Georgia is concealing the real picture of the COVID-19 epidemic, - Yuri Vazagov

Sat, 02/05/2020 - 09:35

Yuri Vazagov, member of the expert council at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of South Ossetia, held a press briefing in Tskhinval for journalists: “Georgia in a pandemic: problems and prospects.”

As noted by Vazagov, the coronavirus pandemic that swept Georgia, revealed a number of persistent trends caused by both domestic and foreign policy factors.

According to him, their analysis allows with a fairly high degree of probability to determine the vector of development of the Georgian state in the near and medium term, including in terms of the implementation of various escalation scenarios.

“For South Ossetia in the current conditions it is especially important to monitor what is happening in the neighboring state, since the South Ossetian direction is among the priorities in the policy of the Georgian authorities and their Western partners,” he said.

According to Vazagov, over the period since the start of the Tsnelis adventure of the “Georgian Dream”, a systematic and consistent implementation of a set of measures has been observed that affect almost all major areas, including health care, education, trade and economic relations, and the information component.

“In a pandemic, the Georgian side and their Western partners had to shift the time frame of some of the projects, in connection with which issues related to healthcare and public relations came to the fore. In these areas, there has been a feverish intensification, in which not only the official authorities of Georgia, but also the media, NGOs, international organizations and the closest partners of Georgia, primarily the United States, are involved,” said the expert.

The main points of the current PR campaign, Vazagov notes, focus on allegations that a humanitarian catastrophe has occurred in South Ossetia, residents are dying almost En masse due to inefficient health care, and ethnic Georgians of the Republic are being repressed and put in unequal position.

“As the only way out of the “Ossetian apocalypse,” the opening of borders with Georgia is proposed, with subsequent involvement in the projects proposed by the Georgian authorities,” he notes.

According to the expert, these simple theses are repeated in different ways in numerous publications and statements by officials, as well as in various documents, in particular, in the reports of the State Security Service of Georgia, the report of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, etc.

As Vazagov emphasizes, only timely measures to close the Georgian-Ossetian border allowed to stop attempts to sway the situation in the border zone, and then the spread of the epidemic in South Ossetia.

“Moreover, the situation in Georgia dictates the need to maintain the current regime of protection of the Georgian-South Ossetian border. The epidemiological situation in the neighboring republic is close to critical, although the authorities are trying to falsify the statistics so as not to lose electoral support on the eve of the parliamentary elections,” the expert draws attention.

According to official figures, there are more than 566 coronavirus cases in Georgia, however, according to Vazagov, the opposition claims that these figures are underestimated.

“Georgian opposition leaders not without reason declare that the government is hiding from the population the real statistics of the distribution of COVID-19, including due to the fact that Georgia is far behind not only EU member states, but also its neighbors in terms of the number of tests per capita. In other words, there is no testing - there are no infected people or, more precisely, there is no information about them, ”he says, noting that the opponents of the“ dreamers ”also emphasize that the authorities made a serious mistake, being late for a month with mass testing, and now it is not carried out in due volume.

In favor of the version of hiding the real picture, Vazagov notes, the fact that the Georgian government, unlike other countries, hides the number of patients with coronavirus without pronounced symptoms also speaks. According to him, representatives of the Ministry of Health of Georgia are trying to get off with general allegations that their number is most likely small.

“One of the reasons for the distortion of statistics is the reluctance of the Georgian authorities to admit the failure of many years health policy, which consists in copying the Western system. According to the Minister of Health of Georgia, Ekaterina Tikaradze, today the health system of Georgia can accept a little more than 2 thousand patients with a population of 3.7 million people. There are no material and human resources for a larger number,” said Vazagov.

With a significant increase in the number of people infected with coronavirus, the expert says, the Georgian healthcare system simply cannot help everyone who needs it, with all the ensuing consequences.

Thus, according to the expert, by annoyingly offering South Ossetia its help in the fight against the epidemic, the Georgian government is not ready to cope with the scale of the disaster, choosing as the main way to respond to the crisis the complete closure of entire regions and simple manipulations with statistics.

Мой мир