Armenia introduces new restrictions to stop the spread of Omicron Covid-19 variant
New restrictions will be introduced to stop the spread of the omicron Covid-19 variant in Armenia. To prevent this new, so-called African strain from entering the country, the entry of citizens of African countries will be temporarily restricted. In addition, toughening of antiviral measures inside Armenia is expected.
Despite the fact that the number of new infections has sharply decreased in recent days, from January 1, local residents will not be able to visit theaters, museums, restaurants and cafes without a vaccination certificate or a negative coronavirus test.
- “A year ago I battled coronavirus”: video story from Armenia
- All about getting vaccinated. Vlog from Armenia
- Unexpected benefits of COVID-19: how some Armenian businesses benefit from pandemic
“The probability of penetration of the omicron is high”
“Fifty mutations of the virus have been discovered, and now its other features it has in addition to spreading activity are being studied”, Health Minister Anahit Avanesyan stated.
Anahit Avanesyan said that due to the new strain of coronavirus, Armenia will temporarily restrict the entry of citizens from South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Madagascar and Tanzania.
The interdepartmental commission must decide what restrictions will be applied to the citizens of those countries arriving in Armenia, where the omicron has already spread.
The World Health Organization describes the new strain of coronavirus as “alarming”. WHO also warned that the vaccines used at this time may not be effective enough against this strain – because of its many mutations. Scientists have not yet determined the degree of danger of omicron, but a number of countries have already taken appropriate restrictive measures to prevent its spread.
Covid-19 passport to enter restaurants and museums
From January 1, new restrictions for local residents will come into effect in Armenia. They will not be able to participate in cultural events and enter cafes and restaurants without documents proving that they are healthy.
“These restrictions may cause some inconvenience, but when the issue of public health is at stake, we consider it necessary to apply such measures”, Anahit Avanesyan said.
They will be introduced despite the fact that the infection rates are declining again. According to the minister, a decrease in the number of infected means that in two to three weeks the death rate will also decrease. However, the regime of wearing masks will also continue to operate, as, according to the minister, all studies prove its effectiveness.
23 deaths among vaccinated
Vaccination in Armenia has intensified. As of November 28, 1,217,391 people got vaccinated. The first dose was received by 781,011 people, the second – by 436,380.
The Minister of Health also said that
- 79 out of more than a million vaccinated people developed complications, a small part of them were of an allergic nature,
- 9 of those vaccinated with two doses are currently infected with Covid-19 and in serious condition,
- 23 people vaccinated got infected with the coronavirus and died.
“Their average age was over 75 years old, they had chronic diseases”, said Anahit Avanesyan.
In general, she assesses the vaccination process as effective, since only 3.5% of those vaccinated were hospitalized.
According to the minister, a booster, that is, the third dose of the coronavirus vaccine, is not mandatory in Armenia. It can be obtained voluntarily 6 months after the second vaccination, and there are already residents of the country who have received the booster:
“It is important that first of all the booster is received by those at risk – people with chronic diseases, medical workers”.
As of November 29, 189 new coronavirus infections and 21 deaths were registered in Armenia. Since the beginning of the epidemic, 338,120 people have been infected, and 7,535 patients have died.