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Pashinian ‘Encouraged’ By Armenia’s Latest Coronavirus Numbers


Armenia -- Masked pedestrians on the streets of Yerevan, March 17, 2020.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian on Monday reported a significant drop in new cases of coronavirus in Armenia and said his government will consider easing a nationwide lockdown if a downward trend continues in the coming days.

Pashinian said that only 11 more people tested positive for the virus in the past 24 hours, the lowest daily increase in more than two weeks which brought the total number of COVID-19 cases in the country to 833.

“Today’s figures are encouraging for us,” said in a video address to the nation livestreamed on Facebook. “We can’t be certain because we have to also look at tomorrow’s figures. But if hopes raised by these figures materialize … they should inspire all of us to remain maximally disciplined and comply with restrictions for one more week.”

“And if our theory materializes, it will mean that starting from next Monday we will be able to think about easing the [quarantine] regime,” added the premier.

Armenia had only 249 confirmed coronavirus cases when its government issued stay-at-home orders and forced the closure of nonessential businesses on March 24. The number of infections continued to rise by over 10 percent per day in the following days, leading the authorities to impose more transport restrictions.

In particular, they suspended public transport in Yerevan and restricted travel between the Armenian capital and the rest of the country. Official statistics show that the daily infection rate began falling on April 3.

Pashinian also reported that another person died from COVID-19 late on Sunday, raising to 8 Armenia’s death toll from the virus. The premier said the 68-year-old man also suffered from diabetes and other pre-existing diseases.

According to the Armenian Ministry of Health, five other infected people recovered from coronavirus in the past day. The total number of such recoveries thus rose to 62.

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