Saturday, May 23 2020 17:22
Marianna Mkrtchyan

Statements by the Minister of Health of Armenia on the situation with  coronavirus called non-diplomatic in Georgia

Statements by the Minister of Health of Armenia on the situation with  coronavirus called non-diplomatic in Georgia

ArmInfo.The head of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health of Georgia (NCDC) Amiran Gamkrelidze called the statements of the Minister of  Health of Armenia Arsen Torosyan, who doubted the Georgian statistics  on coronavirus, not diplomatic.

On the air of the Rustavi 2 TV  channel, Gamkelidze said that he was surprised by these estimates.  The head of the NCDC doubts that Torosyan could really make such a  statement. Gamkrelidze does not exclude that the journalists  misinterpreted the words of the minister.

"I personally know Arsen Torosyan. It's a little surprising if he  made this statement from this perspective.  I'll remind you that we  are very close peoples, neighbors, we have a great common history.  It's a little surprising to hear such unprincipled statements from  him," Gamkrelidze said . Touching upon the statement by Torosyan that  among the citizens who arrived from Georgia to Armenia, many patients  with COVID-19, including truck drivers, were identified, Gamkrelidze  recalled that for such cases there is a regulation of the  "international convention on observance of health rules of the World  Health Organization" ( WHO), whose participants are Georgia and  Armenia. As the head of the NCDC explained, if in Georgia the virus  is confirmed by foreigners, then the authorities will inform WHO, as  well as the state of which the infected person is a citizen. "Based  on this, if there were such cases, Mr. Arsen should have notified the  World Health Organization, as well as us," Gamkrelidze said. He also  commented on Torosyan's statements regarding the transparency of the  death registration methodology in Georgia. At the same time,  Gamkrelidze noted that today in Georgia "all patients with pneumonia  in all hospitals and all outpatient visits where pneumonia is  diagnosed are tested."

 "He can look at the [data] published by us, which are published in  English. They are on our web page. Our annual statistical collections  have the dynamics of pneumonia. We studied this. We do not have the  so- called" excess mortality ", which is considered one of the  important [indicators] during this pandemic. It was and is in Italy,  in many countries where there was a high mortality rate. We look at  this for 3-4 months - do we have "excess mortality" in comparison  with 2018, 2019, 2020, including from pneumonia. We don't have it,  "the head of the NCDC added, Georgia-Online reports. At the same  time, Gamkrelidze assured Torosoyan that when the National Center for  Disease Control of Georgia provides statistics on the number of tests  performed for coronavirus, we are only talking about the polymerase  chain reaction method (PCR tests) and rapid tests that are considered  less accurate are not taken into account. "No, Mr. Arsen.  Those 46  or 47 thousand tests, I don't remember exactly our current data that  we conduct in the country - all these are PCR tests. Here we do not  include several thousand quick tests that are used in medical  institutions," he added.

As ArmInfo previously reported, referring to the pandemic situation  in Armenia and Georgia, Torosyan stated that the anti-epidemiological  system and healthcare in Georgia is different from the Armenian one,  and not from the best side. "The Georgian healthcare and  anti-epidemiological systems are significantly different from the  Armenian, and not in a good way. Our anti-epidemiological system is  stronger, and this is a fact," he said. Torosyan expressed hope that,  in addition to Georgia, other neighboring countries - Russia and  Iran, will be able to strengthen their anti-epidemiological systems,  which is important for Armenia, taking into account the flow of  citizens entering these territories from these countries.  Speaking  about the methodology for recording patients with coronavirus used in  Georgia, Torosyan voiced several questions. Firstly, have PCR tests  been used in all testing cases in Georgia, or are we talking about  quick tests, which are practically not used in Armenia due to their  low level of accuracy? Secondly, are citizens with mild influenza  symptoms tested for coronavirus? Thirdly, are coronavirus statistics  included for people who have died from pneumonia while having  diagnosed COVID-19? The Minister recalled that in Armenia, such cases  of fatal outcomes are included in the statistics, and separate  statistics are also conducted for patients with COVID-19 who have  died from other diseases. As noted by Torosyan, rarely which  countries can compare with Armenia on the principle of transparency  of information on coronavirus.  "Information for consideration: when  we test drivers entering Georgia from Armenia, the coronavirus is  diagnosed in many cases. So is it possible to consider that in  Georgia 1-2 cases of coronavirus are really detected on a day, or in  reality not all cases of COVID-19 identified and included in the  statistics, "the minister asked. He also asked whether Georgia, as  well as other countries, will be able to maintain current performance  in the conditions of tourist flow. According to the Ministry of  Health of Armenia, as of May 23, the number of detected cases of  COVID-19 infection in the country is 6302. Of these, 2 936 people  recovered, died 77. 3,257 cases remain active. A total of 49,080  tests were conducted in Armenia.  In Georgia, coronavirus was  confirmed in 728 people. Of these, 508 patients recovered - this is  almost 70% of the total number of facts recorded in the country.  Currently, 208 cases remain active. 12 people with COVID-19 have  passed away. According to The National Center for Disease Control and  Public Health of Georgia, as of May 22, the country has conducted  more than 45,707 PCR tests for coronavirus.

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