Government operational plan, coronavirus situation management - The Prime Minister’s remarks at the Cabinet meeting
A regular Cabinet meeting took place today, chaired by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
Before starting the discussion of the agenda, Nikol Pashinyan referred to the activities to be done in the sidelines of the 5-year operational plan and the issue of coronavirus situation management.
Prime Minisyer Nikol Pashinyan – Dear Cabinet members, dear participants of the Cabinet meeting, dear people, yesterday the National Assembly approved the Government Action Plan for 2021-2026. Now we need to focus on drawing up and approving a five-year operational plan for the Government. The legislation sets a three-month period for this. Of course, we have been working on the draft operational plan for a long time, but I hope that consequently we will have a document that will become a plan for our daily activities.
As we have already agreed, the operational plan must stem from the Government Action Plan, and the Government's decisions must stem from the operational plan. Except, God forbid, cases of emergencies, any Government decision must stem from the Government's operational plan, and the latter, in turn, from the Government's Action Plan.
I want to remind that the preamble to the Government Action Plan states that the Plan is also based on the promises given to the citizens during the campaign. This is also about oral promises. Respectively, before finalizing the Government's operational plan, it is necessary to re-watch the videos of planned and unplanned meetings with the citizens during the election campaign and to include the activities related to the relevant agreements in the operational plan. Somewhere people raised the issue of the roads, in another place a school or sports equipment, in a third place a youth center. Everything should be included in the operational plan.
I have to say that the key and tuning point of the pre-election campaign of 2021 June was that we, going through the stopovers of the previous election campaign of 2018, we saw that the local promises made in 2018 have been implemented very quickly. What is more, the work done was important due to the fact that their implementation started in 2018, immediately after the December elections, in 2019-2020, in a period when no one could think that in 2021 there will be early elections. I mean that those works obviously did not pursue the goal of winning over voters. By the way, I am speaking mostly about not large-scale programs - in one place a 1-2-kilometer road of rural significance was built, in another place a few 100-meter water pipeline was installed, in another place a small building or a small kindergarten were built. But the political reaction of this work was enormous for two reasons. The first shows our respect and service to an individual, a citizen. And secondly, such projects have been widely implemented, people have seen it not from the TV screens, but from their windows.
Therefore, word and promise made to people during our election campaign of 2021, even while walking, must be included in the Government's operation plan. To reach this goal, it is necessary to form a special group, which will once again watch the videos of the pre-election campaign that lasted for tens of hours with this understanding, will separate out what we have to do according to the groups and spheres. And the strategic plans that were the core of the election campaign - today are the core of the Government Action Plan, must also become the core of the operation plan.
The main message of my presentation of the Government Action Plan at the National Assembly was about the agenda of opening an era of peaceful development for Armenia, after which the already well-known situation arose when Azerbaijan closed the main road leading to the southern parts of Syunik region in the section of Eyvazli and Chaizami. This action contradicts to the agreements reached in December, 2020, I hope that the situation will be resolved very quickly.
From political viewpoint, it is clear to me that the mentioned action was aimed at blowing and discrediting the peace agenda that we have put forward. Azerbaijan's behavior shows that such incidents may occur again. Our security services, of course, must be vigilant and carefully, but, on the other hand, we need strong nerves, and we must develop and advance our strategic course, the peace agenda.
The situation with the roads in Syunik was not unpredictable for us, and we had been working on the construction of new infrastructure during this period and will continue to work. However, the reopening of the road in the parts of Eyvazli and Chaizami can be a very good symbol of regional stability. The Azerbaijani side claims that the situation is connected with the incident that took place the day before, when a serviceman of the Azerbaijani border troops was stabbed. Our preliminary inspections have shown that the Armenian side has nothing to do with the alleged incident. I also stated from the rostrum of the National Assembly that if the Azerbaijani side has precise information, it would be desirable if it hands over it to us. We are also ready for a joint investigation with the participation of representatives of Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan.
In any case, Mr. Papikyan, Mr. Sanosyan, we must implement our programs of repairing inter-community and international roads, particularly in Syunik region, until the end of the year. The reconstruction of the Tatev-Aghvani road must be completed, we must also complete the road construction programs of the other sections, in order to improve the uninterrupted connection of the communities with the regional center, interstate and inter-community roads.
Returning to the topic of regional peace, I must say that there are some positive public signals from Turkey. We will evaluate those signals, we will respond to the positive signals with a positive signal.
Summing up, I would like to ask you again to pay attention to the quality of the five-year operation plan of the Government. The plan should include the daily activities of the Government, each ministry or department, and Government decisions should be based on that plan.
Accordingly, the events that are proposed and approved should be measurable, based on the principle of rapid implementation, with assessments of baseline, intermediate and final indicators, with a description of an effective cross-sectoral synchronized funding model. And this, by the way, is a turning point in the realization of our vision of transition to strategic management, the quality of planning will greatly predetermine our success in developing our country.
Before moving on to the agenda of the Cabinet meeting, I would like to know what situation we have in terms of managing the coronavirus pandemic. Ms. Avanesyan, first of all, please provide the indicators of the dynamics of vaccinations, and information related to the increase in the number of diagnoses of the virus,
Minister of Health Anahit Avanesyan - Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister. Dear colleagues, let me present the situation we have at the moment in terms of the virus. We registered 522 positive cases yesterday, we carried out 6383 tests, unfortunately, 11 deaths were registered. At the moment we have 14 medical centers that provide treatment the COVID patients. We have 1500 beds, of which 1143 are currently occupied. I must say that there are about 700 patients in serious and critical condition, as you can see, the ratio of the total number of hospitalized patients to the number of patients in critical condition is quite worrying.
We know that in Armenia, as in other countries, the delta variant is actively circulating at the moment, which is distinguished both by the high degree of infectivity and the more severe course of the disease. I have already announced that we have young patients who, in the absence of any concomitant disease, are currently in critical condition, and our doctors are fighting for their lives.
What do we have in terms of the vaccination process? Mr. Prime Minister, let me report that we carried out 7114 vaccinations yesterday. In total, we have already carried out 267504 vaccinations. You may notice notice that we have already exceeded 7,000 in the number of vaccinations per day, we see quite an active tendency. There are even queues in some polyclinics. We do our best to increase our capacity day by day to make the vaccination process as easy as possible without queuing.
From October 1, the requirement for all the employees to submit a negative PCR test every two weeks will come into force for all businesses. Of course, the cases when the employee, the citizen is vaccinated, pregnant or has clear contraindications to vaccination are exceptions. We expect a large influx of people who want to be vaccinated and will be ready to serve them.
Of course, in the last week we have a more obvious maintenance of the mask-wearing regime, but in this regard, there is still some work to be done. I repeat, I urge our citizens to be vigilant, to protect themselves. This simple measure really helps to quickly affect the rate of illness over time. If vaccination, as a preventative measure, takes some time in terms of getting the first or second dose, then masks are a very affordable, effective mechanism at the moment so that we can control the spread of the virus as much as possible.
Mr. Prime Minister, let me inform that we are in touch with our neighbor Georgia, we plan to hold professional consultations. Definitely, all countries are trying to apply new measures in the treatment of the disease in this new situation, given this aggressive variant. Thank you.