27 Feb 2020 14:17

S. Ossetia closes border with Georgia due to coronavirus

TSKHINVAL. Feb 27 (Interfax) - The South Ossetian Security Council has decided to suspend operation of every fast-track checkpoint on the border with Georgia in order to prevent an outbreak of Covid-19.

"The virus is spreading all over the world; it has already reached neighboring Georgia. This is a serious challenge for South Ossetia. Our response should be prompt but balanced and correct," South Ossetian President Anatoly Bibilov said at a meeting of the Security Council.

"Seeking to prevent an outbreak of Covid-19 in the territory of South Ossetia, the Security Council has decided to close every fast-track checkpoint on the border between South Ossetia and Georgia until further notice," a statement published on the South Ossetian presidential website on Thursday said.

The Health and Social Development Ministry and the Committee for Oversight of Consumer Rights and Wellbeing have been tasked with making a plan of preventative measures and elaborating a procedure for interaction with the relevant Russian agencies.

The Foreign Ministry was tasked with publishing an international travel alert for citizens of South Ossetia.

Georgian Health Minister Ekaterina Tikaradze reported the first Covid-19 case in Georgia on Wednesday evening. A 50-year-old Georgian citizen, who returned from Iran via Azerbaijan, tested positive for coronavirus.