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Official Tbilisi’s generosity and stinginess2009-12-10 18:32
Tbilisi is getting mixed up financing obligation-free "alternative" governments of extinct autonomies, promising its "ex-es" money for medicine for "swine flu" simultaneously tightening access to South Ossetia and cancelling benefits for those who fought for Georgia's "territorial integrity". There is always money for promo-campaigns and none when needs of real people are concerned.
Recently Tbilisi showed its attention to people of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. When the Georgian law on occupied territories legally restrains contacts of the two republics with the external world and hinders economic activity, there has to be at least visibility of "statal" help to those whom official Tbilisi keeps presenting as Georgian citizens.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare expressed readiness to supply Abkhazia and South Ossetia with unlimited amount of medicine for "swine flu" if needed. As deputy head of disease control center Shota Tsanava told InterpressNews the epidemic situation in Abkhazia is rather grave.
This is confirmed by Medianews agency (Georgia) sources in Sukhum. 45 persons are staying in Sukhum's hospital as A/H1N1 infected. Officially the doctors fail to diagnose them since there is no test laboratory in Abkhazia. Tamiflu for influenza is sold only in two pharmacies in Sukhum. No quarantine is introduced in schools though many children stay away from classes.
Even if it is true it's naïve to expect Abkhazia to take "humanitarian aid" from Tbilisi. It was not the point of the independence struggle that lasted almost 20 years.
Remarkably doctors in Georgia ask to refrain from panicking in spite of numerous cases of swine flu for no reason applying the term "panic among population" for the epidemic situation in Abkhazia. Why so? Maybe it's connected with the presidential election scheduled for Saturday?..
Tskhinval has already announced a weekly quarantine in schools and nurseries since a third of pupils are staying at home as Res agency reports. It's wrong to call it panic since extra holidays have always been given in case of "ordinary" flu.
Besides South Ossetia is handling the flu well enough without Tbilisi's "gratuitous" help. RUR 9,000,000 is set aside from the budget that Russia refilled to counteract progression of A/H1N1.
However the statement of the Georgian Ministry of Health didn't mean that Abkhazians and Ossetians would go to Georgia for medicine. It was a pro forma statement for propaganda only.