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COVID-19 Reaches the Armenian Military

On March 25, the Ministry of Defense released a statement that 3 contract servicemen of the armed forces tested positive for COVID-19. On March 26 Minister Davit Tonoyan came with further clarifications on the situation in the Army.

While confirmed cases of coronavirus infections in Armenia are on a steady rise jumping to 290 on March 26 from 265 on March 25, a number of military servicemen turn positive for COVID-19. Family members of one of the servicemen tested positive, after which preventive measures to isolate people in contact with this serviceman were taken, including taking tests. 3 of the tests came with positive results. The family contraction of the virus and its penetration into the military ranks are inter-related and linked to a known outbreak.

“Large preventive measures have been in place in the armed forces to prevent the spread of the coronavirus infection, however it is impossible to completely prevent the penetration of the virus into the Army as a large part of the army personnel are in contact with the civilian population,” says Minister Tonoyan.

Tonoyan also reports that the armed forces have acted quickly; the suspected three cases were in isolation before the test results came. All other persons that have been in contact with them are also isolated to further prevent the spread of the virus in the Army. None of the 3 servicemen has complicated symptoms and pneumonia, however they are hospitalized. 32 additional tests have been taken from army servicemen. Strict regiment is applied in all military units of the Armed Forces.

The Ministry of Defense forbade visitations by family members of soldiers, sending boxes and vacations by conscripts on February 25. These restrictions were not applied to contract military servicemen.