Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan:
- The situation remains critical but stable. Following safety rules continues to remain of utmost importance.
- The price of masks continues to go down.
- The capacity of the healthcare system continues to expand. The state has acquired a large number of medical oxygen generating equipment [see below for details].
Health Minister Arsen Torosyan:
- The number of registered daily cases seems to have stabilized: from 500 to 600 cases a day, with the exception of the last 24 hours when the numbers were smaller because fewer tests were administered.
- This stabilization is the result of citizens responding to the government’s calls to follow anti-epidemic measures; more people started wearing masks, maintaining physical distancing and disinfecting their hands more often.
- Even with a robust healthcare capacity, a certain percentage of patients will die, a percentage that is fortunately low in Armenia. If, today, we registered 320 cases, even with the best available healthcare in the world, there will be 1.2 percent deaths.
- The latest acquisition from China is a considerable achievement. The medical oxygen generators were directly taken to hospitals from the airport and we have already seen the results.
- The daily average of those who need to be hospitalized has been 150-200 patients a day, some of whom would wait at home for their turn to be hospitalized others would be hospitalized at hospitals and medical centers not specialized in COVID-19. As of yesterday evening, there are no patients waiting at home. Those waiting at non-covid specialized medical centers will also be transferred in the coming days.
- Tomorrow and the day after, more hospitals will join the network of COVID-19 specialized medical centers. A considerable number of beds will be allocated to COVID-19 patients at the Dilijan Medical Center, which will be fully operational starting tomorrow. The Armenian Medical Center will join the day after tomorrow with 50 regular and 8 ICU beds.
- The Spitak Medical Center is in full capacity and the Martuni Hospital with 50 beds will also soon be ready to join the COVID-19 treatment network. The Vedi Medical Center has already fully joined the fight against COVID-19.
- This is an unprecedented mobilization of healthcare resources be it in regards to specialists, equipment, venues… aimed at meeting the needs of all patients. However, this cannot replace anti-epidemic measures.
- 504 patients are in critical condition, 123 in extremely critical condition and 44 patients are on ventilators. This means that 607 people are in critical and extremely critical condition, which is worrisome.
PM Pashinyan said currently Armenia’s infection rate is 1.1 meaning every 10 people with COVID-19 infects another 11 people. Pashinyan said the information campaign is bearing results; he has seen this from his own experience distributing masks on the streets. Even though there are currently more than a 1000 volunteers, he asked for more people to join the anti-pandemic movement and volunteer 10-20 minutes of their time daily.
Professor Alexander Mignon, head of the medical mission from France currently working in Armenia:
- It is an honor for us to be able to help Armenia in this fight against COVID-19.
- The next team will arrive in Armenia on Wednesday, and it will have diaspora Armenian doctors who were very happy to be given the opportunity to help Armenia
- I can only repeat what the Prime Minister and the Minister of Health said: It is fundamental to follow the safety measures.
- Every 100 new cases, means 15 are hospitalized, which means five will end up in ICU and two will lose their lives. Such is the dynamic of this disease.
- I’m greatly impressed with all the doctors I met in Armenia. They are exhausted but continue to work tirelessly in the name of solidarity with the people
- There is new COVID-19 medication, Dexamethasone, which is now available in Armenia and is possible to be used in treatment. However this medication will not solve all issues immediately, this is not a sprint but rather a marathon.
Pashinyan said Dexamethasone has been in use in Armenia from the very beginning of the pandemic, however, initially it was up to the doctor to decide to prescribe it or not. Now that there is more research on the drug and its effect on COVID-19, it is possible that it will start being used more widely in Armenia. Pashinyan said it is easily available and not expensive, however, it can only be used with a doctor’s prescription because it is a hormone based medication.
Azatutyun, Artak Hambartsumyan: Many opposition forces insist that you are using the pandemic and the State of Emergency for your own political gain, to bring charges against Gagik Tsarukyan, to pass constitutional changes in parliament while rallies and gatherings are forbidden and people can not express their dissatisfaction through protests. We know that opposition factions in parliament are discussing applying to the Constitutional Court regarding the ban on protests.
Nikol Pashinyan: According to the Law on the State of Emergency, it is banned to hold rallies. But who said that the participants of a potential rally would express their dissatisfaction with the ruling Government? Who said that a group 100 times bigger than the group participating in that potential rally, would not express dissatisfaction regarding the activities of certain corrupt officials? There are some who have to be grateful that it is forbidden to hold rallies. Otherwise, supporters of the revolution would have held mass rallies and shown their attitude towards some of the recent developments in the country. Certain forces who provide such commentaries, exaggerate their power of holding rallies. If their hope is to bring people to Republic Square by distributing 10,000 drams, then their hopes will be shattered very quickly. Our priority is to ensure that limited numbers of people get infected with COVID-19. And the question remains: when the situation allows for rallies, who will hold bigger rallies, supporters of the revolution or the opponents of the Government?
Armenpress, Shant Khlghatyan: It’s not a secret that many Armenian citizens [labor migrants] who go to EEU countries for employment can no longer do that due to closed borders because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Have you discussed this situation with your counterparts and can you give an approximate time when transportation routes will reopen, specifically, routes to Russia.
Nikol Pashinyan: That is conditioned by the situation of the pandemic not only in Armenia, but also in Russia. Our fundamental plan is to create jobs for those labor migrants to be able to work in Armenia. We want to create employment opportunities for our citizens to work in their homeland. Our capital expenditures program will create 100 new programs; a number of those programs have already been activated.
Businesses Shut Down
By the decision of the Special Commission, on June 22, 172 businesses were shut down for non-compliance with safety rules: 164 of those for 24 hours and eight for 72 hours.
Doctors Arrive From Russia
The first group of Russian doctors has arrived in Armenia on a charter flight to help Armenian medical staff with the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Along with the medics, Russia also donated medical equipment and personal protective equipment to the Health Ministry. About 50 Russian doctors responded to the Health Ministry’s initiative and expressed willingness to come to Armenia. They will arrive in separate specialized groups. The next group is scheduled to arrive in early July. In a statement, the Ministry of Health thanked the VIVA Charitable Foundation and Dr. Georgi Melkonyan, a member of the organization’s board of trustees, for the donation.
Update on Number of Cases
The Ministry of Health reported 320 new cases of COVID-19 and 129 recoveries, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 20,588, of which 10,980 are active cases and 9,131 have already recovered. Ten COVID-19 patients (the youngest aged 53 and the oldest 85), who all, except for one patient, had pre-existing health conditions, died bringing the total number of deaths to 360. Three other patients with COVID-19 also died, but the virus was not the cause of death; 117 such cases have been reported. To date, 96,843 tests have been conducted, of which 1,089 were in the last 24 hours.
Purchases From China
On June 21, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan wrote that a cargo plane from China has delivered three medical oxygen generators to Armenia which will expand the oxygen production capacity of Armenia’s three main medical institutions hosting COVID-19 patients: The Nork Infectious Disease Hospital, St. Astvatsamayr Medical Center and the Scientific Center of Traumatology and Orthopaedics.
Similar medical oxygen generators will also be delivered to the St. Gregory the Illuminator Medical Center, the Police hospital and the Mikaelyan Institute of Surgery. PM Pashinyan said liquid oxygen systems have also arrived in Armenia for the Spitak, Artashat, St. Gregory the Illuminator and Nork Infectious Diseases Medical Centers.
All the purchases were made by the Armenian Government through funds allocated from the state budget.
Pashinyan also said Armenia has purchased 500 oxygen saturators, which have been delivered to hospitals dealing with COVID-19. Another 130 are expected to arrive shortly. Pashinyan said this will meet Armenia’s current demand for oxygen saturators adding that discussions are underway to consider the home use of the devices.
Assistance From the United States
The U.S Embassy in Armenia has reported that the United States has to date provided $5.4 million in new assistance to Armenia to combat COVID-19. In addition, the State Department has redirected previously allocated assistance to address the implications of COVID-19 – bringing the total contribution to $6.6 million. This assistance will support a variety of sectors in Armenia, including healthcare, the economy, communications capacity, and community support.
Medical Workers’ Day is a professional holiday of medical staff celebrated in many post-Soviet countries.
Dear Doctors and Nurses,
I congratulate you with special warmth on Medical Workers’ Day. This year we are celebrating your professional holiday in a difficult situation related to the spread of the novel coronavirus.
I note without exaggeration that you are our heroes in the fight against coronavirus. You are selflessly fighting the epidemic and saving human lives just as our soldiers are selflessly defending the borders of the Motherland. The profession of a doctor is a vocation; it implies selflessness, dignity and responsibility. In these difficult days, you remain committed to your noble mission through selfless work 24-hours a day.
On behalf of all citizens of the Republic of Armenia, I would like to thank you for the honorable job you have done in the fight against coronavirus. The Government of the Republic of Armenia has never spared and will spare no means and effort to build and strengthen the healthcare system’s capacity, providing conditions necessary for you to exercise your mission.
I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to you again. Today, Armenia’s healthcare system is working wonders, and the task of each of us is to support it with proper behavior and discipline in observing anti-epidemic rules.
I have repeatedly stated that individual effort is the key to developing statehood, strengthening our people and addressing challenges. The awareness of this formula will help us deal with the ongoing crisis and other challenges facing us. By the responsible behavior of each of us, we can ease the burden of our doctors and give them the opportunity to return to their families.
Dear Doctors and Nurses,
Once again, I cordially congratulate you on Medical Workers’ Day. I wish you and your families good health, fortitude, inexhaustible energy, love and happiness. I am sure that we will overcome this challenge through joint efforts.
I love you, I am proud of you and bow to you.
Update on Number of Cases
The Ministry of Health reported 560 new cases of COVID-19 and 148 recoveries, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 20,268, of which 10,802 are active cases and 9,002 have already recovered. Eighteen COVID-19 patients (the youngest aged 48 and the oldest 90), who all had pre-existing health conditions, died bringing the total number of deaths to 350. One other patient with COVID-19 also died, but the virus was not the cause of death; 114 such cases have been reported. To date, 95754 tests have been conducted, of which 1,968 were in the last 24 hours.
Situation in Artsakh
The Health Ministry of the Republic of Artsakh reported one new case of COVID-19, bringing the cumulative number of infections to 97. The patient is from the Martakert region. Five patients have recovered, bringing the total number of recoveries to 63. 78 people remain in quarantine. 1,571 tests have been conducted to date.
Update on Number of Cases
The Ministry of Health reported 551 new cases of COVID-19 and 588 recoveries, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 19,708, of which 10,409 are active cases and 8854 have already recovered. Thirteen COVID-19 patients (the youngest aged 38 and the oldest 85), who all had pre-existing health conditions, died bringing the total number of deaths to 332. Three other patients with COVID-19 also died, but the virus was not the cause of death; 113 such cases have been reported. To date, 93,786 tests have been conducted, of which 1,843 were in the last 24 hours.
Update on Number of Cases
The Ministry of Health reported 459 new cases of COVID-19 and 706 recoveries, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 19,157, of which 10,462 are active cases and 8,266 have already recovered. Ten COVID-19 patients (the youngest aged 50 and the oldest 94), who all, except for one patient, had pre-existing health conditions, died bringing the total number of deaths to 319. Nine other patients with COVID-19 also died, but the virus was not the cause of death; 110 such cases have been reported. To date, 91,943 tests have been conducted, of which 1951 were in the last 24 hours.
Situation in Artsakh
The Artsakh’s Health Ministry reported two new cases of COVID-19 and two recoveries bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 96, of which 58 have already recovered. To date, 1,553 tests have been conducted and 93 people are in isolation.
Medical Supplies From Poland
Humanitarian aid from Poland arrived today, which includes 20,000 medical masks, 2,400 face shields and 2,700 liters of hand and face sanitizers. Samvel Mkrtchyan, Armenia’s Ambassador to Poland, was at the airport along with other high-ranking officials and diplomats, when the airplane loaded with medical supplies took off. Armenia’s ambassador thanked the Polish side for their assistance.
Health Minister, Arsen Torosyan posted a link of an interactive map of Armenia on his Facebook page, which shows, with 50 meters accuracy, the location of all those people who are currently infected with COVID-19 and are self-isolated.
New Assistance Package
During yesterday’s cabinet meeting, the Government approved the twentieth assistance package aimed at mitigating the consequences of COVID-19. The beneficiaries of the package are the employees of the affected sectors (hotel industry, cafes and restaurants, entertainment and sport centers, cinemas, businesses providing photography or car rental services), who were employed between March 1 to June 15. As part of this package, beneficiaries will receive a one-time assistance in the amount of minimum wage. Even if an employee of an affected sector worked for one day within the mentioned period, they are still eligible to apply. Beneficiaries can submit their application in the following website.
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