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Appeal of the Human Rights Center on Systemic Crisis accompanying the Spread of New Coronavirus Pandemic

09.11.2020

 
Due to the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, the situation in Georgia is getting worse every day. According to official statistics, the number of infected people is constantly increasing in recent days. 

HRC continues to protect the rights of people affected by the pandemic in Tbilisi and also in the regions of the country. Recently, there has been a particularly high number of referrals from people with health problems who are unable to receive the necessary medical care. Due to the overcrowded referrals, shortages of sufficient places in hospitals are increasingly endangering the health and lives of people. The situation is particularly critical in regions where signs of crisis are already being observed due to insufficient infrastructure and a shortage of medical staff.

One of the beneficiaries of HRC, a 78-year-old patient with a chronic illness living in Kutaisi, despite severe symptoms, he is still deprived of the right to health care and is in fact abandoned to the whims of fate. Covid-19 was confirmed to the caregiver of the patient, and later, the patient himself showed the symptoms. He underwent a chest radiography based on a referral from a family doctor, after which he was diagnosed with inflammation in the right lung. According to the results of the initial rapid test, the patient was not diagnosed with Covid-19, as a result, he was treated at home. Within a few days, due to complicated symptoms, fever, decreased taste sensation, hypertension and shortness of breath, the patient in vain requests of the inpatient treatment (even at his own expense), however, his request remains unanswered.

After numerous appeals by the lawyer of HRC to the relevant agencies, through the hotline of the Ministry of Health (1505), the patient was included in the waiting list, but he still remains at home, without the necessary and urgent medical aid.

Unfortunately, the current situation already indicates the entry into the acute stage of the crisis. Despite the success in managing the first wave at the expense of numerous human rights restrictions, unfortunately, the health sector was unprepared to face the crisis caused by the second wave. Against the background of the general nepotism and protectionism prevalent in the Georgian healthcare system, it may become even more alarming to treat patients with firm adherence to the principle of equality.

In view of all the above, we call:

To the Government of Georgia:
  • Take all measures and adhere to the principle of equality to provide assistance to all persons with similar needs;
  • Take all possible measures immediately to reduce the spread of the virus and ensure that patients receive appropriate medical care;
  • Take all necessary measures, mobilize medical staff in all areas of crisis to enable people living in the region to benefit from appropriate medical services;
  • Encourage a voluntary mobilization and immediately begin to mobilize additional resources to provide the necessary first aid in the event of a crisis;
  • Immediately establish an additional hotline to ensure the operation of 112 is not interrupted and that other cases of violations or other emergency cases do not remain unanswered.
To the population:
  • Each person should understand the individual responsibility to protect their own and other people’s health and lives. Strictly follow all recommendations necessary to prevent the spread of the virus;
  • Do not spread misinformation about the virus and carefully check the reliability of the information you receive or disseminate about the virus.

Human Rights Center

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