Coronavirus Geopolitics and Fighting Against Its Consequences – Why Georgia Is Successful Story
31 March, 2020
Coronavirus Geopolitics and Fighting Against Its Consequences – Why Georgia Is Successful Story
"Why Georgia became such “successful story” compared with the same situation in Italy, France, the UK, and other European states?"

A massive challenge to world society in the form of virus epidemic dissemination shifts not only the global security environment but also the daily life of the universe. The virus labeled as COVID-19 emerged in Wuhan province in China has stimulated global smite pandemic waves getting obscured international political systems and caused more than 10 thousand death toll in number.
Certainly the COVID-19 belongs to biological weapons and more concretely affiliated with bacteriological agents of natural origin together with bacteria entities. Under international security provisions it ascertains as asymmetrical military threat with trend-centric origin.

Unfortunately, namely, the biological warfare and its agents regulation regime is very weak and plausible and only limited with a special Convention on Biological Diversity signed by 150 countries in 1992 and the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction signed in 1972. Since COVID-19 emerged in China, nearly 3,000 people have died and close to 90,000 have been infected (likely an undercount) across dozens of countries, with community transmission now reported in multiple locations in the United States.

The pandemic revolution has been revealed the complete unpreparedness of all nations in the world, including the most developed nations of the G7 group and the EU and NATO structures. The COVID-19 tsunami traced through all national borders and endangered everything on its path and destroyed communities in one run.

On February 26, “Corona” (COVID-19) was reported in Georgia. An infected Georgian citizen was found to be in Iran. Just after this day, the people of Georgia learned the great importance of the Lugar Lab in our country. Unlike other countries Georgia does not send tests abroad, we can conduct important research in our own country. The healthcare system is well-prepared to meet the virus that even the most powerful states in the world have to deal with.

All state bodies are united in the fight against the virus in Georgia. The doctors fight tirelessly for 24 hours to defeat the virus COVID-19. On February 27, the Georgian society woke up in a completely different reality, the geographical area of the Coronavirus was growing. Georgia had already appeared on the map of Corona. Despite serious threat imposed on, Georgia with an introduction into the country emergency law and declared as “red zone” two regions: Marneuli and Gardabani ones and with more than 100 confirmed of virus diseased persons, anyway Georgia became like a “successful case-study” for fighting against the COVID-19 and despite declaring emergency situation with martial law elements (including enacting curfew since 9.00 p.m. till 6.00 a.m.), the application is remarkable to the situation, even due to case that none of the militaries who are taking in force the strict measures in the “red zones” have been diseased with COVID-19 virus.

Why Georgia became such “successful story” compared with the same situation in Italy, France, the UK, and other European states could be considering the following patterns:

1. Georgia is a small country with a relatively small population and control of small size territory became more efficient and with high and thorough investigation of every cluster of the confirmed cases;

2. A complete shutdown and no internal and international travel measures have been conducted by the Georgian government as soon as the first information on the COVID-19 virus spread over. By large, the national security system orientation namely on prevention natural disorder and catastrophic scenarios rather than obviation of military symmetric challenges that were enacted due to taking into force a new version of the Constitution of the country played also positive feedbacking.

Currently, the main coordinator HQ on crisis management is in the hands of the National Security Council formally led by the PM but de-facto led by the Minister of Internal Affairs who is simultaneously is being the Secretary to the Council. The structure has been operating sufficiently enough in the time of declaration of emergency. In addition to credible contributions paved by the Defense Forces of Georgia perpetrated namely complete quarantine regime in the “Red Zones” and the whole Ministry of Defense staff successfully led by incumbent Defense Minister Irakli Garibashvili. The Forces were well prepared for dealing with various scenarios of emergency and crisis management having a vast experience gained in NATO and EU-led peace-making and crisis management operations abroad;

3. A list of high-professional and well skills-based crises public managers (medical high-level staff members) in the government of Georgia (mainly and having experienced with so-called “Civil Defense” oriented crisis management concept (mainly having proper biological defense segment of the concept) since the Soviet Union period also contributed in fighting successfully with the unknown threat.

Moreover, three biological research institutions and centers have been operating since the Soviet time, for instance, "Anti-Black Death Georgian Station", which is located in Tbilisi, which is now the "National Center for Disease Control and Public Health", where almost 70 years were working on dangerous pathogens and another agency such “Tabakhmela Biochemical Plant” as well as a bit later appeared Richard Lugar Center (see below);

4. The most adventurous premature for successful management case configured with endorsement since 2002 when proper agreement had been signed by the Defense Minister of Georgia and State Defense Secretary on operating so-called “Lugar Library” or the Richard Lugar Center for Public Health Research. The full name of the Agreement was "Cooperation in the field of prevention of the introduction of pathogenesis and experience related to biological weapons development". The Center was created due to by that time existence of the Pankisi Gorge crisis with emergence jihadist warriors in the area and identification of biological toxin entities Ricin production manufactured by the local branch of Al-Qaida. One of the missions on prevention and further dissemination of the toxin aimed for running the Center. The Lugar Research Center is fully passed on the Government of Georgia, and since 2018 the Government of Georgia provides full funding for Lugar Research Center and Laboratory Network. The Center played a key role as a diagnostic facility during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic in Georgia. Exactly the factor played and still playing a vital role in monitoring and casting the COVID-19 virus in Georgia. The speed identification of the virus symptoms in 5 hours after the testing of a possible victim with a 95% result is a credible instrument for successfully fighting with the asymmetric threat.

Certainly these four above-mentioned factors are only a few parameters preliminary identified as tools and achievement of the success case for Georgia at the stage.

By Professor Vakhtang Maisaia
Ph.D. in politics and military politics

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