#Coronavirus: How 'three musketeers' helped Georgia fight virus
Tuesday, 07 July, 2020, 14:15
Georgia is enjoying the distinction of being included in a list of 15 non-EU states the European Union considers safe enough to open its borders to. It's the only former Soviet republic to achieve that status.Fewer than 1,000 cases of Covid-19 have been registered, and 15 people have died out of a population of 3.7 million. A group of public scientists, dubbed the three musketeers, are being praised for steering the Caucasus state's successful response to the pandemic.In Georgia, the NCDC's scientists have become widely respected for their decision-making.The trio included the head of the NCDC, Amiran Gamkrelidze, the man in charge of the Lugar lab, Paata Imnadze, and the main virologist, Tengiz Tsertsvadze, who is head of Tbilisi's infectious diseases, Aids and immunology research centre.Armenia, which (to date) has registered nearly 27,000 cases of Covid-19, started easing lockdown measures at the end of April, gradually reopening the economy in May.Its health minister, Arsen Torosyan, told the BBC that the number of new infections was soaring, but that the country could no longer afford to stay shut."We decided to live with the virus regardless of the numbers. We don't have an end goal to eradicate it. Because it is impossible. If we have to close borders for a year, close businesses for months and years we will die from other causes."Neighbouring Azerbaijan also continues to register hundreds of new cases every day.
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