Quarantine in Marneuli, coronavirus and xenophobic speculation

24.03.20 23:00

First, official statistics. According to the website at 18-00 on March 24, 2020 in Georgia, there were:


• confirmed cases of coronavirus - 67 people,
• recovered - 9 people,
• 4055 people were in quarantine mode,
• for inpatient observation - 252 people.


On March 23, 2020, quarantine was introduced in two mainly populated by Azerbaijanis Marneuli and Bolnisi municipalities of the Kvemo Kartli region. The quarantine decision was made after March 22 suspected coronavirus was confirmed by a resident of Marneuli who came from Iran.


Moreover, until March 23, the vast majority of Georgian citizens infected with coronavirus arrived in the country from Italy. From other European countries, 2 infected came from France, 1 from Spain. On March 23, the geography of coronavirus penetration into Georgia expanded - 4 coronavirus-infected people came from the United States.


With the introduction of quarantine in the Marneuli and Bolnisi municipalities of the Kvemo Kartli region in southeastern Georgia, life in the region has become problematic. The movement of public transport was limited, the movement of citizens was limited, except when the residents went to buy food, medicine or to receive medical care. The problems with spring agricultural work are aggravated (the agricultural complex is the basis of the region’s economy). Many farmers, due to quarantine, cannot go to the fields, deliver fertilizers and seeds, etc.


The situation is aggravated by the fact that using informational quarantine in Marneuli and Bolnisi, certain forces in social networks and a number of media are trying to impose on the Georgian public the absolutely false conclusion that the spread of the virus is “Azerbaijanis to blame”.


But the above statistics show that the majority of both coronaviruses infected and observable Georgian citizens arrived not from Iran and not from Azerbaijan, but from Europe and the USA.

In general, for the first time in Georgia and Armenia, the importation of the coronavirus occurred from Europe (more precisely, from Italy). Unfortunately, the authorities did not close their flights with EU countries until the last moment, where the epidemic was already raging.


Moreover, at present and through the territory of Georgia there is a transit of goods from Armenia, where the epidemic of coronavirus is flaring to Russia and vice versa. Meanwhile, the number of coronavirus infected increases in the Russian Federation. At the same time, a significant part of the cargoes transit from Armenia to Russia is transit cargo from Iran infected with the coronavirus. Cargoes are not checked and not processed, only surface treatment of trucks is in progress.


Armenian drivers continue to drive through Georgia. Theoretically, they are accompanied by police cars and formally warriors are not allowed to leave the cab. But everyone perfectly understands that it is really impossible to fulfill such an order. Since drivers need to eat, drink, use the toilet, etc.


Where is the guarantee that these people will not become sources of new infections? Like the goods they carry?


Unfortunately, the ex-president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili, who immediately afterward aggravated the epidemiological situation in Iran and the Georgian government banned air communication with this country, recently began to scare the public by the fact that dozens of people would come to Georgia from Iran thousand people to celebrate Novruz. It was implied through Azerbaijan.


The Georgian government did not allow the ex-president to take advantage of this propaganda opportunity promptly by banning Iranian citizens from entering the country. However, anti-Azerbaijani suspicions were sown by this statement.


In the face of an epidemic of coronavirus that can affect everyone, it is really advisable to introduce quarantine. Ideally, if you enter it, quarantine should concern the whole country, and not the “chosen” regions according to what parameters.





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