture.

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04 Apr 2020, 20:03

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

04 Apr 2020, 19:49

South Ossetia ‘fully closes border’ with Russia

South Ossetian authorities have announced they will ‘fully close’ the Roki-Nizhny Zaramag crossing with Russia’s North Ossetia until a ‘special border regime’ can be established, no later than 12 April. 

On Thursday, following reports of the first confirmed coronavirus infections in North Ossetia, the South Ossetian authorities banned local residents from travelling to Russia. 

The Roki Tunnel. Photo: RFE/RL.

The authorities also said they would subsidise the prices of food and other essential products by up to 20% and medicine by up to 10%. They also promised to designate over  ₽6 million ($79,000) to purchase drugs and other medical provisions.

South Ossetia’s Consumer Welfare and Human Rights Protection Committee claimed today there were no confirmed cases of coronavirus in South Ossetia but that 10 people were in hospital under observation and another 429 in self-isolation at home.

 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.

04 Apr 2020, 17:32

Journalists in Azerbaijan not subject to lockdown

The Interior Ministry told Trend that media workers and others determined by the Operational Headquarters under the Cabinet of Ministers do not have to notify the authorities before leaving their homes. 

‘However, journalists are not allowed to transport family members. They can only use their cars for work purposes’, a spokesperson said.

04 Apr 2020, 14:31

Head of Tbilisi’s Infectious Diseases hospital explains why Georgia disregarded WHO recommendations 

Tengiz Tsertsvadze, the General Director of Tbilisi's Infectious Diseases hospital, explained in an interview with Formula TV on Thursday that when the infection first appeared, he and his colleagues at the National Centre for Disease Control made the decision to disregard one of the recommendations of the WHO and to take a more cautious approach.

‘They said to consider as possible cases [of COVID-19 infection] only those patients that had an acute respiratory infection and a body temperature of 38°C or higher — as well as a cough, and so on’, he said. 

He added that he and his colleagues already suspected that it was not accurate and that the virus could have been progressing without any symptoms. 

So they made the decision to entirely scrap temperature as the main indicator of infection. 

‘If we didn’t do that, we could have ended up with many cases of infection like other countries, and here’s why: only one third [of those tested] had a temperature of 38°C or higher. We would have missed all of them because they would not have been treated as possible cases,’ Tsertsvadze added. 

As of 4 April Georgia has 156 confirmed cases, 28 recovered and 1 death. There are 5,526 people in quarantine. 

04 Apr 2020, 12:51

Georgia registers first coronavirus fatality

Levan Ratiani, the director of the First University Clinic of Tbilisi State Medical University, confirmed this morning the first fatality of COVID-19 in Georgia — a 79-year-old woman who was hospitalised on 31 March with preexisting medical conditions. 

Ratiani said the patient was in critical condition when she was admitted. He said the patient was from the Marneuli-Bolnisi epidemiological cluster.

The First University Clinic of Tbilisi State Medical University. Official picture.

According to the latest official numbers, Georgia so far has registered 156 cases, with 28 already recovered. There are also 5,526 people placed in quarantine and 344 under observation in hospitals.

04 Apr 2020, 12:00

Azerbaijan fines over 2,000 people for quarantine violations

The Main Traffic Police Department of Azerbaijan has stated that over the previous day, they have turned back almost 2,000 vehicles trying to cross police checkpoints at the entrances of cities and districts. 

Photo: Report.az.

According to their report, 2,189 drivers and passengers who left their homes unnecessarily were fined. 

According to Administrative Code fines range from ₼100-₼200 ($60-$120) for individuals and ₼1,500-₼2,500 ($880-$1,500) for officials.

04 Apr 2020, 09:30

Summary

Welcome to OC Media’s coronavirus live updates for Friday, 3 April. We will be bringing you the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic from around the Caucasus.

The biggest developments from yesterday:

In Georgia, Shalva Kekelia, head of one of the churches in Tbilisi, said it was possible for the churchgoers to show up for the Easter sermon at 21:00 and leave the church at 06:00 without breaking curfew, as they would be inside the church for the curfew’s duration.

Maia Tskitishvili, the Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure, has shot down the claim.  

'The rules of the curfew are quite clear and movement is restricted from 21:00 to 06:00. At the same time it is not allowed for more than three people to gather,’ she said. ‘Of course, the curfew will be violated if we have a mass gathering in a church.’ 

In Azerbaijan, those who violate the new measures of the special quarantine regime and leave their houses without notifying authorities will be fined ₼100-₼200 ($60-$120) and will face up to one month of administrative arrest.

The head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, has announced a curfew in the republic. From 3 April, residents are not allowed to go outside of the home between 20:00 and 08:00.

Despite a statement made by the Mufti of Daghestan, Ahmad Abdullayev, on 1 April in which he stated that it was necessary to suspend prayer at mosques, Friday prayers have taken place at several mosques in Makhachkala today. However, local residents have told OC Media that there were few worshippers.

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