The number of coronavirus patients in Armenia has reached 115, with the first case reported among medical personnel on Thursday morning.
Health Minister Arsen Torosian confirmed today that a nurse of the Nork infectious diseases hospital in Yerevan has been diagnosed with COVID-19, a disease caused by the novel coronavirus infection. The nurse has worked with other coronavirus patients at the hospital, he added in a Facebook post.
“The woman was immediately hospitalized and her condition is satisfactory. She does not have pneumonia,” Torosian wrote.
The minister reminded the public that fighting the highly contagious and potentially deadly virus puts a lot of stress on medical workers who often appear in risky situations. “They are considered to be one of the vulnerable groups to get infected. We ask you to respect their work and stay at home,” Torosian said.
Armenia’s health authorities say that the bulk of the coronavirus cases reported so far are related to two primary sources of infection both traced to people arriving from Italy. According to Minister Torosian, the condition of all patients is evaluated as satisfactory. The country’s first coronavirus patient, a 29-year-old man evacuated from Iran in late February, was declared recovered earlier this week.
In a bid to slow down and contain the further spread of the novel coronavirus the Armenian government declared a 30-day national emergency on March 16. Limitations that concern international and local travel, public gatherings and the activities of public institutions could potentially affect a number of private sector companies.
At a government meeting on Thursday Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian proposed an aid package to businesses most affected by the pandemic. He said up to 150 billion drams (more than $300 million) would be allocated to support businesses through subsidizing loans, to provide urgent social assistance and stimulate economic activity otherwise. The prime minister said his government expected the assistance to spur business activity and economic growth beyond the current coronavirus pandemic.
Armenia posted a 7.6-percent GDP growth for 2019 and expected its economy to expand by 4.9 percent this year. At the beginning of the year before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic the World Bank forecast an even faster annual growth of 5.1 percent for Armenia in 2020.