Interviews and press conferences

PM: “No alternative to stricter anti-epidemic rules”


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After today’s regular meeting of the Commandant’s Office, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan held a news briefing with Antares publishing house Director Armen Martirosyan and Director of the Admission Department of St. Gregory the Illuminator MC, anesthetist, reanimator Karen Tonoyan.

The Premier advised that following discussions of the epidemic situation in Armenia, the Commandant’s Office came to the conclusion that there is no alternative to tightening the anti-epidemic rules in the near future. “As long as statistics has not improved, we must resort to tighter rules with a diversified package of restrictive measures in a bid to reverse the current dynamics,” Nikol Pashinyan said.

According to the Prime Minister, breaches of the anti-epidemic rules have become more pronounced in the country. “You may know that we have a criminal case of violation of anti-epidemic rules, when an infected citizen continued to provide taxi services; the law enforcement agencies recorded it and initiated a criminal case on this fact,” the Head of Government said.

The Prime Minister noted with regret that Armenia is setting new anti-records in terms of the coronavirus epidemic. “Armenia holds a leading position in the world in the number of infected per 1 million inhabitants and the number of new daily infections. This is a big problem for all of us, but there is another, much more important problem, from which, in our opinion, this second problem arises: there is no adequate public awareness of the situation: I mean that the country’s three million citizens should have been fighting the epidemic on a daily basis, ”said Nikol Pashinyan.

The Premier noted that the procedure of administrative offenses initiated in connection with lockdown violations is approaching the stage when the fines imposed for failure to wear a face mask should be levied. “We are also discussing the possibility of introducing such legislative changes as may reduce the time from the imposition of a fine to the time of its collection. I repeat that we are not taking these measures in order to fine citizens, God forbid, our task is not to fine anyone. We just want to say that each of us has the opportunity and even insurance against not being fined, and this insurance is compliance with anti-epidemic rules,” the Prime Minister said.

Director of the Admission Department of St. Gregory the Illuminator medical center, anesthetist, reanimator Karen Tonoyan said that he managed to overcome the coronavirus, but his fight against the infection is not over yet. “I will fight until the threat of this infection is completely eliminated. At first it was very difficult, and we did not know how to deal with the virus, we explored, spotted the weaknesses, but we panicked when we saw the first infected person,” he said. According to the doctor, coronavirus infects the patient as quickly as it spreads throughout the country. Tonoyan urged everyone to fight the pandemic together, like our soldiers did on the battlefield.

Armen Martirosyan, whose father, Achilles Martirosyan, died of coronavirus at the age of 77 on June 19, said: “To say that the coronavirus is safe amounts to saying that during the April war they would say that an Azerbaijani soldier or drone does not pose a threat.

For 4.5 months, I had no contact with my relatives, but still could not ensure that those who did not comply with safety rules would not contact my family either. This resulted in almost all of my family and almost all of my brother’s family being infected, and my brother is now in hospital. My example is that even if we follow the rules ourselves, we still tolerate those who do not follow them and the problem is not solved.”

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