During the daily briefing on the COVID-19 situation in Armenia, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said the following:
– There are currently 200 people who need immediate medical care who are waiting to be hospitalized because of a shortage of beds;
– This means, the healthcare system is so overloaded that people who need to be hospitalized, are being forced to wait for proper care;
– A COVID-19 patient who needed hospitalization, has died because they could not receive proper care; according to the Prime Minister, this person’s relatives delayed medical assistance and the proper treatment by medical staff was also delayed;
– Two cases of patients who needed to be in ICU, but because of a shortage of ICU beds have died;
– A return to a total lockdown was discussed during the session of the Special Commission of the State of Emergency; however it will not be implemented because of the economic fallout and because it has become clear that a quarantine would not be effective;
– Social surveillance and monitoring over the last several days has shown that a quarantine would not be complied with for the results that are needed because of a disregard of the regulations and widespread violations;
– If a lockdown was to be imposed, people would go underground, i.e. hold gatherings in their apartments, homes; this would decimate the economy without bearing results, and after lifting the lockdown there would be another spike in cases;
– If Armenian society has the awareness to maintain the rules of the quarantine, then it is possible to do that now;
– The country is a severely critical situation, we are “passing through hell;”
– The only solution is an mass anti-epidemic movement in the Republic of Armenia;
– Everyone must move forward with the presumption that because of a lack of hospital beds, there will be more people dying unnecessarily;
– Everyone must move forward with the presumption that we are infected and so is everyone else;
– The World Health Organization has reevaluated its previous position on wearing masks, and its assessment for countries like Armenia, falls into line with the decisions in place [i.e. wearing masks].
– The propaganda campaign against these measures must be neutralized and the population must show support of the government in its anti-epidemic activities.
Mher Davidyants, Director of the Nork Infection Hospital
- There is no need to prove how spread out the virus is in the world and Armenia;
- There are instances when a person is infected, but it goes unnoticed; if we do not take it seriously, if we do not follow the rules, we are risking the lives of those surrounding us;
- The entire medical staff at the Nork Infection Hospital has been on the frontlines of the fight against the virus, without rest, without our families, spending whole days at work for the patients for the past four months;
- Unfortunately, the virus has changed its behaviour; if in March we mainly had patients with light and minimal symptoms, now many are in critical condition;
- I ask you all, please, help the medical staff, help us. We have been working without complaining but you too need to help us. We have been under physical and psychological strain, witnessing deaths every day.
Lieutenant Vaghnak Minasyan, 5th Police Special Force of Yerevan
- During the Velvet Revolution I used to hear the “Police is Ours” but today, during these different times, I speak to you as an officer who works all day long. There are instances when you refuse to comply with the lawful demand of the officer. I call on all the people and especially the youth, to properly wear the masks;
- There are instances when citizens tend to escalate the situation;
- We do not want to be fine citizens, we want to see the law followed.
Public Radio, Hasmik Divanyan: We know much more about the virus now than in the first months. If you knew what you know now, would you have acted the same way?
Nikol Pashinyan: The main things that I learned after the virus is more about our society. That they can believe things like the situation is being manipulated to ask for assistance. I wish I knew this.
Roza Hovhannisyan, Lragir.am: You and the Health Minister have been saying that the beds in hospitals are running out. While other specialists say you have had plenty of time to take care of the issue.
Nikol Pashinyan: This is what has been done, and it is more than what was possible.
– Around 2000 beds have been set aside for COVID-19 patients in nine hospitals – five in Yerevan and four in the regions;
-These medical centers have been revamped and are serving patients to this day; -A 35-room hospital has been designed and built at the Nork Infection Hospital;
– Starting today, another tirage center will start working;
– Additional beds have been designated at the Astghik Medical Center (20 ER and 20 ICU);
– Works on the construction of a second ICU center with 50 beds have started at the St. Gregory the Illuminator Hospital;
– Works are underway to add another 50 beds at the Erebuni Hospital;
– These 100 beds will be ready to serve patients in about a month and a half.
New Triage Center
Armenia’s Minister of Health Arsen Torosyan reported that a new triage center will be operating at the National Burn Center which at the moment has 64 beds, nine of which are emergency room beds. In the coming days, the Center will have an additional 58 beds (for a total of 132 beds). Torosyan said to date, only the Nork Infection Hospital was acting as a triage center, where COVID-19 patients were admitted, diagnosed and reassigned to other medical centers. Torosyan said the National Burn Center will not offer ambulatory treatment but will receive patients transported by EMT.
Village of Zoragyugh Under Lockdown
The Special Commission has imposed a lockdown on the Zoragyugh village of the Gegharkunik region to be effective until June 20, 11:59 p.m.
In a Facebook post, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said a resident of the village had gone to a funeral in the village of Goghd and a couple of days later taken part in another funeral in their native village and as a result, there are now 63 residents of the village who have tested positive for COVID-19. One of the 63 infected had in turn gone to a funeral in the Dzovasar village.
According to Pashinyan, a similar scenario has played out in the village of Ttmashen, when a funeral attendee from the city of Hrazdan infected all members of the deceased family resulting in the death of the family’s grandfather and 100 additional cases in the village causing a lockdown. Residents of six different communities were infected during the funeral in Ttmashen.
Situation in Artsakh
Two more cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the Republic of Artsakh. According to the Health Ministry, the two are residents of Stepanakert. One of the patients, 71, is considered high-risk because of chronic lung disease and had recently returned from Armenia. The patient is on a ventilator and in critical condition. To date, there are 59 confirmed cases of the virus, 31 recoveries with 73 people in quarantine and a total of 1131 tests conducted.
Update on the Number of Cases
The Ministry of Health reported 547 new cases of COVID-19 and 207 recoveries, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 12,364, of which 8,385 are active cases and 3,720 have already recovered. Seven COVID-19 patients (the youngest aged 56 and the oldest 92), who all had pre-existing health conditions, except for the 56-year-old, died bringing the total number of deaths to 190. To date, 66,674 tests have been conducted, of which 1,513 were in the last 24 hours.