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Armenian Health Ministry Details COVID-19 Spending


Armenia -- A COVID-19 patient and a medic at the intensive care unit of Surp Grigor Lusavorich hospital, Yerevan, May 10, 2020. (A photo by the Armenian Mnistry of Health)

The Armenian Ministry of Health said on Thursday that it has spent since March almost 11.5 billion drams ($23.6 million) on treatment of people infected with the novel coronavirus and preventive measures against the spread of the disease.

The figure is equivalent to more than 10 percent of overall public spending on healthcare projected by Armenia’s 2020 state budget. The budget was drafted by the government and approved by the parliament late last year before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A report released by the ministry says that more than a quarter of the sum has financed the current expenditures of Armenian hospitals treating COVID-10 patients. Another 2.9 billion drams has been spent on the purchase of medical equipment for those hospitals and medical labs.

According to the report, the ministry has also bought 1.8 billion drams worth of medication as well as protective gear for medical personnel worth 876 million drams. Bonuses paid to Armenian healthcare workers at the frontline of the fight against the pandemic have cost the state an additional 826 million drams.

The Ministry of Health stressed that its coronavirus-related expenditures do not cover measures against the pandemic that have been financed by other Armenian government agencies.

The ministry has recorded 44,271 coronavirus cases and at least 887 deaths caused by them so far.

In addition to the extra healthcare expenditures, the government has allocated about 150 billion drams ($310 million) for wide-ranging financial assistance to people and businesses severely affected by the pandemic. The stimulus package has included cash handouts to various categories of the vulnerable population as well as loan subsidies and grants to businesses and farmers.

The state budget for this year calls for a total of 1.88 trillion drams ($3.9 billion) in government spending.

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