Inter-Agency Coordination Council Rules Pupils in Grades 5 through 12 to Wear Facemasks; Gradual Easing of COVID Restrictions will Continue if Test-Positive Indicator Remains Under 4%

Uniform wearing of facemasks becomes mandatory for pupils in grades 5 through 12 at secondary schools of the country. This decision was made by the Inter-Agency Coordination Council led by Giorgi Gakharia, Prime Minister of Georgia at its meeting today.

It was underlined at the meeting of the Council that it is essential to make each step towards easing in a cautious, prudent and sustainable manner so that it does not negatively impact on the epidemic situation and does not lead to reintroduction of voided restrictions. Hence, Council has ruled to continue with gradual easing of restrictions currently imposed in the country, if the community transfer rate remains under 4%.

In parallel, intensive testing will be maintained so that infected individuals get detected efficiently for scoping the geographic coverage of the virus in various groups of the society.

Importance of proper wearing of face masks and social distancing was once again stressed at the meeting. It was thereby noted that maximum use of facemasks, intensive testing and vaccination are part of these most important measures to facilitate an economic reopening, quick recovery and return to a normal way of life as early as possible. In addition, unity of the referred measures will enable the country to safeguard the summer season of tourism and hospitality of foreign visitors in a safe environment, which will serve as an additional oxygen for the economy.

Council discussed the logistical and operational matter related to the entry of COVID vaccine to the country, as well as the performance of negotiations held with international partners and pharmaceutical companies. Ac commonly known, Georgia will receive the first dozes of Pfizer vaccine by the end of February. In line with the National Plan of Immunization, vaccination will start with the healthcare professionals. It was also noted that initially vaccination will be administered only in the hospital sector. In addition, intensive work will be in progress to make sure that ultimate dozes of the vaccine arrive in Georgia as early as possible. Key precondition for this is a recognition by the World Health Organization (WHO) and international community.

Since the first detection, 263 057 lab-proven cases of COVID-19 have been witnessed in the country, out of which 254 916 individuals have recovered and 3 306 died.

At present 430 individuals are placed in quarantine, 301 — at clinical hotels and 2 149 — at hospitals, under medical supervision.

Inter-Agency Coordination Council led by Giorgi Gakharia, Prime Minister of Georgia actively engages the Parliament of Georgia chaired by MP Archil Talakvadze and Administration of the President of Georgia.

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