A volunteer brings food and drinks during the coronavirus outbreak. Tbilisi, Georgia, March 18, 2020. Photo REUTERS/Ираклий Геденидзе

26 March 2020, 18:37

Georgian activists point to flaws in information campaign on coronavirus

In Georgia, 16 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have urged the authorities to disseminate information on coronavirus also in the Azerbaijani and Armenian languages. Most of the residents of the regions of Kvemo Kartli and Samtskhe Djavakheti fail to speak Georgian and can't receive data on coronavirus, activists have reported.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that two districts of the Kvemo Kartli region inhabited by ethnic Azerbaijanis were put under strict quarantine after a woman from Marneuli District was diagnosed coronavirus. The population in the quarantine zone was not informed about the danger of the virus, as news programmes in the Azerbaijani language are broadcasted only once a day by the Georgian Public Television, local residents have noted.

"Places of compact residence of ethnic minorities are notable for low knowledge of the Georgian language. According to various sources, the share is about 65 percent. As a result of the education reform, only young people speak Georgian ... Information of TV companies is inaccessible for ethnic minorities," the NGOs have stated.

Besides, in country's regions, only a narrow circle of people has access to the Internet.

Members of the ethnic minorities living in the regions of Kvemo Kartli and Samtskhe Djavakheti have confirmed that in their Diaspora not everyone speaks Georgian; therefore in both regions, they watch the TV channels that broadcast in their native languages, Azerbaijani and Armenian, and are unaware of the processes ongoing in Georgia.

Rimma Garibyan, the director of the "Jnews" portal, said that now residents of the regions are concerned about the absence of earnings – most families leave to work in Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on March 26, 2020 at 08:13 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Inna Kukudjanova; Source: CK correspondent

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