Marneuli, Georgia braces for epidemic – what’s happening in the city on lockdown.


Despite the fact that the coronavirus has been in the country for about a month, this young woman simply has no information about it. She has no idea what she needs to do to protect herself and her children from the virus.

Most people, of course, have heard that some dangerous virus is spreading all over the world, including in Georgia, but they do not have any official information, and rumors are spreading far faster.

No one paid any serious attention to the virus until a resident of Marneuli fell ill.

Life in the villages goes on as usual. My friends tell me that people there still gather together regularly.

It is spring and many are out in the fields. Some do not have time to watch TV, because they are cultivating the land and growing vegetables.

This morning I spoke with my grandmother, who lives in one of the villages near Marneuli:

“We heard on the Azerbaijani news station that Marneuli was closed off, is everything alright there?” She asked me.

Many Marneuli residents, especially young people who actively post on Facebook, are unhappy with the measures the government has taken.

They say that authorities need to take more strict control over the situation.

Novrus Mehdi from the village of Algeti calls on the authorities to pay more attention to the villages:

“Attention, authorities! In Marneuli villages, people are not complying with quarantine rules! Everyone is outside! Please ensure the safety of the population and send representatives to the villages to educate them!”

And Mariam Kveladze from the village of Tsereteli had this message:

“The police must go to the villages and the city of Marneuli and monitor those living there … People are still walking around in the streets …”

I try to social distance and stay at home, but I also want to do something to help people.

I was up all night translating information and documents from city hall to distribute among the Azerbaijani population, which does not speak Georgian.

If necessary, I am ready to go to the villages, with the appropriate safety equipment, and explain to people how to protect themselves from the virus.

Rashan Ziyadaliev, a civic activist from Marneuli, has launched a volunteer campaign. He says that they are going to go door to door around all the Marneuli villages in order to inform people of the situation in the Azerbaijani language.

“We are turning to organizations for help, and as soon as we have the transport and the necessary equipment, we will start traveling there in small groups,” says Rashan.


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