During the Government session, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said that the number of COVID-19 cases continues increasing around the world and over 100,000 cases were reported within the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 12 million. Countries which reportedly have recovered from the pandemic, also continue registering new cases of the virus. The World Health Organization (WHO) has already confirmed that the virus can spread through air, which has been at the core of the Armenian Government’s strategy in the fight against the virus. This was also the reason that the Government requires citizens to wear face masks in open public spaces. Coronavirus also continues spreading in Armenia and 526 new cases of the virus were registered within the last 24 hours. Pashinyan reaffirmed that the Government’s strategy continues to be focused on learning how to live alongside the virus.
PM Pashinyan reminded that according to the decision of the Special Commission, exceptions were made for wearing a face mask. Starting from July 8, people with certain illnesses will not be obligated to wear a face mask in open public spaces but they will need to have a medical document confirming their condition. Pashinyan noted that the decision raised concerns among the public, who claim that people will try to abuse the new rule and use it as an excuse to not wear face masks when outside. He stressed that the Government’s goal is not to fine citizens who do not comply with the rules but rather raise their awareness about the gravity of the issue and encourage them to follow the anti-epidemic rules and regulations.
Tigran Avinyan, the Warden of the Special Commission, provided further clarifications regarding yesterday’s decision. He noted that as a result of discussions with the Ministry of Health, the Commission decided to allow people with chronic respiratory illnesses, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema or bronchitis accompanied with acute respiratory failure, as well as those with chronic heart failure not wear a face mask only in open spaces. To avoid any possible abuse of this new rule, police officers, who are conducting regular monitoring to ensure citizens’ compliance with the anti-epidemic rules, will require all those citizens not wearing face masks to have the required documentation with them.
Arsen Torosyan, Armenia’s Health Minister, informed that for several days now, all those patients who require hospitalization, are receiving treatment at medical centers. As of 9 a.m., only thirteen COVID-19 patients need to be transferred to hospitals treating COVID-19 patients. Torosyan went on to say that the COVID-19 situation in the country remains stable but critical and that the healthcare sector needs to continue expanding its capacity. In the past few days, several new medical centers have joined the network of hospitals designated to treat infected patients, among them are the Spitak Medical Center and the Martuni Medical Center. The ICU beds of St. Gregory the Illuminator Hospital, Erebuni Medical Center and the Mikayelyan Institute of Surgery will start treating COVID-19 patients in the coming weeks and months. Currently, Armenia has 1,488 beds attached to medical oxygen. Speaking about a possible vaccine, Torosyan reaffirmed that there are several potential vaccines but clinical trials are still ongoing.
Pashinyan praised the efforts of the healthcare sector to expand its capacity, considering the uncertainties about the further spread of the virus. The PM also noted that the Government has amended and improved the conditions of the first assistance package aimed at mitigating the consequences of COVID-19.
Situation in Artsakh
The Ministry of Health of Artsakh reported one new case of COVID-19 and one recovery, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 142, of which 29 are active cases and 113 have already recovered. To date, 2,468 tests have been conducted and 78 people are in isolation. One of the patients, who has chronic diseases and pneumonia, remains in critical condition. Another patient is in critical, but stable condition. The rest are in stable condition.
Update on Number of Cases
The Ministry of Health reported 526 new cases of COVID-19 and 573 recoveries, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 30,346 of which 11,641 are active cases and 18,000 have already recovered. Fourteen COVID-19 patients (the youngest aged 52 and the oldest 90), who all had pre-existing health conditions, died bringing the total number of deaths to 535. Six other patients with COVID-19 also died, but the virus was not the cause of death; 170 such cases have been reported. To date, 129,166 tests have been conducted, of which 1,995 were in the last 24 hours.
Exceptions to Wearing a Face Mask
Based on the decision by Tigran Avinyan, the Warden of the Special Commission and Deputy Prime Minister, exceptions were made for wearing a face mask. Starting from July 8, people with chronic respiratory illnesses, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema or bronchitis accompanied with acute respiratory failure, as well as those with chronic heart failure (third and fourth classes), may not wear a face mask in open public spaces. These people, however, will need to have a medical document confirming their illness.
Situation in Artsakh
The Ministry of Health of Artsakh reported five new cases of COVID-19 and one recovery, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 141, of which 29 are active cases and 112 have already recovered. The Ministry also reported a new infection hub in Stepanakert. To date, 2,437 tests have been conducted and 91 people are in isolation. One of the patients, who has chronic diseases and pneumonia, remains in critical condition. Another two patients are in critical, but stable condition.
Update on Number of Cases
The Ministry of Health reported 535 new cases of COVID-19 and 520 recoveries, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 29,820 of which 11,708 are active cases and 17,427 have already recovered. Eighteen COVID-19 patients (the youngest aged 34 and the oldest 93), who all had pre-existing health conditions, died bringing the total number of deaths to 521. To date, 127,171 tests have been conducted, of which 2,083 were in the last 24 hours.
Elderly Residents Test Positive for COVID-19 (July 7)
Fifty-five elderly residents and twelve employees of a senior’s home in Gyumri, run by the Armenian Red Cross have tested positive for COVID-19. Thirty-seven of the confirmed patients were hospitalized in medical centers of Yerevan, Gyumri and Spitak. Only one of the infected employees is receiving treatment at a hospital, while the rest are isolated in their homes. One of the elderly residents of the center, who had pre-existing health conditions died on July 6. Currently, the employees of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention are working to ensure that the center is ready for the isolation of the remaining eighteen elderly residents who do not need to be hospitalized.
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