Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan announced that a further easing of restrictions on business and the movement of people put in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) will come into effect on Monday, May 4. From Monday, small shops, restaurants, bars, beauty salons, and dry cleaners will be allowed to reopen and the construction and manufacturing industry will be permitted to resume operations. However, malls, trade centers, and markets will remain closed and there has been no announcement on the reopening of schools. Public transport will also remain suspended and all gatherings of more than 20 people are banned.
Avinyan announced on Thursday, April 23, the easing of restrictions on travel between provinces and the lifting of measures restricting many business activities. Checkpoints on border provinces were removed, although restrictions on nonessential movement will remain in place. Under certain health and social distancing conditions, some retail and manufacturing sectors have been allowed to resume operations.
On Monday, April 13, Avinyan announced an extension of the state of emergency, which has been in place since Monday, March 16, until Thursday, May 14, due to COVID-19. The country's borders with Iran and Georgia remain closed and foreign nationals from countries heavily impacted by the virus will not be allowed entry to the country.
As of Sunday, May 3, there have been 2386 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Armenia, including 35 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the coming days and weeks.
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). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
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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