Coronavirus in Armenia – 20 new cases, PM and wife in self-isolation
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and his wife Anna Akopyan have been tested for the virus. During their recent visit to Brazil, Anna Akopyan hugged the Brazilian president’s wife. After this encounter, news agency O Dia, citing a government source, reported that the Brazilian president had tested positive for coronavirus.
Later, it was discovered that the result was actually negative. However, Nikol Pashinyan and Anna Hakobyan decided to go through all the necessary procedures and isolated themselves until they received the results from their own tests.
On the evening of March 14, it was reported that they were both in good health.
The latest numbers
The number of infected people continued to grow throughout the day on March 14.
First, the Minister of Health Arsen Torosyan said that the total number of infected had reached 15, and that 200 people were in quarantine:
“We just tested 38 more people, 36 of which turned out to be negative, and two positive. Patients who tested positive are epidemiologically related to the case in Echmiadzin and were isolated from the beginning.”
The case in Echmiadzin refers to a coronavirus patient who was diagnosed on March 11. She returned to Armenia from Italy and refused to stay home in quarantine. In the 10 days before her diagnosis, she attended a number crowded events, including an engagement party.
Now, the several dozen people invited to this celebration are in quarantine, and some were infected.
Until March 11, there had only been one case in Armenia. The infected had traveled from Iran, and all those who had contact with him were in quarantine. Now, the number is growing exponentially.
As of the evening of March 14, there are 20 confirmed coronavirus cases in Armenia.
Will coronavirus affect the referendum?
In light of the growing number of COVID-19 cases, more and more people are beginning to discuss cancelling, or at least postponing, the constitutional referendum scheduled for April 5.
The question of whether to terminate the powers of six judges and the head of the Constitutional Court, who took office under the previous administration, will be put to a popular vote. The authorities also intend to adopt a declaration based on the results of the referendum, which includes an official assessment of the activities of the former authorities over the past 30 years.
According to current legislation, a referendum can be canceled or postponed if a state of emergency or martial law is declared. Whether this will be the case with the virus is not yet clear.
Fewer flights to Armenia
Due to the coronavirus, some airlines have canceled their flights to Yerevan, said Satenik Hovhannisyan, head of the PR department of Zvartnots Airport:
“Flights on the following airlines have been canceled:
Ryanair: Yerevan – Milan, Yerevan – Rome;
Armenia Airlines: Yerevan – Lyon, Yerevan – Tel Aviv;
Qatar Airways: Doha – Yerevan;
Belavia: Minsk – Yerevan;
Fly Dubai: Dubai – Yerevan;
Pegasus: planning to cancel flights from Sochi – Yerevan.”