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​Address of the President of Georgia

Our country and the whole world have moved into a completely different regime of life. The COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic. This means that the situation is serious, although it should be said that a pandemic refers not to a level of threat, but to the geographic spread of the disease, as it has now spread to every continent.
As of now, while some countries are struggling against a severe outbreak of the epidemic, the situation at home is not alarming. Since the very first day, swift and effective measures have been taken, contributing to maximal control over the spread of the disease. However, this does not mean that we do not need to prepare for all possible scenarios. We must take into consideration all existing recommendations. The Administration of the President of Georgia has taken the necessary measures to do so, along with other state agencies.
At first, all my foreign visits have been cancelled. Receptions have been paused at the Presidential Palace. Now, my regional visits have also been suspended and part of the Administration’s staff has moved to a remote working regime. And yet, despite this special situation, the Administration continues its full-scale work and its engagement with the Inter-Agency Coordination Commission.
Since the very first day, our state and, in particular, our health system, have taken all the measures to avoid the widespread of the disease. The Ministry of Internal Affairs and relevant agencies of the Ministry of Finance are carrying out an effective supervision at our borders. Thanks to this, we have avoided at the moment the disease from spreading severely. Our international partners and the World Health Organization have positively evaluated our steps. With these steps, indeed, there is no ground or reason to panic.
Saying no to panic is not the same as rejecting vigilance. We must be cautious and take recommendations into consideration. Our joint commitment is to limit the extent of the disease as much as possible as it poses a threat not only to human health and life, but to the country and its economy as a whole.
This is why we must jointly share responsibility.
We bear responsibility for ourselves, for our families, for our loved ones, for those around us. We are responsible for our country’s future.
We will confirm our patriotism, our respect for our homeland through our civil consciousness and our respect for the rules of conduct in the coming days.
Dealing with an epidemic cannot be allowed to grow into xenophobia or any form of aggression.
As the State is directing all of its efforts to stopping the pandemic in the country, political forces and citizens have to acknowledge their individual responsibilities.
We must be united in the fight against the disease and its economic consequences. Our unity today will contribute to tomorrow’s victory.
I would like to say to media outlets that a lot depends on your professionalism. You bear the responsibility to provide our society with all the necessary information and all news relevant to the ongoing process. It is your responsibility to keep our society informed with full and swift information. On the one hand, keeping transparency to provide citizens with complete information is crucial, but on the other hand, it is necessary to refrain from disseminating unverified information, the key source of panic against the proper management of the situation.
We must be ready for a worsening of the situation to some extent, as world experience shows us. But we have protective mechanisms in place. I do believe that as our State’s response was exemplary at the first stages of the epidemic, so will be its next steps. Our unity, our individual and collective responsibility is of major importance right now.
In this reality, we cannot forget our citizens who are living in the occupied territories, in the midst of a humanitarian crisis, and who are bound to be more vulnerable against these challenges.
Finally, remember: Safety, not Fear!
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