ArmInfo. The Armenian side regrets that the statement by the Minister of Health Arsen Torosyan which was incorrectly interpreted, upset the Georgian counterparts. Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani announced this on the Imedi TV channel. According to him, through diplomatic channels, the Georgian side demanded clarifications from the relevant state departments of Armenia.
''Naturally, as soon as we learnt from the media about such statements, we immediately responsed through diplomatic channels: Of course, to put it mildly, this was very incorrect in relation to a neighboring and friendly country, including from officials, from such high officials as the Minister of Health>, the minister said, News-Georgia reports.
Zalkaliani said that the Ministry of Health of Armenia presented his position through the Georgian Embassy in Yerevan. ''Recently, our embassy in Yerevan contacted me. They reported that the embassy received a phone call from the Ministry of Health of Armenia. The Head of the Department of Foreign Relations of the Ministry of Health called and on behalf of the Minister of Health expressed regret that his statement, which was incorrectly interpreted, upset Georgian colleagues, "he said.
The Armenian side emphasizes that "the statements of their Minister of Health, voiced in the media, were misinterpreted." The Georgian Foreign Minister believes that this information must be double-checked and specified. , he said.
The Foreign Minister also recalled that Georgia's efforts in the fight against COVID-19 are highly appreciated by international partners, including the World Health Organization. "I want to believe that this was a misinterpretation of the media and this concern expressed by the Minister of Health of Armenia in a recent call to the embassy is sincere," 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 ones, and not in a good way. Our anti-epidemiological system is stronger, and this is a fact," he said. The head of the Ministry of Health of Armenia believes that the small number of infections and deaths among patients with coronavirus in Georgia can be explained by shortcomings in terms of the methodology and quality of tests carried out in a neighboring country.
These reports were followed by an acute reaction from the medical establishment of Georgia. Senior health officials assured that the country's coronavirus statistics are completely transparent.
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.
Touching upon Torosyan's statement that among the citizens who arrived from Georgia to Armenia, many patients with COVID-19 were identified, including truck drivers, Gamkrelidze recalled that for such cases there is a regulation of the "international convention on observance of the rules of public health 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 whose citizen the infected person is. "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."
The first case of coronavirus infection in Georgia was recorded on February 26. Since then, in the country, the disease was confirmed in 728 people. Of these, 508 patients recovered - this is almost 70% of all recorded facts. Currently, 208 cases remain active. 12 people infected with coronavirus died.
Given the favorable epidemiological situation, the state of emergency and curfew were canceled in the country from May 23. It is expected that Georgia is one of the first in Europe to open its borders to foreign tourists - from July 1. However, so far many restrictions continue to apply in the country. So, for example, in all enclosed spaces wearing protective masks is mandatory, crowded social events - weddings, commemorations, birthdays, as well as any cultural and sports events are prohibited. Some types of economic activity are limited - shopping centers, casinos, hotels, restaurants and cafes are closed. Public transport and intercity passenger traffic were completely stopped.