Armenian Police Enforce Coronavirus Lockdown, Cases Increase To 265.

The Republic of Armenia has confirmed 16 new coronavirus cases, on Wednesday, March 25, now standing at 265, per Armenia’s Ministry of Health.

18 people have recovered from coronavirus and 88 others have been released from quarantine, per Health Ministry spokeswoman Alina Nikoghosyan.

Armenian Police began patrolling the largely deserted streets of Yerevan, stopping cars and pedestrians as they began enforcing a nationwide lockdown aimed at stopping the spread of coronavirus, Per Azatutyun.

A deputy chief of the Armenian police, Hayk Mheryan, said in the morning that officers will avoid fining or briefly detaining people in the first hours of the lockdown. “But we will be fully enforcing the law after 4 p.m.,” he told reporters.

Under a government bill passed by the Armenian parliament on Monday, citizens defying quarantine or self-isolation orders issued by health authorities will face not only heavy fines but also up to five years in prison. There were more than 3,000 quarantined people in Armenia as of Tuesday evening, according to the authorities.

The lockdown bans private cars from carrying more than one passenger at a time apart from the driver. Mherian said police ordered 92 people out of cars for this reason at the start of the emergency street patrols across the country.

To date, 1,315 negative coronavirus tests have been conducted in Armenia, said Alina Nikoghosyan, the spokesperson for the Minister of Health.

Today, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced that there will be no utility shut-offs as the country is battling to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Pashinyan also announced that Armenia has set up production facility to make ‘Made in Armenia” medical face masks.

On Tuesday, PM Nikol Pashinyan announced a week-long nationwide lockdown, imposing tougher restrictions on public life. All restaurants, cafes, enterprises, shopping centers, places of entertainment have been ordered to close. People have been asked to stay at home, and go to the street only in exceptional cases. Citizens will need identification documents and special permits to venture outside. They will also be required to fill in and sign a special pass to explain the purpose of leaving the house. The measures aim to restrict the immediate contacts with other people and thus prevent the possible spread of the virus.

The Ministry of Health said it will provide updated information on the number of coronavirus cases on a daily basis, at 10am. Armenia declared a 30-day state of emergency last week and banned citizens of 16 nations from entering the country in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.
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