February 26, 2020 / 6:26 PM / a month ago

Georgia reports first coronavirus case in the country

TBILISI (Reuters) - Georgia on Wednesday reported the first case of coronavirus in the country.

Health minister Ekaterine Tikaradze said an infected Georgian citizen, who was traveling from Iran, crossed the border from neighboring Azerbaijan.

“He was immediately taken to hospital from the border check-point,” she said.

Tikaradze said the infected man, who traveled by mini-bus with other 12 passengers, crossed the Georgian border with Azerbaijan on Tuesday.

All of them had been checked by bodyguards and taken to hospital, the minister said.

“Coronavirus positive was only in one case,” Tikaradze said.

Other members of the group tested negative, but remain in a quarantine, she said

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia has created a group to coordinate actions to try to prevent a disease outbreak in the country, the premier’s press service said.

The group has decided to suspend travel between Georgia and Iran for two weeks.

Georgia, a South Caucasus country of 3.7 million, suspended direct flights to and from China on Jan. 29 for two months and took the same decision for Iran on Feb. 23, warning its citizens to refrain from traveling to both countries.

The novel coronavirus originated in China late last year and has infected about 80,000 people, killing more than 2,700, the vast majority in China.

Reporting by Margarita Antidze; editing by Chris Reese and Mark Potter

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