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Armenia Enforces Strick Lockdown Order while Coronavirus Cases Jump to 249

As of 21:00 of March 24, there are 249 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection in Armenia with two new spots of outbreak. These are production enterprises in Kotayk region and Yerevan’s Erebuni district. A total of 868 persons are isolated in specially designated facilities, 2419 individuals are ordered self-isolation at home, 30 patients have pneumonia, with a 77-year-old person in a critical condition, 4 additional patients estimated to be in a severe condition. 14 patients are clear of the virus and have been discharged, tests for quarantined people turned negative for about 90 persons who have been released from the quarantine regime.

The government has ordered a 1-week strict lockdown at homes with outdoor presence of people allowed for vital reasons, such as food or drug shopping. The government has also severely restricted economic activities in the country. Prime-Minister Pashinyan made a state address on March 24.

Coronavirus cases are reported in most of Armenia’s regions, including in capital Yerevan, Armavir, Ararat, Aragatsotn, Kotayk, Syunik, Shirak and Lori. Prime-Minister Pashinyan reports that the sources of most of outbreaks in these regions are known, as efforts are mobilized to isolate or order self-isolation of people in contact with confirmed cases. It is believed that the state was able to stop the spread from the sources from Iran and the large outbreak in Etchmiatsin, however there are chances that the outbreak in Yerevan’s production enterprise was not fully contained and went out of control. The government does not specify which particular company this was.

Most businesses are ordered to shut down, with the exception of food and drug stores, food delivery services, production of food, drinks, alcohol, tobacco. The list of business operations allowed during the lockdown includes banks, mining and exploration activities, agriculture, utility services (gas, electricity, water, postal service, other delivery services with minimal staff required to be at work), production of weapons, hospitality, drug production, health care services, funeral services etc.

Public institutions are ordered to organize most of their work at distance.

The movement of diplomatic staff present in Armenia will not be restricted.

– From today on, thousands of enterprises will shut down, only vitally necessary sectors will remain in operation (as listed by the State of Exception office) and only vital movement of people will be allowed.

– People seen outdoors will need to give clear explanation of their departure from home that must meet the requirements for permissible outdoor presence (vital shopping, short physical exercise near home, work to enterprises not shut down). They need to carry passports or ID cards for whatever purpose they are leaving home. This will be tracked by a form approved by the State of Exception Commandant. The police will oversee these restrictions. 

The government has also called on the elderly population to shop from 10 am to 12 am, with the rest of the population refraining from entering shops at this time. 

It appears that public transport will also be shut down, with private vehicles allowed to carry no more than 2 persons.