March 23, 2020 - 10:39 AMT
Georgia quarantines two cities due to unknown source of local transmission

Georgian authorities quarantined the cities of Marneuli and Bolnisi and put them on lockdown after a woman tested positive for the novel coronavirus, OC Media reports.

Health officials have so far been unsuccessful in identifying the source of the woman’s infection.

Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia announced that no one was to be allowed in or out of the two neighbouring municipalities in southern Georgia until further notice.

"This is a situation we have been discussing for several days — that a domestic spread starts."

"We should all understand that today, our epidemiology experts identified 90 people the woman came into contact with and this is not all of them."

He said that the municipalities would be under lockdown, with everything closed except for grocery stores, pharmacies and hospitals, and critical infrastructure.

Public transport will be banned, and people will be prohibited from moving within the municipalities except to buy food or medicine or to get medical assistance.

Gakharia said the woman contracted the virus at a memorial service to mark the first anniversary of a death.

Georgia has so far reported 54 cases of the coronavirus.