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.