BREAKING NEWS: Armenia Reports First Coronavirus Death, Cases Increase To 290.

Today, the Republic of Armenia reported its first fatality from the coronavirus ten days after declaring a state of emergency to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 72-year-old patient died at the Nork infectious diseases hospital. The patient was diagnosed with double pneumonia, multiple organ failure, polyorganic deficiency, respiratory distress syndrome, hypertensive heart disease and heart rhythm disorder, per Alina Nikoghosyan, Spokesperson for the Ministry of Health. “It was impossible to save patient’s life due to accompanying disease. The patient has been in ICU since yesterday, and the condition was described as extremely critical,” she added.

The Republic of Armenia has confirmed 25 new coronavirus cases, on Thursday, March 26, now standing at 290, per Armenia’s Ministry of Health. 18 people have recovered from coronavirus and 100 others have been released from quarantine, per PM Nikol Pashinyan.

Earlier Today, PM Nikol Pashinyan announced that 2 of the 272 active coronavirus patients are in critical condition. “One of them is a US citizen, not an ethnic Armenian. The other is an Armenian citizen. Both are in grave condition and aged above 75. They are in the intensive care unit,” Pashinyan said.

Almost 100 of those cases were registered in the last four days. “Even if this pace of growth remains the same [in the days ahead] it will still be a favorable pace,” Torosyan told a news conference held a few hours before the announcement of the first coronavirus-related death.

Torosyan insisted that the COVID-19 infection rate in Armenia is slowly declining thanks to confinement orders issues by the authorities to thousands of people who have been in contact with coronavirus patients. He also stressed the importance of a nationwide lockdown imposed by the government late on Tuesday.

Pashinyan likewise stated that Armenia has so far avoided a “worst-case scenario” for the spread of the deadly virus. “As we can see, in other countries the numbers are growing in geometrical progression,” he said during a weekly cabinet meeting in Yerevan. “We don’t have such a thing. We have a certain rise [in coronavirus cases], and in order to keep the situation under control we must strictly maintain the [lockdown] regime set for this week.”

Three servicemen of the Armenian Armed Forces not involved in combat tasks have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, per Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan. The minister stressed despite all measures taken by the ministry it is impossible to prevent the spread of the infection in the army as a large number of servicemen are in daily contact with the civilian population, per ArmenPress.

“The three cases are linked to one of the primary sources in Armenia. The servicemen had been previously isolated, which significantly reduced the risks of further spread of the infection,” the minister added. All three have been hospitalized and are in a satisfactory condition, he said, adding none of them have developed pneumonia.

The whole circle of contacts with the confirmed cases has been identified and isolated, Davit Tonoyan said, adding another 32 servicemen have been tested for the virus. Also, the minister stressed that no COVID-19 cases have been reported in the Artsakh Defense Army so far.

A 74-year-old with a respiratory disease has died in Gyumri. Yesterday the man was taken to the medical center in Gyumri where he was sent to a polyclinic after an ambulatory checkup. The specific reason for the man’s death will be clear after autopsy. There were press releases stating that the man was suspected of having coronavirus. Spokesperson of the Ministry of Healthcare Alina Nikoghosyan posted on her Facebook and stated that Armenia hasn’t recorded any death from coronavirus to this day.

Torosyan announced that most of the coronavirus cases in Armenia were reported in the Yerevan and Armavir, Ararat and Kotayk provinces. He is also planning on releasing an interactive map of Armenia’s coronavirus cases. Torosyan adde that in some provinces, the situation with coronavirus is under control. As for the city of Gyumri, there were only a few cases of coronavirus, however, today not only local patients but also people from other cities are treated in the Gyumri infectious diseases hospital, mainly those who do not have severe symptoms.

Today, PM Nikol Pashinyan announced asymptomatic COVID-19 patients not requiring any medical intervention must be placed in hotels because currently the authorities are struggling to accurately manage hospital capacities.

“These patients have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, but their condition is mild, they aren’t receiving any treatment. Their hospitalization is not justified. Today, we had a discussion with Deputy PM Avinyan and Healthcare Minister Arsen Torosyan and we decided to work with hotels to transfer the mild cases, who basically constitute the majority, to hotels by providing food and other needs. We must continue this policy.

This is also beneficial in terms of the economy, because today hotels are empty. Some difficulties will certainly arise, hotels will have trepidations about the future competitiveness of their brands, but hotels are obliged to routinely disinfect their rooms. Now there may be numerous cases when people with unrelated various diseases are living in those rooms. Nothing bad will happen to these rooms after the coronavirus, after being disinfected,” the PM said at the Cabinet meeting.

The PM told the coronavirus response task force to negotiate with hotels regarding compensation. He said the government will offer the hotels a price below the market price, for understandable reasons. The PM said that the state of emergency measures empower the government to solve the issue without the consent of the hotels, but he said they will not enforce this rule. “We will negotiate with the hotels and agree some price,” he said.

Earlier Today, a doctor and an ambulance diver have contracted the coronavirus in Armenia, Minister of Health Arsen Torosyan told a news conference on Thursday. Earlier a nurse from the Nork Infectious Clinical Hospital had been diagnosed with COVID-19. “It’s inevitable, no matter how hard we try to protect them,” the minister said, stressing they contact a lot of infected patients every day. “The three health workers are isolated and their lives are not in danger,” the minister said.

To date, 1,440 negative coronavirus tests have been conducted in Armenia, said Alina Nikoghosyan, the spokesperson for the Minister of Health.

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.

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