Armenian authorities announced on Wednesday, August 5, that the national state of emergency will be extended until September 9. The state of emergency was initially declared on March 16 and has been extended multiple times in ongoing efforts by the authorities to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
According to media sources, authorities also announced on Wednesday that they will begin lifting the current ban on public gatherings and allow foreign nationals to enter the country. The government also reaffirmed plans to reopen educational institutions and schools, in time for the start of the new academic year. The details of the easing of these restrictions will reportedly be announced in the coming days and weeks.
The majority of businesses and sectors of the economy were allowed to resume operations in early May, despite the state of emergency in place, in efforts to revive the country's economy. Public transportation services have also resumed. Individuals are required to wear face masks or coverings in public and social distancing measures should continue to be observed.
The country's borders remain closed; entry into the country is prohibited for non-citizens arriving from countries with severe outbreaks of COVID-19 and also for nationals who have been in those countries within 14 days of arriving into Armenia. Individuals permitted to enter the country will be subject to a medical examination on arrival and will be required to self-isolate, for further information please see this website.
As of Friday, August 7, there have been 39,819 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 772 associated fatalities in Armenia. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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