09 May 2020, 17:45
Tsertsvadze: Georgia is plateauing, ‘no victory yet’
The Director of Tbilisi’s Infectious Diseases Hospital, Tengiz Tsertsvadze, has told journalists that Georgia has avoided a ‘steep peak’ in coronavirus cases and that it is currently experiencing a plateau.
Tsertsvadze said that while the number of new infections was still rising, the rate had fallen and it was something the country’s healthcare system could manage.
He warned the public that Georgia was at a ‘critical crossroads’ and urged the public to remain cautious.
‘If we don't make a mistake like in Bolnisi, Marneuli, Tetritskaro, Kobuleti, or in Lentekhi, where they set up a feast (supra) with 50 people, then I think we have overcome the first and the strongest wave of COVID infection with minimal casualties.’
09 May 2020, 16:25
Memorial questions Ingushetia’s numbers on fatalities
On Friday, Russian rights group Memorial stated that the official numbers of those killed by novel coronavirus in Ingushetia (then 28) ‘raised serious doubts’.
Memorial cited the Head of Ingushetia’s Constitutional Court, Ayup Gagiyev, mentioning 50 dead in a Facebook update on 6 May and also Telegram channel Rozysk Ingushetia, known to be close to Ingushetian law enforcement bodies, mentioning the same number (Rozysk Ingushetia’s update, which indicates it’s been edited later, currently shows ‘28 dead’).
Memorial urged the head of Ingushetia, Mahmud-Ali Kalimatov, for detailed clarification on how numbers are counted.
The group warned that any inaccuracy in the official information or a deliberate attempt to hide information from the public amidst a pandemic could ‘undermine public trust’ in the authorities’ efforts against the outbreak.
09 May 2020, 14:38
Daghestanis form ‘Popular Anti-corona HQ’
Groups critical of the Daghestani government’s response to COVID-19 have announced an alternative Popular Headquarters against Coronavirus.
According to news agency RIA Derbent, the Headquarters aim to monitor and collect ‘objective information’ regarding the pandemic and to ‘come up with systemic solutions’ to the ongoing crisis.
Yesterday, Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko noted that the situation in Daghestan ‘raised additional concerns’.
[Read more on OC Media: ‘Critical shortages‘ of protective equipment reported in Daghestan’s hospitals]
In a 7 May address to the head of Daghestan, Vladimir Vasiliyev, the group urged him to impose a state of emergency in the Republic, to redirect more funds, and to ask Russian President Vladimir Putin to mobilise the resources of the Defence Ministry and Ministry of Emergency Situations to fight the outbreak.
09 May 2020, 11:52
Chechnya to reopen ‘small vending establishments’ next week
Last night, the Head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov announced on VKontakte that small retail and auto-repair shops and ‘other small vending establishments’ will be allowed to reopen next week.
Since early April, the authorities in Chechnya have kept strict regulations on movement and are allowing only cargo trucks with food and medical products to enter the region.
09 May 2020, 11:35
Four new cases confirmed in Abkhazia
Yesterday evening, Abkhazian authorities confirmed four new cases of novel coronavirus infection, local media has reported.
Prior to Thursday, Abkhazia had no active COVID-19 case as two of three patients had recovered and one succumbed to complications on 26 April.
Abkhazian authorities said they had placed 209 students recently returned to Abkhazia from Russian military schools in quarantine, in the Aytar Hotel in Sukhumi.
Speaking to local news outlet Apsny Today, Abkhazia’s Deputy Defence Minister Nodar Avidzba said they were almost 60 more, ‘out of about 80’ military students remaining in Russia, to return next 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.
09 May 2020, 09:30
Welcome to OC Media’s coronavirus live updates for Saturday, 9 May. We will be bringing you the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic from around the Caucasus.
The biggest developments from yesterday:
The director of Georgia’s Centre for Disease Control, Amiran Gamkrelidze, said there were many ‘indirect indicators’ giving grounds for optimism in Georgia. He told journalists that even though the number of tests being carried out had quadrupled, the number of confirmed cases was not increasing as fast as before.
Azerbaijan announced that the Baku subway will reopen today. Only those who have notified the authorities before leaving their homes and who have ID cards with them or permission from their workplace will be allowed to enter the subway. Wearing masks and maintaining social distancing between passengers is mandatory.
According to a new report from the International Crisis Group (ICG) — an independent peacebuilding organisation — hospitals in South Ossetia and Abkhazia are severely underequipped. According to the report, close to 80% of Abkhazia’s medical personnel were in a high risk group, as they were in their sixties or older.
The speaker of Chechnya’s parliament, Magomed Daudov, reportedly said that male relatives would be held accountable for women who violate the lockdown.
Krasnodar Krai expanded the list of industries eligible for state support during the pandemic.
Read the latest stories:
- Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno-Karabakh ‘vulnerable to COVID-19 pandemic’
- Georgia plans corona-safe ‘tourist zones’
- South Ossetia confirms first three coronavirus cases
- Protests in Azerbaijan over job losses and unpaid leave
- Critical shortages‘ of protective equipment reported in Daghestan’s hospitals
- Transgender woman sets herself on fire in Tbilisi
- Amnesty International questions Caucasus governments’ response to pandemic
- Georgian opposition demand answers after former official ‘breaches driving ban’
- Voice | The women on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic
- Azerbaijan opposition party claims nearly a dozen members arrested in last two weeks
- Farmers in Georgia’s Marneuli protest inability to sell crops
- Police clash with anti-stay-at-home protesters in North Ossetia
- In pictures | Life under quarantine in Gyumri
- Georgian social workers forced to pay for taxis to visit domestic abuse victims