Amid new coronavirus cases identified in Armenia this week the country’s authorities are considering ways of ensuring the efficiency of self-quarantines of citizens at homes.
At a meeting on Thursday the commission set up more than a month ago to coordinate government efforts on preventing the spread of the new virus in Armenia decided that citizens who will be evacuated from coronavirus-hit Italy will be placed under a two-week quarantine.
Earlier, Armenia’s Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinian announced that a charter flight from Rome to Yerevan will be organized on March 15 for Armenian citizens to be able to return from Italy, which appears to be the country hit by the new coronavirus infection the hardest outside of China.
All three new coronavirus patients in Armenia, including one Italian citizen, have arrived from Italy. The first patient identified on March 1 was an Armenian citizen evacuated from Iran.
The Armenian Health Ministry said on March 12 that 57 more people who may have had contacts with the new coronavirus patients had been isolated, with some of them placed under home quarantines. Over three dozen citizens have been quarantined in a disused hotel in Armenia’s resort town of Tsaghkadzor since the beginning of this month over possible contacts with the first patient.
Chairing the meeting of the commission today Avinian raised the issue of how to ensure the effectiveness of home quarantines.
“I think we also need to look at the introduction of some type of liability or get a concrete understanding of how we can ensure the effectiveness of the actual isolation of people at homes,” he said. “Even the World Health Organization does not recommend isolating and keeping in quarantine all those who enter the country, and this is also physically impossible. But in order to exercise control over those who are in home quarantines, I think we need to hold this discussion today, and we need to make decisions in that regard.”
After deciding on the 14-day quarantine regime for those to be evacuated from Italy on Sunday, the commission instructed the Ministry of Health to work with the Ministry of Justice on options to ensure the responsibility of those in self-quarantines for breaking them.
The vice-premier also instructed all government agencies to tighten preventive health measures.