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Ambassador Degnan’s Remarks to Media per Meeting with Minister Tikaradze
March 5, 2020

Two women pose together in front of a presentation board and the flag of Georgia
Ambassador Kelly C. Degnan (right) with Georgian Minister of Health Ekaterine Tikaradze. Photo: MOH Georgia

Question about GoG’s measures against coronavirus

Ambassador Kelly Degnan: I’ve been very impressed with Georgia’s proactive response to the outbreak. In fact, when I came through the airport on Saturday, on my way back from Washington, I came through several airports, but it wasn’t until I reached Tbilisi that I saw all the airport personnel were fully equipped with protective clothing. They were taking the temperatures of passengers as they came in, they had a very organized and thorough procedure to screen people as they were coming in. So even on Saturday, Georgia was leaning forward to contain this outbreak. This is a global health crisis that we all need to respond to together. The United States is working with its international partners and countries around the world, including Georgia, to make sure that we do our best to contain the outbreak of this virus. I think Georgia is fortunate to have a very professional and capable National Center for Disease Control, that is providing the information to its public, that is taking responsible measures to contain the virus, and I think we’re now seeing the value of the Lugar Lab, which is a public health research institution that Georgia has been supporting and collaborating with for decades. Now, we see the value of that kind of public health research as we confront this global health crisis. So again, I commend Georgia for the efforts that it’s taking, and I encourage the Georgian public to follow the advice of its healthcare professionals. Wash your hands, stay home if you’re not feeling healthy, and act responsibly in the face of this epidemic. Thank you.

Question about how Georgia is dealing with the situation

Ambassador Kelly Degnan: I think Georgia is, as I said, responding positively and proactively and that’s one reason why the cases have been relatively limited. Georgians are acting responsibly by self-quarantining. If they’re not feeling well, they’re staying home, they’re reporting if they’ve been in one of the countries of concern. So, I think you’ve got a very well-informed public here that is taking the advice of its healthcare professionals and doing the right thing. That is going to help contain this outbreak in this region.