3. Providing health services effectively
The section on PROVIDING HEALTH SERVICES EFFECTIVELY describes approaches for service delivery planning and patient pathways for suspected COVID-19 cases. It also considers efforts by countries to maintain other essential services during periods of excessive demand for health services.
3.1 Planning services
Several medical facilities and hotels across the country have been transformed into quarantine facilities, including through the re-designation of hospitals, as the number of cases is expected to increase in the coming weeks.
In November, Georgia had to increase the country’s oxygen production capacity rapidly in order to meet demand from hospitals caring for COVID-19 patients. As of 2 December, 90% of the increased demand for oxygen was met locally and the supply problems had been resolved by the import of 10 large power generators, which produce oxygen as a by-product.
The first 43,200 doses of vaccine (AstraZenica) have arrived in Georgia having been procured through COVAX. Medical staff will be vaccinated in the first phase, however, not all medics throughout the country as there are thousands of doctors in Georgia. The first vaccinations were administered on 15 March, and the event was broadcast on live television. On the first day, 668 people were vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine and 4,202 medical workers were registered to get vaccinated. In total, 82 facilities have been selected as vaccination centres.
Through COVAX, Georgia should receive the Pfizer, AstraZenica, and Johnson&Johnson vaccines. The goal is to vaccinate at least 60% of Georgia's population by the end of this year (https://bit.ly/3pnAkNk). The Head of the NCDC has said that if 1,600,000 people are vaccinated in Georgia, life could return to normal. A hotline launched to get information on COVID-19 vaccination [tel. 15 22].
The European Union (EU) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have handed over 10 intensive care ventilators and 1,000 items of protective equipment to COVID-19 hospitals in Georgia for the treatment and care of Covid-patients. This shipment is a part of the large support provided jointly by the EU and WHO, which has already provided substantial medical supplies across the region, including over €1.8 million items of personal protective and medical equipment, such as isolation gowns, protective goggles, oxygen concentrators, medical masks, respirators delivered to Georgia.