GEORGIA NEWS

Immigration detainee with COVID-19 dies in Georgia hospital

Federal authorities said a 57-year-old Mexican man who was being held in immigration detention in southwest Georgia has died from complications of COVID-19

ATLANTA, Feb. 4, 2021:A 57-year-old Mexican man who was being held in federal immigration detention in southwest Georgia has died from complications of COVID-19 federal authorities said. Felipe Montes died early Saturday at a hospital in Columbus from “cardiopulmonary arrest, secondary to complications of coronavirus disease," according to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement news release. Montes entered ICE custody on Dec. 28 and had been held at the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin until Jan. 10, when he was admitted to the hospital.

Montes was the fourth detainee held at the southwest Georgia immigration detention center to die after testing positive for COVID-19, according to ICE's website. A total of nine people who tested positive for the coronavirus have died while in federal immigration custody. The Stewart Detention Center had recorded a total of 474 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of the middle of last week, second only to La Palma Correctional Facility in Eloy, Arizona, which had 544 confirmed cases.

Georgia Ranks 2nd in '50 Best Places For Remote Working in 2021'

ATLANTA, Jan 8, 2021(Georgian Journal): Global travel site Big 7 Travel has released its list of the best cities (and islands) to work from remotely in 2021. According to the Big 7 Travel, as the global shift to remote working shows no sign of switching back, workers across the world are leaving behind the traditional office setup to WFH permanently. As the agency notes, in the US, at least, 20% of the current workforce are freelance workers and that number has been predicted to grow to 40% by the mid-2020s.

The Big 7 Travel world ranking took into account the data of affordability and internet access (gathered from Nomad List) alongside other variables, including countries offering specific Digital Nomad visas, and the information about the comfortable co-working spaces and expat-friendly communities.

The list of top 10 destinations for remote working looks as follows: 10. Ljubljana, Slovenia 9. Hanoi, Vietnam 8. Buenos Aires, Argentina 7. Singapore 6. Berlin, Germany 5. Chiang Mai, Thailand 4. Bali, Indonesia 3. Belgrade, Serbia 2. Tbilisi, Georgia 1. Tallinn, Estonia.

Placing Tbilisi at the second place in its ranking, the Big 7 Travel notes that the Georgian capital has been making significant steps in the digital nomad world.

"Over the past several years, Tbilisi has been making big moves in the digital nomad world. Sat in the Caucasus region, the quirky capital has a lot to offer in the way of culture; from its diverse food scene to its long and complicated history, there’s something for everyone. It also serves as a great base for exploring the rest of Georgia. From the frosty Caucasus mountains up north to the pebbled shores of Batumi’s Black Sea coast; the country is as visually appealing as it is affordable", - notes the website.

In addition, the Big 7 Travel points out that Tbilisi offers a huge host of cafes perfect for cranking out a day of work along with hot spot coworking spaces like Impact Hub and Lokal. As for the living costs, the website estimates that affordable accommodation prices usually do not go higher than $300-$400.

Coordination Council Measures Restrictions Impact Through Relative Stability of Epidemic Stance: Giorgi Gakharia, Prime Minister

GEORGIA, Dec 17, 2020:: Impact of COVID restrictions imposed within the scope of a 2-Month-Long Plan on the relative stability of the epidemic stance, extension of the Intensive Testing Program and importance of avoiding a sharp increase of mobility in the process of maintaining the achieved results were discussed today by the Inter-Agency Coordination Council led by Giorgi Gakharia, Prime Minister of Georgia at the Government Administration.

It was noted at the meeting that almost 20 000 tests are administered a day within the scope of an Intensive Testing Program, which is continued to ensure the timely detection of viral infection, isolation of the contracted individuals and curbing of the viral spread. Thus, the Inter-Agency Coordination Council once again urges the citizens to use the opportunity offered by the State and refer to the relevant healthcare facility if and when they experience symptoms characteristic to the respiratory disease to get tested. The number of such healthcare facilities is over 200 throughout the country.

In the opinion of epidemiologists, current indicators give us grounds for cautious optimism as the positive trend has reached 19%. Nevertheless, the relative stability of the situation and the declining trend of test-positive cases should not make us relaxed. Thus, the Inter-Agency Coordination Council and healthcare professionals are strictly recommending citizens to stay away from organizing or participating in crowded gatherings for the New Year’s Eve and Christmas parties. Instead, upcoming holidays should be celebrated in a close family circle, as the virus remains to be a serious challenge. It was once again stressed at the Inter-Agency Council that extra caution and avoidance of sharp increase in mobility remain important in the context of eased COVID restrictions, making sure that results achieved so far do not get compromised. Inter-

Agency Coordination Council analyses in detail the current epidemic situation in the country, impact of the imposed restrictions, degree of their enforcement and economic interests of the country to take balanced decisions. At the same time, as instructed by the Prime Minister of Georgia, the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development will meet food traders to make sure that they care for the queue management at the stage of loosened restrictions along with the adherence to all the other essential recommendations of customer behavior at their premises. Focus at the Inter-Agency Coordination Council was made on the actions currently taken for the uninterrupted flow of the vaccination process and steps taken by the Special Commission established under the instructions of the Prime Minister of Georgia towards this end. These include a timely supply of vials and the creation of the essential infrastructure and logistics.

The Commission is inter alia intensively working on the design of eligibility criteria for the immunization and list of groups to be vaccinated in the first instance. Also, the current system of cold chain has been assessed in the country. Namely, according to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), coolers operating at -20°C are available at municipalities; almost 40 coolers operating at -70°C/-80°C are available in the country; some others are being procured to streamline the system in large cities of the country. The decision has been taken to further boost the available cold chain resources nation-wide.

Work is being completed on the entry of the vaccine into the country. At the same time, apart from the COVAX platform, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and overseas diplomatic missions of Georgia are engaged in the negotiations held with international partners and pharmaceutical companies. It was once again noted that effective enforcement of the imposed restrictions is required, along with all the recommendations that need to be adhered. They include the social distancing and uniform wearing of face masks. In terms of COVID restrictions imposed within the scope of a 2-Month-Long Plan of the Government of Georgia, enforcement results have been presented in detail by the Minister of Internal Affairs and Head of Labor Inspection Department under the Ministry of Health to the Inter-Agency Coordination Council. Namely, 712 cases of violations have been detected through monitoring carried out nation-wide by the law-enforcement bodies within the last 24 hours. Police have penalized 88 individuals for breaching the rules of isolation and/or quarantine, out of which some violated the mobility ban from 21:00 to 05:00.

In addition, 624 individuals were fined within the last 24 hours for not wearing facemasks. Out of 195 facilities overseen through a joint effort of the Labor Inspection Department of the Ministry of Health, Inland Revenue Service of the Ministry of Finance, National Food Agency of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture and Municipal Surveillance Services within the last 24 hours, overall supervision actions covered 195 facilities, out of which 119 were inspected for preventive purposes and verbal warnings were issued. 45 facilities were re-inspected, out of which 31 were compliant. The Inter-Agency  Coordination Council led by the Prime Minister of Georgia actively engages the Parliament of Georgia chaired by MP Archil Talakvadze and Administration of the President of Georgia.