CAUCASUS: Covid-19 and the Caucasus
Virus facts and figures:
Armenia: 921 cases, including 10 deaths and 138 recoveries
Azerbaijan: 822 cases, including 8 deaths and 63 recoveries
Georgia: 214 cases. Three people have died, 50 others have recovered.
In North Ossetia, a virus denial campaign is getting strong, as many, including some famous people, have taken to social media to dismiss the pandemic as “fairytales” and a “government conspiracy” and to call for mass protests. Most recently, a group of skeptics attacked a local hospital, demanding to be shown “the alleged patients” as proof the virus exists. In the meantime, one person has died of the Covid-19 complications in the republic.
Their kin in South Ossetia witnessed a scandal of their own – one that erupted after a local doctor’s confidential letter of complaint about what he said was “the utter lack of personal protective equipment” in his hospital had been leaked into Facebook. The authorities deny the deficit exists. No confirmed cases of the infection have been officially recorded in South Ossetia to date.
In Armenia, as part of an all-out state of emergency in place here since mid-March, the authorities imposed massive restrictions on media, warning, vaguely, against publication of any virus-related information that “might sow panic among the population’. In response to protests from newsrooms, the government has since eased the regulations, however, say experts, the feeling that it has exploited concerns over coverage of the epidemic to clamp down on press freedoms still persists.
As the quarantine in Azerbaijan continues, most local commercial facilities – cafes, shops, trade centres – have closed indefinitely, leaving tens of thousands of their employees without a pay and facing an uncertain future. Here’s the story of one of them.
Online operas, concerts and dancing doctors – here’s a glimpse (including a couple of videos) of how Armenians are getting by in quarantine.
And this here is a video of Tbilisi in the days of the epidemic.
Other Covid-19 headlines
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