At least 55 elderly people living in a nursing home in Gyumri have been infected with the coronavirus following similar outbreaks of the disease reported at Armenia’s two other elderly care centers.
A spokeswoman for the state-funded institution, Nune Grigorian, said on Tuesday that 37 of them have been hospitalized.
“We also have 12 infected personnel, one of whom was also taken to hospital,” she told RFE/RL’s Armenian service. “The 18 other [infected residents] are asymptomatic and have been isolated along with the [infected] personnel.”
Grigorian did not deny reports that one of the elderly persons has died. “We don’t yet know whether [the death] was connected with the coronavirus because the patient suffered from a severe pre-existing disease: cancer,” she said.
The Gyumri nursing home has 160 residents and 66 employees looking after them. Grigorian insisted that its administration has followed anti-epidemic guidelines issued by the health authorities.
Armenia has only three nursing homes where a total of 580 retirees live and receive care and, if necessary, medical assistance. All of them were placed in strict lockdown in late February even before the authorities registered the first coronavirus case in the country.
One of these care centers located in Yerevan was the first to be hit by a COVID-19 outbreak in mid-May. At least ten of its residents infected with the disease reportedly died as of June 25. The Armenian Ministry of Health said on Monday that all others have already recovered and been discharged from hospital.
The other care home, also located in the Armenian capital, reported two dozen infections late last month.
Meanwhile, the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Armenia rose by 349 to 29,285 on Tuesday morning. The Ministry of Health also reported that 17 more people infected with the virus died in the past day.
The ministry said COVID-19 was the primary cause of 12 of those deaths. The country’s official death toll from the epidemic thus rose to 503.