Authorities in Armenia say pensions of hundreds of thousands of retired people will be delivered to their homes to prevent the risk of the novel coronavirus affecting them.
Scientists around the world say that people aged over 60 are more likely to develop complications and die because of COVID-19, a disease caused by the new infection.
Most people in Armenia retire at the age of 63, making pensioners potentially a risk group for the highly contagious virus.
“Elderly people are considered to be the riskiest group in terms of the coronavirus infection and these are our beloved parents and grandparents,” Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian said in a live broadcast on Facebook on Wednesday.
“In order to reduce risks for our dear pensioners we have decided to organize the process of payment so that they don’t have to go to and crowd postal offices. All those who have received their pensions with their bank cards will continue to do so. And those who have received their pensions by visiting postal offices themselves will be visited by postal workers who will deliver their pensions to their homes. Of course, these postal workers will be wearing protective masks,” Pashinian added.
There are about half a million pensioners in Armenia. Some of them receive their monthly pensions in non-cash methods. But still a lot of pensioners prefer going to postal offices at the beginning of every month to be paid their pensions in person. Crowding at postal offices at such days is a usual occurrence throughout Armenia.
Earlier, it was reported that the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs had been negotiating with Haypost CJSC to ensure that employees of the postal company visit the beneficiaries in person to pay them pensions and other social benefits.
The Ministry said there will be no delays in the payment of pensions and benefits in Armenia because of the coronavirus epidemic and the ongoing state of emergency that will be in place until April 14.
According to the official data released by the Health Ministry on March 18 morning, the number of coronavirus cases in Armenia has reached 84. Officials say Armenia’s first COVID-19 patient identified on March 1 has recovered.
Since the onset of the epidemic the Armenian government has been urging elderly people to stay at home as much as possible to minimize the risk of being affected by the new coronavirus.