A deputy speaker of Armenia’s parliament has been infected with the coronavirus amid the continuing spread of the disease in the country.
“Dear compatriots, I had a COVID-19 test and was informed a short while ago that the test came back positive,” Vahe Enfiajian wrote on Facebook on Tuesday. “I must say that I feel well and have no worrying symptoms at the moment.”
Enfiajian, who is affiliated with the opposition Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), is the first member of the 132-seat National Assembly who is known to have tested positive for the coronavirus. He most recently attended a parliament session last week, sitting next to speaker Ararat Mirzoyan and the two other vice-speakers.
The leadership of the parliament did not immediately announce plans have other lawmakers tested for the virus due to Enfiajian’s announcement. Nor did the BHK say whether any of its parliamentarians will self-isolate or have such tests.
The Armenian Ministry of Health reported on Tuesday morning 418 new COVID-19 infections, raising to 21,006 the total number of confirmed cases in the country of about 3 million. The latest figures released by it show that almost one-third of 1,274 coronavirus tests carried out on Monday came back positive.
The ministry also recorded the deaths of 21 more people infected with the grave respiratory disease. It said nine of them died primarily because of other, pre-existing conditions. The total number of such fatalities thus rose to 126. This figure is not included in the official death toll from the epidemic which stands at 372.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian continued to urge Armenians to practice social distancing, wear face masks in public and frequently wash their hands. Citing official statistics, he warned that one in 50 infected people in the country dies from the disease.
“At least we have managed to ensure that today there are no [COVID-19] patients awaiting hospitalization at home,” Pashinian wrote on Facebook. “But our potential for expanding hospital capacity is not unlimited.”