Armenia extends quarantine measures for 6 months, vaccination to begin in Feb
The Armenian government has decided to extend the quarantine regime due to the coronavirus pandemic for another six months, after the most recent term ended on January 11.
Since the beginning of January, a small number of infected people have been registered, but from the middle of the month, doctors expect higher numbers and even a third wave of infection due to the active socialising of people during the holidays.
Armenia plans to purchase coronavirus vaccine doses in late January – early February. Moreover, negotiations are underway to purchase four vaccines at once; the Russian vaccine Sputnik V, the American Moderna, the German Pfizer-BioNTech and the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.
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On the vaccination
“We plan to purchase a vaccine for 10% of the population, initially only for those who are at risk,” said Gayane Sahakyan.
This largely means people with chronic diseases and the elderly.
At the same time, doctors announce that recently cases of coronavirus infection have been observed mainly among people aged 55-60 and 30-35 years old, children under the age of five and young people from 15 to 20 years old are also infected.
Negotiations are underway on the timing of the vaccine import. But it is already known that the first batch will be available by the end of January – the first half of February, after which the vaccination of risk groups will begin immediately.
“It is not yet clear which vaccine will be our first; in parallel, work is underway to obtain these 4 types of vaccines,” said a representative of the Ministry of Health.
Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko brought a small batch of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine during his visit to Armenia in November. The first to be vaccinated were Armenian doctors, including the Minister of Health of Armenia Arsen Torosyan.
As of January 12, 335 cases of coronavirus infection were confirmed in Armenia, a total of 162,643. 150,602 patients recovered, 2,941 failed to save, 8393 continue to receive treatment.
Why did the government extend the quarantine
The new quarantine period will last until 5 pm on July 11, the government’s decision reads.
The following rules will continue to apply in the country:
- personal protective equipment will be used throughout the country
- when leaving the house, everyone will need to have their identity documents on them
- visits, vacations and dismissals will be prohibited in military units
- visits to penal institutions will be allowed only if there are no cases of infection in the institution and the visitor has a negative test
Deputy Director of the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention Nune Bakunts explained that the decision to extend the quarantine was made taking into account the unfavorable epidemic situation in neighboring countries:
“In our case, based on the relatively favorable epidemic situation in Armenia, a decision was made: firstly, to extend the quarantine period, taking into account the situation in the world and the high potential risk of aggravating the situation, and secondly, to allow some relief.”
Foreigners are now allowed to enter the territory of Armenia not only by air, but also through ground checkpoints if they have negative tests. In addition, they can take tests at the border checkpoint and wait for their results in self-isolation.
Under the new decision, restrictions on holding mass events, including on the number of participants, have been lifted.