“The disease still has a complicated course,” the office said in a statement. “President Sarkissian has symptoms typical of that condition, including a fever and double pneumonia.”
Sarkissian’s office first reported the diagnosis on January 5. It said the 67-year-old president showed the symptoms and tested positive for the coronavirus following foot surgery which he underwent in London on January 3.
Sarkissian is a former British citizen who lived in London for nearly three decades prior to becoming Armenia’s largely ceremonial head of state in April 2018.
The presidential press service said on January 8 he will return to Armenia “immediately after the stabilization of his condition.”
It is not clear whether Sarkissian, who has consistently observed physical distancing rules during his official engagements, was infected with COVID-19 in Armenia. He travelled to Britain late last month and spent New Year’s Eve with his sons and grandchildren living in London.
Both Armenia and the United Kingdom have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. More than 163,000 coronavirus cases and at least 2,951 deaths have been officially confirmed in the South Caucasus country of about 3 million to date.