UNICEF Georgia COVID-19 Situation Report #1 (25 March 2020)

Situation Report
Originally published



• With 75 confirmed cases (10 recovered), 252 in-patients and 4,055 people in quarantine, UNICEF is focused on mitigating the impact of the outbreak on the health system and communities

• UNICEF developed a tool which allows the Government to project needs for hospitalization and artificial ventilation

• Social media campaigns are being carried out to increase access to information on COVID-19 as well as to facilitate learning, play and protection resources that are valuable to children and their families

• Needs assessments are underway to identify most vulnerable groups of children

• Technical assistance was provided on infant isolation and care capacity, ANC protocols and routine immunization services during COVID-19

Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs

On 26 February, the first case of COVID-19 was identified in Georgia. In the following days, several more cases emerged the Government to institute restrictions on land and air movement and closure of schools, effective 2 March. The Government identified hospitals for confirmed COVID-19 cases as well as quarantine spaces for suspected cases in different regions of Georgia.

Despite the early actions of the Government, the number of cases is growing which triggered the Government to declare a state of emergency on 21 March, closing borders and airports, restricting movement inside and the country, banning mass gatherings, and maintaining closure of all schools, kindergartens, universities. Two regions, Bolnisi and Dmanisi, are declared as quarantine zones as community spread was detected on 22 March.

Humanitarian Strategy and Response

UNICEF is working closely with the Government, WHO and other United Nations and humanitarian team partners, to provide technical guidance and support. In line with WHO’s COVID-19 Strategic Response Plan, UNICEF is focusing on limiting human-to-human transmission and mitigating the impact of the outbreak on the health system and communities.

UNICEF’s has a mix of response and preparedness activities including:

  1. Facilitating risk communication as well as learning, play and positive parenting communications;

  2. Provision of critical hygiene and medical supplies for healthcare and education structures;

  3. Ensuring children and pregnant and lactating women are supported with adequate healthcare despite the outbreak;

  4. Mitigate secondary effects of the outbreak by facilitating continued access to education, child protection needs including prevention of violence against children, and advocating for continued access to social protection programmes.

UNICEF’s Response

• 100% of UNICEF staff are practicing physical distancing

• Developed a Multi-Scenario Interactive Projection Tool which allows the Government to project needs for hospitalization and artificial ventilation thus informing emergency preparedness

• Supported a WHO rapid assessment on hospital preparedness and laboratory capacity in Abkhazia, Georgia which will guide the development of a humanitarian response strategy