YEREVAN, July 7. /ARKA/. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said today that his government will extend the state of emergency at least one more time.
A 30-day state of emergency to curb the spread of coronavirus was declared in Armenia on March 16 and restrictions were imposed on free movement of citizens. The government banned also some types of economic activity. On April 13, the government extended the state of emergency for another month and on May 4 it lifted the ban on almost all types of economic activity and the free movement of citizens, except for public transport. On May 14, the government again extended the state of emergency for another 30 days.
However, despite the extension, public transport, preschools, trading centers, restaurants and gyms have reopened starting from May 18, and wearing of masks has become mandatory in public spaces.
On June 12, the government has extended the state of emergency for another month- until July 13.
Speaking today at a press briefing after a meeting of a task force set up by the government to enforce the state of emergency, Pashinyan said the authorities will try to reform the legislation so that in the event of an emergency, the government has the tools to conduct an efficient anti-epidemic policy.
“We understand that we cannot extend the state of emergency indefinitely. Nevertheless, if no drastic progress is achieved, then the state of emergency will be extended at least once more,” he said.
“We understand that we cannot endlessly extend the state of emergency – this is a problem for all of us. But on the other hand, we cannot but take into account the epidemiological situation, so we will try to come to the most balanced decisions, “Pashinyan assured.
More than 3 thousand fine notices are issued daily by police for not wearing masks, Pashinyan said. “Our goal is not to fine citizens. On the contrary, speaking of fines, we want to encourage citizens to wear masks, especially since their effectiveness is a fact already proven at the international level,” he said.
At the same time, the Prime Minister said that the situation remains tense not only in Armenia, but also abroad and alarming news is coming from the countries that were believed to have already defeated the coronavirus.
“Our strategy remains the same. We see that the situation can be overcome by changing the individual behavior of citizens and as a result of interaction. Only administrative methods can not give a result if there are no real massive changes in the behavior model,” Pashinyan emphasized.
He noted that the government should continue to support citizens in complying with the anti-epidemic rules and expressed gratitude to the Armenian Red Cross Society for opening points for free distribution of masks.
Armenian health authorities have reported 330 new cases of Covid-19 over the last 24 hours saying their total number has reached 28,936. According to the Health Ministry, 7 people have died from coronavirus.
According to the Ministry of Health, a total of 123,814 tests for coronavirus have been performed. Some 491 people have died from COVID-19, 16,302 patients have recovered and 11,984 patients continue treatment. -0-