COVID-19: Occupied Abkhazia Declares State of Emergency until April 20

On March 27, Valery Bganba, acting leader of Moscow-backed Abkhazia declared state of emergency effective until April 20 to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus in the occupied region. 

Bganba announced that the state of emergency will be in force throughout the whole territory of Abkhazia from 00:00 March 28 to 00:00 April 20. According to Apsny Press, a local media outlet, the Abkhaz “parliament” has unanimously approved the decision. 

Declaring state of emergency will grant Abkhaz authorities following extraordinary powers:

  • to strengthen protection of public order and livelihoods of the local population;
  • to impose restrictions on entry and exit; 
  • to issue and enforce the stay-at-home order; 
  • to restrict meetings, rallies, street processions and demonstrations, as well as holding sporting and other public events;
  • to establish special regime of operation for enterprises, institutions and organizations;
  • to commandeer the resources of enterprises, institutions and organizations to prevent and eliminate the consequences of emergency;
  • to ban general strikes;
  • to order a mandatory quarantine and carry out sanitary and anti-epidemic measures;
  • to suspend transport movement and enforce their inspection;
  • to impose curfews.
On March 21, Georgia declared a nationwide state of emergency effective until April 21. According to President Zurabishvili, the extraordinary decision is aimed at “protecting the public health and reducing the looming threat” of COVID-19.

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