Armenia reported its first fatality from a coronavirus infection on Thursday ten days after declaring a state of emergency to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
A spokeswoman for the Armenian Ministry of Health, Alina Nikoghosian, said the 72-year victim suffered from multiple medical conditions, including a heart disease, and died one day after being transferred to an intensive care unit of Yerevan’s Nork hospital.
“Unfortunately, it was not possible to save the latter’s life because of the accompanying diseases,” she wrote on Facebook.
Nikoghosian did not identify the victim.
Other Armenian officials said earlier in the day that two elderly persons infected with coronavirus are in “extremely grave” condition. One of them is a U.S. citizen, according Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian.
As of Thursday morning, Armenian health authorities confirmed a total of 290 cases of coronavirus in the country, up from 265 cases reported the previous day. Health Minister Arsen Torosian said on Wednesday night that 36 infected persons are suffering from pneumonia at the moment.
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,” Torosian told a news conference held a few hours before the announcement of the first coronavirus-related death.
Torosian 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.
“We hope that the restriction of people’s movement for [at least] seven days … will help to restrain the increase in those numbers,” said the minister.
Pashinian 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.”