Shopping centers, entertainment facilities and other public institutions have been announcing suspension of their operations amid a rising number of coronavirus cases in Armenia.
As the number of confirmed patients rose to 28 on Sunday, Yerevan Mall and Dalma Garden Mall, two of the largest shopping centers in the Armenian capital, said they will be closed on March 16-23 to reduce the risk of the infection spreading.
Yerevan Mall said only the Carrefour supermarket housed by the center will continue to operate “in order not to restrict people’s ability to buy food and other essentials.”
Earlier, to prevent a possible further spread of the virus the Armenian government suspended classes in all schools, universities and kindergartens at least until March 23 and tightened controls at its borders with Iran and Georgia.
According to reports, government agencies have also been looking into options of letting their employees work from home whenever it is possible.
Initially, Armenia’s coronavirus cases were brought from Iran, Italy and France. A majority of cases, however, were transmitted locally from a woman who had come from Italy and participated in her son’s engagement party in the town of Echmiadzin, some 20 kilometers to the west of capital Yerevan.
Among those affected is an employee of Armaeronavigation, a state-owned air traffic control company at Zvartnots Airport located not far from Echmiadzin.
On Sunday, the administration of the company in charge of controlling traffic in Armenian airspace said 75 of its employees had gone into two-week self-quarantines at their workplace on the airport’s premises because of the staff member’s diagnosis.
According to Health Minister Arsen Torosian, 300 people are under quarantine in Armenia today.
Meanwhile, dozens of Armenian citizens were expected to arrive at Yerevan’s Zvartnots airport late on March 15 on a charter flight from Rome arranged by the Armenian government. Under a government decision, all of the arriving citizens will be immediately placed under a 14-day quarantine.
Earlier on Sunday, Minister Torosian also called on religious organizations to suspend mass events. “People’s health is above all,” the minister said in a Facebook post.