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UNICEF Georgia COVID-19 Situation Report #9 (22 May 2020)

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• UNICEF supported the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia to develop a framework for remote service provision for children with disabilities and their families.

• UNICEF partner, Initiative for Social Change, developed draft guidelines on Remote Child Protection Case Management for statutory social workers and conducted 30 online supervision meetings covering 205 statutory social workers.

• UNICEF partner, MAC Georgia, provided support to 400 frontline child protection staff to adjust to the distant working modality and provide much-needed services to children with disabilities and their families during the pandemic.

• UNICEF Georgia launched its Instagram page to reach young people with COVID-19 related information.

• A Facebook group page - Debates for Education - created through a joint project of UNICEF Georgia and the Georgian Institute for Debate and Education gathered 500 members and the first quiz had 115 student participants.

• A challenge – Show Us Your Life-Hacks – was initiated in a youth group on Facebook, for young people to share their experiences of how to stay productive when staying at home and studying online.

• UNICEF, in partnership with the CSO, Coalition for Education for All and MoESCS, have developed new resources, including comprehensive tasks and assignments, in all core subjects, which have been uploaded on the MoESCS (iSchool) platform.

• UNICEF Georgia hosted by the HR Professionals' Association of Georgia in a webinar on Upholding Core Values in Emergency Management.

Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs

On 26 February 2020, the first case of COVID-19 was identified in Georgia. In the following days, several more cases emerged, which prompted the Government to institute the first phase of restrictions on land and air movement and closure of schools, effective 2 March. The Government mobilized hospitals for confirmed cases of COVID-19, as well as quarantine spaces for suspected cases in different regions of Georgia. Despite the early actions of the Government, the number of confirmed and suspected cases continued to grow, triggering the Government to declare a state of emergency on 21 March – closing all borders and airports, restricting movement inside the country, banning mass gatherings and maintaining closure of all schools, kindergartens, and universities. Community spread was detected, spurring the Government to introduce a curfew, halt movement of public transport, and introduce checkpoints on city crossings administered by police and military units. The State of Emergency was extended until 22 May, however, a gradual lifting of restrictions is underway. Movement within and between cities is now permitted. The Prime Minister announced that the state of emergency will be lifted as of 23 May.

The first case of COVID-19 was identified in Abkhazia, Georgia, on 30 March. To date, 26 cases of COVID-19 have been identified, 2 people have recovered, and one death was recorded. A state of emergency was put in place in Abkhazia from 28 March and it was lifted as of 21 April. However, restrictions on movement remain in place, and the Administrative Border Line and the border with Russia remain closed.