Celebration of Pascha did not affect spread of coronavirus in Georgia, says infectious disease specialist

Tbilisi, May 7, 2020


There was no increase in the cases of coronavirus infection following the celebration of Pascha in Georgia, where the churches remained open though observing the necessary sanitary standards, according to a leading infectious diseases expert in Tbilisi.

“At the recommendation of the government, the Church itself has taken a very correct and good position and, in fact, we quietly passed through the period that could have been the basis for the growth of the epidemic,” said Tengiz Tsertsvadze, the Director of the Tbilisi Infectious Diseases Hospital, on Adjara Television on May 4.

“There has been no increase in the number of infections due to religious holidays,” the expert said.

He also stressed that all the main clusters of coronavirus infections have been identified and localized in Georgia to date, thanks to the effective work of epidemiologists and doctors.

The Chief Sanitary Doctor of Ukraine, Deputy Minister of Health Viktor Lyashko reported the same about Pascha in Ukraine, despite media attempts to create a hysteria surrounding the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church

“For believers, spiritual food is just as important and necessary as physical food; therefore, it is impossible to close the doors of the churches, and they will be open for those who want to come to Church, to receive God’s grace and be spiritually strengthened,” His Holiness Catholics-Patriarch Ilia II said in the run-up to Pascha.

“Given the current situation, I would like to address you, our spiritual children, and give you the following advice: Follow the appropriate instructions; observe the established distance while near to other people, including in church or in the church yard; during the Divine Liturgy (and other services), only clergymen should remain in the church, while a limited number of parishioners are allowed to join them in large cathedrals, though it is generally recommended that parishioners remain in the church yard,” the Patriarcha’s statement continued.

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