Coronavirus — 526 New Cases in Armenia

  • As of today, at least six members of parliament and five members of the Milli Majlis have been infected with the COVID-19 virus.
  • A group of doctors arrived in Yerevan on a special charter flight from France to assist the Armenian healthcare system in the fight against the coronavirus.
  • Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Facebook that he was disappointed with the "negligent" approach of the population to the fight against the coronavirus.

At least 526 new cases of coronavirus infection have been registered in Armenia, pushing the total number of cases to 30,346. That’s according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention of the Ministry of Health of Armenia. According to the report, 573 patients have been cured over the past day, and the total number of cured has reached 18,000.

COVID-19 was confirmed to have reached Armenia on 1 March 2020 when its first case was reported. As of July 10, there were 30,903 reported cases and 546 deaths.

Currently, 11,641 people are receiving treatment for coronavirus. On the last day, 14 patients infected with COVID-19 died, bringing the total number of deaths to 535. The deaths of six more patients treated for the coronavirus were caused by other diseases, and the total number of such deaths was 170, according to the Ministry of Health.

As of today, at least six members of parliament and five members of the Milli Majlis have been infected with the COVID-19 virus. Another 15 MPs are said to have isolated themselves. Infected MPs are representatives of the ruling My Step Alliance and Prosperous Armenia party (PAP).

It is also reported that the leader of the PAP faction, Gagik Tsarukyan was infected and was treated at the Erebunu medical center. There is no information if there are members of the Intelligent Armenian faction among the infected deputies.

French Doctors Came to Help

A group of doctors arrived in Yerevan on a special charter flight from France to assist the Armenian healthcare system in the fight against the coronavirus. This was announced on the Facebook page of the Office of the Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs under the Government of Armenia.

This is the second group of doctors from France to assist Armenia in the fight against coronavirus. The visit of the second group of French doctors to Armenia was made possible by the $2.5 million aid provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the fight against coronavirus.

Doctors from Russia, Georgia, and Lithuania also expressed readiness to assist Armenia in the fight against COVID-19. On June 18, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Facebook that he was disappointed with the “negligent” approach of the population to the fight against the coronavirus.

Pashinyan wrote on Facebook, “we continue not to wear masks. What is wrong with our beloved compatriots neglecting the health of themselves and their loved ones? Should our government, formed on the basis of dialogue with the citizen, treat its citizen in a coercive manner?”

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Pashinyan said he and his wife and three daughters had contracted the coronavirus and were being treated in isolation at home. The disease was asymptomatic, and repeated tests 8 days later revealed negative results. In isolation, he performed his duties remotely via the Internet: holding government meetings, coronavirus commandant’s office meetings, and virtual press briefings.

Nikol Pashinyan is an Armenian politician serving as Prime Minister of Armenia since 8 May 2018 (as acting Prime Minister from 16 October to 9 December 2018). He is a former journalist and editor.

The state of emergency declared in Armenia on March 16 in connection with the coronavirus pandemic has been extended twice for 30 days after April 13. However, after March 24, restrictions on free movement and certain economic activities were lifted, and after May 18, public transport, kindergartens, sports and beauty salons, cafes, and restaurants were allowed to operate, subject to infection control rules.

The prime minister said that after the restrictions were lifted, citizens were “overconfident,” and did not follow quarantine rules. He added that “irresponsible actions” allowed the virus to spread more intensively. “Currently, there are no health problems in Armenia, there is a problem with compliance with the rules of law and order,” Pashinyan said on Facebook.

Pashinyan focused on places where the population is concentrated— trade and food facilities, public transport, post offices, banks, etc. He noted that epidemiological safety conditions have not been created in the field.

“I came to this post [Armenian Prime Minister] as a result of the people’s struggle and the will of the revolution. Do I have to take out special forces and beat the population with sticks to establish order? I can’t do that,” he said.

Pashinyan began posting photos on his Facebook page showing that the rules of the fight against the epidemic were not followed. These photos show banned mass events, trade workers without medical masks and gloves, and buses full of passengers.

Despite warnings of the epidemic, some parents and schools are secretly organizing festivities for graduating students. Some social media users have criticized Prime Minister Pashinyan for not following epidemiological safety rules during his reception after the inauguration of Arayik Harutyunyan in Shusha.

It is widely reported on the Internet that most of those gathered at the table do not wear masks or keep a social distance.

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Benedict Kasigara

I have been working as a freelance editor/writer since 2006. My specialist subject is film and television having worked for over 10 years from 2005 during which time I was the editor of the BFI Film and Television.

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