I live in The Hague, Netherlands but as I am originally from Georgia, the Caucasus, I still keep in close contact with my country. Currently, I am working from home in The Hague as The Netherlands is rapidly going into a full lock down, and as many other people in the world, I keep a close eye on the Covid-19 pandemic.
We can all observe that the number of infected people in Western European countries grows with thousands per day. In Georgia the total number of the infected people is still only 33 per the 15th of March 2020, despite that country is very close, both geographically and in terms of trade, to heavily infected Iran. One of the reason is that the population of the country is relatively small, just 3.7 million, but there are also other key factors that allowed the country thus far to keep its citizens safe. Below a few points that I think are the most important ones to prevent the spread of the virus.
The government took two very important measures in time. It increased control on the borders and checked every person on Covid-19. The majority of the 33 infected people were directly taken from the border to the hospital.
Second, the government organized special hotels where people are placed for two weeks in quarantine in case that they are coming from high risk countries.
This is a similar approach as is successfully followed in Taiwan, Singapore and Hong-Kong thus far.
The Richard Lugar Center is a world class laboratory network in the country. It is one of the best in the field of scientific biomedical and biosafety research and educates students, masters and doctors. If not for this lab, it would have been very difficult to make exact tests for the Covid-19 in Georgia.
Another factor that helps prevent the spread of the virus is the high level of responsibility of citizens. People who came back to Georgia from infected countries are self-isolating themselves from the society for two weeks. Even if they are not positive for Covid-19, they stay alone in their houses for this period. As there is a risk that this virus carrier can show no symptoms.
Of course it is too early to call the approach of Georgia successful. We have to sit out the pandemic to know that for sure. Fingers crossed!
Read further: Covid-19 Lab, News, Covid-19
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