Cumulative Cases: 1067
Active Cases: 786
Restriction of Movement in Artsakh
According to the April 14 decision of the Artsakh Republic’s Special Commission on the Emergency Situation, the free movement of people in the villages of Mirik, Moshatagh, Tsitsernavank, Karvachar, in the Kashanagh region, as well as the Verin Horatagh, Kochoghot and Haterk communities of the Martakert region will be restricted to the administrative boundaries of those villages and regions from April 15 starting at 00:01 a.m.
Twelfth Social Assistance Package
The government announced the launch of the twelfth assistance program aimed at mitigating the economic fallout because of COVID-19. The beneficiaries of the program are all those citizens who have a contract with natural gas and electricity providers and whose utility bill for gas consumption was between 10,001 and 30,000 AMD, while for the consumption of electricity was between 5,001 and 10,000 AMD for the month of February 2020. The government will cover 30 percent of natural gas and electricity utility bills of all those who comply with the above mentioned requirements. The assistance package is for the month of February alone. If the beneficiary owes the utility company, the amount will cover unpaid debt. If beneficiaries do not have debts, the assistance will be considered as prepayment for the next month.
Earlier, the government introduced the eleventh assistance package, the beneficiaries of which are those citizens whose gas bill for the month of February 2020 has not exceeded 10,000 AMD and whose electricity bill for the same month was not more that 5,000 AMD. As part of the eleventh package, the government will pay 50 percent of the gas and electricity bills of the beneficiaries. With the twelfth assistance program, the government expands the scope of its assistance.
Social Assistance Packages
During a press conference, Zaruhi Batoyan, the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, spoke about the social assistance programs launched by the government and the progress registered so far. Batoyan stressed that the government is continuously working on the development of assistance programs that would mitigate the economic consequences of COVID-19. She reminded that the government has already rolled out 11 social and economic assistance programs, six of which are targeted towards mitigating the social consequences of the virus, while five are targeted towards addressing the economic consequences. The Minister briefly spoke about the six social assistance packages (you can read more about the programs in our previous daily updates).
Speaking about the fourth assistance package, Batoyan noted that the program is in progress and noted that the beneficiaries are families with a child under 14 years of age, where the parents or one parent has lost their job. There is no need to apply to this program, citizens need to visit ssa.am website, fill in the required information, and see whether they are a beneficiary of the program or not. If a person is a beneficiary of the program, then they can receive the financial assistance, which is 100,000 AMD per child, in the specific bank mentioned in the website. The beneficiaries would need to go to the bank with their identification document. The list of beneficiaries of this assistance program is regularly being updated.
The Minister spoke about the sixth assistance program, the beneficiaries of which are citizens who lost their job between March 13-30, 2020. Batoyan noted that the government has already transferred lump-sum assistance in the amount of 68,000 AMD to all 6,723 beneficiaries. The scope of the seventh assistance program, which is targeted to pregnant women, has been expanded. Now, the program is not only targeted towards pregnant women who are unemployed as of March 30 and whose husband lost his job between March 13 – 30, or who does not have a husband, but also those pregnant women whose husband did not have a job as of March 30. As of today, 5,957 citizens are beneficiaries of the program, but the list is still being updated.
The eight assistance package, which is for individuals who were employed in specific spheres or were self-employed on March 13-30, 2020, was launched yesterday (April 13). Batoyan said that in the first several hours, the Ministry received over 45,000 applications, 27,000 of which have already been confirmed. Overall, 1.8 billion AMD will be allocated to those 27,000 applicants. Application is required for this assistance package, which beneficiaries can submit on the ssa.am website. Applications for the ninth assistance program, which is for families with a child aged 0-18, where both parents do not have a registered job, is also open since yesterday. Batoyan reminded that the eight and ninth assistance packages are the only two that require an application and that the list of beneficiaries for these two programs will be published. While answering to reporters questions, the Minister noted that besides the 1.8 billion AMD that was allocated for the eight program, additional 1.4 billion was transferred to over 18,000 citizens as part of different assistance programs.
The Minister also briefly spoke about the assistance in the form of food supplies that is primarily being implemented by local self-government bodies and non-governmental organizations. She noted that potential beneficiaries of this program will need to apply to their local municipality or the provincial administration.
Condition of Patients in Artsakh
The Ministry of Health of Artsakh reported that after the six confirmed cases of COVID-19, no citizen was tested for the virus. The condition of the three of the patients is stable, two are in moderate condition, and one has no symptoms of infection.
Update on Number of Cases
According to the Ministry of Health, there are 28 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Armenia (out of 685 tests conducted on April 13), bringing the total number to 1067. So far, 265 patients have recovered, with 54 recoveries on April 13 alone, bringing the total number of active cases to 786.
Two patients, 65 and 82, with preexisting health conditions, have passed away.
Prime Minister Pashinyan Confident
In a Facebook live, Prime Minister Nikol Pasinyan said that 685 tests were conducted on April 13 with 28 positive results. Pashinyan also said for the first time, the number of recoveries is almost double the number of new cases.
There are currently 786 active cases, 54 patients recovered on April 13, there have also been two deaths, with the average age of fatalities being 74.8.
Pashinyan said that today’s statistics indicate that there is a chance for Armenia to subdue the virus and much depends on the citizens’ personal sense of responsibility. “With the Special Commissions’ decision tens of thousands of people were allowed to go back to work and at this stage, the responsible behavior of employers is of primary importance,” Pashinyan said, calling on employers to do everything possible to bring the chances of infection among their employees to the absolute minimum. “Employers should implement extraordinary precautionary measures for Armenia to be able to not only sustain the positive dynamics of the last few days but make sure the peak of the virus is behind us.”
Pashinyan said he has instructed the Special Commission to offer advice on what measures should be taken.
The Prime Minister said he hopes the anticipated warmer weather will also be of help, even though it has not been confirmed by scientists that warm temperatures are helpful in curbing the spread of the virus. Pashinyan said, in his estimation, the combination of statistics, the initiatives of the Special Commission and hopefully the weather, affords Armenia a real chance to fight successfully against the virus. But for this to happen, good news should not be a reason for people to become indifferent, but on the contrary, everyone should double their efforts for Armenia to overcome the virus as soon as possible.