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There Is Deficiency of Medical Masks in Tbilisi Drug-Shops, Prime-Minister Is Lying

17.12.2009
Tako Khutsishvili
Ana Sheshaberidze

The more people are infected with N1H1 in Georgia the more people ask for medicines and masks. According to the National Center for Disease Control, estimated 647 patients have the virus in the country. Among them, 8 patients are in poorest conditions. Death of 5 people because of the virus panicked the population.

Prime Minister Nika Gilauri stated that there are enough medicines and medical masks in Georgia. Deputy Head of the National Center for Disease Control Shota Tsanava confirms the information in his interview with us. However, we doubted about the provided information and carried out special survey in the drug-shops of the capital. Our experiment exposed completely different picture. Apparently, there is serious deficiency of masks and the Prime-Minister is lying.

On December 15-16 we visited 24 drug-shops in various districts of Tbilisi and discovered masks only in three of them. They are GPS Drug Shop in Agmashenebeli Avenue N 116, its partner drug-shop “Red A” (the 5th micro-district of Gldani settlement, Tbilisi) and drug-shop New Pharma (3rd micro-district of Gldani settlement). The price of a mask varies between 27 to 40 tetri.

Drug-shops of Georgian pharmaceutical companies “Aversi” and “PSP” have particular problems with masks which have their shops next to each other almost everywhere in the city. We can list the drug shops which did not have masks.

 Drug-shops of “Aversi”: Kazbegi Avenue N 5; Kazbegi Avenue N 8; Underground Station “Medical Institute”, Khizanishvili Street N 6, Underground Station “At Akhmeteli Theater”, 7th Micro District of Gldani Settlement, Gudamakari Street N 4, Gagarini Square.

Pharmaceutist Zurab Kikvadze from Aversi drug-shop in Kazbegi Avenue N 5 told us: “When Georgian TV-channels reported about the urgent situation in the Ukraine and said that masks were in great demand there, I can say that next day we sold masks completely. Currently, it is still in deficiency. They do not have masks in the base too and we are waiting for them every day.”

We called hot-line of the Aversi and they confirmed that they have deficiency of masks in the network.

PSP also has serious problem of masks. More precisely, the following drug-shops did not have masks: Kazbegi Avenue N 8; Khizanishvili Street N 6; Agmashenebeli Avenue N 97, 7th micro-district of Gldani Settlement; Gagarini Square.

People’s Pharmacy in underground station “Politechnikuri”; in the 3rd micro-district in Gldani settlement, in supermarket “Masivi” did not have the masks. Drug shop in 5th micro-district in Gldani settlement, drug-shop 36/6, GPS in Kazbegi Avenue N 10, in the underground station “At Akhmeteli”, and private pharmacy in supermarket “Mariami” did not have masks.

“The masks have been in demand for the last 2 months. We have had the problem of masks for a long time already,” said pharmaceutist Keti Maisuradze of the drug-shop “Gea” in Kazbegi avenue N 13.

It is fact that there is deficiency of masks in Tbilisi. They are still in great demand and it increases day-by-day. The masks are mostly imported from China.

We informed Shota Tsanava about the situation in the capital and asked him to comment on the fact.

“I cannot comment on private drug-shops; but I can say that medical centers of the healthcare ministry have enough medicines and masks,” replied Shota Tsanava and added that people shall go to state medical centers for masks and not to private drug-shops.

We called several medical centers where doctors replied to us that they have masks only for medical personnel and they do not give them to citizens. “You should go to drug-shops for masks,” suggested doctors from policlinics.

www.humanrights.ge continues journalistic survey on the topic. We will publish new articles in near future.

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