“Union of Informed Citizens”, “Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor”, “Asparez Journalists Club”, “Legal Research and Development Center”, “Public Journalism Club”, “Society without Violence” and a few other NGOs have issued a statement to Armenia’s government to avert the total catastrophe related to COVID-19 contagion in Armenia by enforcing a strict lockdown for two weeks.
The organizations refer to the success of countries where a strict quarantine was enforced to curtail the spread of the infection in March-April and note the spike of cases in Armenia since opening up the economy on May 4 and claim that the situation can be mitigated only through strict restrictions.
They also note that wearing masks is not followed by people and the state does not have capacities to enforce it to all people. Some even exchange worn masks.
The organizations warn that we have approached a pre-collapse situation in the health system with only 30 vacant Emergency Beds designed for COVID-19 patients. “The trends of spike will get us to where Italy or Spain were. There will be a deficit of medical care both for COVID-19 patients and others requiring medical assistance. Per 1 mln population, Armenia ranks 5th in the ratio of infected people.”
The organizations prioritize human life and health and propose enacting a strict 14-day mandatory lockdown (self-isolation at homes). They also call on the government to counteract the spread of the fake news that the virus does not exist and public health measures are useless, which make people even more relaxed in social behavior.
“The people of Armenia and humans, their lives and health are a high priority and value. By jeopardizing people’s medical assistance and lives, we will not be able to save the economy. Protecting the economy at the cost of spiking numbers of deaths is not acceptable as in this scenario neither people’s lives, nor the economy will be saved,” concludes the statement.