NCDC: Rate of COVID-19 Transmission Decreased in Georgia

Khatuna Zakhashvili, head of the Department of Communicable Diseases of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC), stated at a news briefing on May 5 that the rate of COVID-19 transmission has decreased in the country.

According to Zakhashvili, monitoring of new statistical data on new COVID-19 cases and recoveries revealed that, as of May 4, the basic reproduction number (R0) of the novel coronavirus amounted 0.89.

Zakhashvili added that over the past 15 days, the average value of R0 equalled 0.97, while the 30-day average added up to 1.23.

The basic reproduction number (or ratio) is a metric used by epidemiologists to measure how contagious a given infectious disease is. R0 indicates the average number of people who will contract the disease from an already infected person. For instance, if a disease has an R0 of  5, a single spreader can transmit it to an average of five other people.

“When the index decreases below 1, it means that the rate of the viral transmission is declining,” she said, highlighting that “this is a volatile process, meaning that it periodically rises and then falls.”

Zakhashvili predicted a rise in recorded cases in Georgia, and that R0 “may fluctuate” in the foreseeable future. Therefore, she said, “we are monitoring the changes in this index that will enable us to make projections, and to devise containment and restriction measures in the future,” she clarified.

Speaking at the same news briefing, Amiran Gamkrelidze, head of the NCDC, noted that the fact that during certain days “[daily count] of recovered patients exceeds the number of infected people” was “very encouraging.”

“It is our task to hold down the basic reproductive said,” he said, arguing that it would make easing of some emergency restrictions possible.

As of May 6, 12:00, Georgia has confirmed 610 cases of the novel coronavirus. 269 infected patients have now recovered and undergo self-isolation. 9 patients have died from coronavirus. Currently, 5113 people are kept in a 14-day mandatory quarantine, while 523 patients remain under observation in hospitals.

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