Armenia: 26 new coronavirus cases, 78 total. First day after declaring state of emergency
By the end of March 17, 26 new coronavirus cases had been diagnosed. This brings the total number of cases to 78. One patient has already recovered and was discharged from the hospital.
The majority of those who were diagnosed on March 17 had already been in isolation. They are all people who had been in contact with previously identified cases.
New nationwide restrictions are being introduced. In particular, the government announced a list of countries whose residents are banned from entering Armenia starting March 17.
Details below about the situation in the “closed” city of Echmiadzin, alcohol prices, access to essential goods, and the work of the media in a state of emergency
Additional restrictions in Etchmiadzin
The epicenter of the disease in Armenia is the city of Echmiadzin, about 20 kilometers from Yerevan. Most of the infected are located there.
Among the new cases are those who were in contact with the first person infected in Echmiadzin. The woman in question returned home from Italy and, instead of self-isolating, attended several crowded events.
Therefore, the city is almost completely quarantined
There are 27 roads leading out of Echmiadzin, but the government decided to close all but three. Doctors are taking the temperature of all people attempting to leave, and if it is above average, they are either sent to hospitals, or home to self-isolate.
Entry ban in Armenia
A list of 16 countries has been announced where the coronavirus situation is especially difficult, so those who come from these countries will not be able to enter Armenia.
The full list of countries is as follows: China, Iran, South Korea, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Austria, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, The Netherlands, Great Britain.
Armenian citizens returning home from these countries must undergo a 14-day quarantine.
These restrictions do not apply to cargo transportation.
The Armenian government announced restrictions on the dissemination of information during the state of emergency–both in the media and on social networks. Authorities explained that they want to prevent panic and aggressive statements addressed to victims of the coronavirus. Violators will be held civilly liable.
Any publication about coronavirus in Armenia must be based on official information released by the commandant’s office.
On March 17, the Minister of Health and his press secretary also made a statement to journalists.
“You can’t publish the names of the sick. Personal data cannot be publicized even under normal conditions, and there is all the more reason not to do so now,” stated Deputy Minister of Justice Vahe Danielyan on March 17.
The price of alcohol has risen in Armenia, but not because of the coronavirus, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on March 17 on his Facebook page.
“The increase in alcohol prices is associated with changes in the tax code, the legislation on the minimum price of alcohol has changed, and the increase in prices is associated exclusively with this.”
No shortage of goods
Gegham Gevorgyan, chairman of the State Committee for the Protection of Economic Competition, urged people not to make panic purchases. He officially announced that there are no shortages or restrictions on the purchase of goods in Armenia:
“The only problem is ensuring that goods are available in stores on a daily basis, since people are purchasing huge amounts at a time, even to the point of absurdity. At this point, we just need time to deliver goods to stores from the warehouse. Perhaps, at some point, because of the excitement, the shelves become empty, but then they fill back up, and there are no problems–even at the end of the day, the shelves are full.”
The turnover of large supermarket chains increased by 30-40 percent, but the turnover of small stores decreased.
“I urge you not to forget about small and mid-sized businesses. I understand that it’s easy to buy from supermarkets, but today there are products that have accumulated in large volumes in small shops,” said the prime minister.
5000 new coronavirus test kits
Armenia will receive 5 thousand new coronavirus tests by the end of the week.
“This is enough for now, but we are working to acquire new tests, we are in constant contact with our foreign partners,” said Deputy Minister of Health Lena Nanushyan.