Interviews and press conferences

Positive dynamics observed in enforcing anti-epidemic rules: 350 regular and intensive care units coming in


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After a regular meeting of the Commandant’s Office, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan held a daily briefing with Healthcare Minister Arsen Torosyan and Nushik Urumyan-Yezekyan, a second-year student at the Department of Obstetrics and General Nursing of Artik Medical College, who has left her three children at home and volunteered to help the Traumatology Center.

During the meeting of the Commandant’s Office held before the briefing, the Prime Minister refereed to his decisions on dismissing National Security Service Director Eduard Martirosyan, Police Chief Arman Sargsyan and Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces Artak Davtyan.

“Dear colleagues, as you know, I made a number of decisions earlier today. First of all, I would like to thank Mr. Arman Sargsyan and Mr. Eduard Martirosyan for the work done during this time. They are giving up their current positions, but I do not think that they have exhausted their potential of serving the Republic of Armenia, its people, the state, and we will of course discuss the matter if they express readiness to be of service to Homeland.

High-ranking government officials must demonstrate by their own example the need to comply with anti-epidemic rules. But, unfortunately, we are faced with cases when this does not happen. And, all the more, I want to clearly say that there cannot be such a situation when the actions of a high-ranking state official actually contradicted the public messages issued by the Prime Minister.

I want to make it clear for everyone: the actions of a high-ranking public official cannot prove to be at odds with the text and context of what the Prime Minister says, and go unpunished. And this is outside the scope of human relations, because it means nothing more than the need to maintain a clear and unconditional, indisputable order, which in no way can be discussed.

We have already had a talk to that effect in this room, and it seemed to me that my message was serious enough to be strictly complied with. And in what I said, nothing has changed and will not change ahead, especially amid the ongoing pandemic; besides, nothing will change in this respect even after the epidemic is over. Let us remember this,” the Prime Minister said.

During the briefing, the Premier expressed satisfaction with the positive dynamics of compliance with anti-epidemic rules, as witnessed in recent days. “I want to thank my fellow countrymen who joined this anti-epidemic movement by observing the prescribed rules. Compliance with the anti-epidemic rules can yield results no sooner than within a week, since the shortest incubation period for the disease is seven days. I want to emphasize that what matters most here is not the formal observance, but rather the correct observance of the rules,” the Head of Government said.

Nikol Pashinyan believes that the maintenance and improvement of Armenia’s socio-economic situation is a major task in the government’s anti-epidemic policy. “A key principle in our anti-epidemic policy is that we are making decisions based on Armenia’s security, economic and health-related needs. Our task is not only to overcome the epidemic, but also to spare the economic and social spheres. I wish to emphasize that in addition to social and economic problems, we see a civilization-related component here,” Nikol Pashinyan said, noting that one of those tasks is the culture of observing queues, as well as changing the attitude towards law, order, rules of coexistence, others’ rights, etc.

The Prime Minister is confident that the state is on the right track on this respect. According to him, the public at large should be increasingly more sensitive toward the calls for nationwide compliance with the anti-epidemic rules. Nikol Pashinyan noted with great satisfaction that society had echoed their calls to start an anti-epidemic movement.

“I hope that volunteer groups should be formed, consisting of a maximum of two people, who while observing the rules themselves would notify citizens of the need to comply with the rules. They shall patrol courtyards, streets, markets and call for compliance without creating conflict situations,” the Prime Minister said.

Minister Arsen Torosyan noted that in the Republic of Armenia 403 people infected with coronavirus are in serious and 94 are in extremely serious condition. “This figure has been stable in recent days, which on the one hand is good, but at the same time it is high by absolute index. We should do our best to reduce the number of citizens who are in a difficult and extremely difficult condition, and this can only be achieved by reducing the current rate,” he said.

According to the Minister, as a result of the deployment of beds in the Republic of Armenia, about 350 regular and intensive care beds will be added, which is 15% more than there are today. “We have already reported that new deployment work is underway. We are in for a second stage of deployment. We had the first, which was unprecedented in the history of independent Armenia. There has never been such a mobilization in the healthcare system. Some of the deployed 2000 beds were set up from scratch, I would even say in unused buildings,” Mr. Torosyan pointed out.

According to the minister, Dilijan Medical Center will join the healthcare system in the fight against coronavirus in 2-3 days with 55 regular and 5 reanimation beds. Spitak Medical Center (100 beds), Vedi Medical Center (100 beds) and one unit of Martuni Medical Center (40 beds) will join the campaign in the next couple of days.

“Deployment work is also underway in Yerevan. We have 14 new intensive care beds in the Infection Department of Surb Astvatsamayr MC in addition to existing 43. There is another private medical center - Armenia, which is likely to offer 50 beds for cases of moderate severity and 8 beds for severe and extremely severe cases,” Arsen Torosyan emphasized.

Second-year student volunteer Nushik Urumyan-Yezekyan called on citizens to wear masks, which will contribute to the fight against coronavirus. Nushik Urumyan-Yezekyan said that wearing masks helps people hope that they will be released from protective suits and masks as soon as possible: it is very difficult to work in them. She said that she came from the city of Maralik and works on a voluntary basis in the intensive care unit at the Traumatology and Orthopedics Research Center.

“I communicate with members of my family only through video calls. I consider my initiative very important. Proud of this move, I am urging everyone to take the situation very seriously. Each of us is obliged to treat this situation with a sense of great responsibility and do everything possible to overcome the epidemic,” Nushik Urumyan-Yezekyan concluded.

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