Armenia has first case of coronavirus to go beyond capital

JAM News
March 13 2020

The mayor of Etchmiadzin, which is 20 kilometers from Yerevan, has already confirmed the presence of the virus, but is urging people not to panic

The first case of coronavirus in Armenia has gone beyond the capital of Yerevan.

On 12 March, it was announced that an individual in Etchmiadzin has been infected with coronavirus.

This information has already been confirmed by Mayor Diana Gasparyan. They are keeping 40 people in isolation. In total, 57 citizens are being kept in isolation throughout the country.

On March 11, it was announced that three new coronavirus cases had been discovered in Armenia. One of them is a resident of the city of Etchmiadzin, located about 20 kilometers from the capital.

Now the total number infected in the country is four. The first case was discovered on March 1. The 29-year-old citizen came from Iran.

On March 12, a video appeared on Facebook showing ten ambulances rushing down the streets of Echmiadzin.

The mayor of the city explained that the ambulances were transporting citizens who had contact with a sick resident of Echmiadzin. At the same time, she urged people not to panic:

The infected citizen is now undergoing treatment at the Norq infectious diseases hospital. She’s feeling fine.”

In the comments on the mayor’s posts, Facebook users write that on March 8 there was a betrothal party for the son of the infected woman and many may have gotten infected there.

However, the deputy director of the Etchmiadzin Medical Center Karine Khachikyan states:

“All those individuals [40 people] who came into direct contact with the infected citizen were isolated and transferred to places of special detention.”

She also said that among those isolated, there was a doctor who examined those infected who arrived from Italy.

In Armenia, many are outraged by the fact that a resident of Echmiadzin, who returned from Italy about a week ago, was able to freely walk around the city and attend various events. The Minister of Health Arsen Torosyan has been criticized for not isolating those who have arrived from the epicenter of the infection.

Torosyan answered:

“All passengers cannot be isolated. Only confirmed cases and their direct contacts are isolated. The same thing has been done since yesterday – citizens who had direct contact with three new patients have been isolated, and their circle of contacts is being clarified. It is impossible to isolate everyone. The main thing is to quickly identify, confirm with a test, find the circle of contacts and prevent the spread.”

At the same time, Torosyan believes that the most effective way to combat the spread of the virus is self-isolation and the social responsibility of every citizen of the country:

“If the virus spreads and has a incubation period, then we cannot isolate thousands of citizens … I urge people who come from countries at risk to try to limit contacts and not leave home, and if symptoms appear, do not self-medicate, and contact the appropriate services so that we can correctly identify, conduct tests and determine the type of disease.

For those Armenian citizens who are still in Italy, a charter flight will be organized on March 15.

And the government is resolving the issue of quarantining citizens who will return with this special flight. There has not yet been a final decision on this issue.

A couple of days ago in Armenia there was complete calm, both on the streets and on social networks, then on March 11 the situation changed dramatically.

Users of the Armenian Facebook segment are demanding urgent measures to prevent the virus from spreading. Those passengers who arrive in the country from the “danger zones”, users are urged to isolate immediately, because most do not believe that people can self-insulate for two weeks.

Here are some of the comments:

“I do not believe that our citizens are so conscious and will stay at home! And relatives will come running: hugs, kisses.”

“And who will monitor this home quarantine? Now, if everything in China is blocked with nails, it will be home quarantine.”

“You have to be absolute idiots to treat the coronavirus so negligently … What kind of“ home quarantine ”can we talk about? With our level of medicine and our discipline, everyone will rest here. ”

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Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS