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DRI: Recommendations for Fighting Pandemic are Systematically Violated in Occupied Akhalgori
18.05.2020
According to the information the Democracy Research Institute was provided with, no one is fully following the World Health Organization recommendations in occupied Akhalgori, which increases the risk of uncontrolled spread of the infection in the region.
Akhalgori District Clinic has become a quarantine space, which currently is serving seven patients. Patients placed in quarantine are free to move around in the hospital building and are systematically using shared bathroom. Recently, there were several cases when patients arbitrarily, for some time, left the quarantine space, which made it necessary to have the security guards in the clinic.
Despite a number of regulations introduced by the de facto authorities, people in the occupied territories do not keep their social distance. In a closed space, such as a store or pharmacy, service personnel are prohibited from providing services to customers without gloves and masks, but according to the information provided, the rule is not followed in this case either and no one responds to the violation. The regulation also restricts the operation of restaurants and café-bars, but despite this, in the evenings the privileged part of the society often violates the restriction mentioned above and uses this service.
According to the latest data, 34 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been identified in occupied so-called South Ossetia. There are 346 persons under the supervision of doctors in quarantine spaces. The cases of mother and child, who, according to the last tests, were not diagnosed with coronavirus infection are also counted as confirmed cases. To date, however, they are continuing their treatment together with infected patients, which may indirectly indicate a lack of trust in the quality of examination by local medical staff. It should be noted that the medical staff working in the clinic still do not have the appropriate personal protective equipment. They are using fabric coveralls sewn at a local factory that does not protect against infection.
Despite the readiness of the Georgian government to help the population living in the occupied territories, the de facto government of Tskhinvali even refuses the assistance provided by the World Health Organization if it is carried out from the Georgia-controlled territory.
The Democracy Research Institute calls on the Georgian authorities to use all possible means and communication opportunities to influence the arbitrary decisions of the de facto government and to provide the necessary resources and supplies for the people living in the occupied territories through international organizations.