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Armenia declares a state of emergency

16 March 2020
Disinfecting the Yerevan metro. Photo via Yerevan.am

The Armenian Government held an extraordinary session today and announced its decision to declare a month-long state of emergency due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

The State of Emergency, which is to last until 16 April, will be overseen by a Special Commission which will be led by Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan. 

Measures implemented during the state of emergency and the temporary limits placed on individual rights and freedoms will be applied to the entire territory of Armenia or specific territories identified by the Special Commission.

During the State of Emergency, it will be prohibited to organise and participate in protests, public events, celebrations, and commemorative events — including birthdays, engagements, weddings, and funerals. 

According to the law, all citizens of Armenia can enter the country, however, non-citizens coming from countries that Armenia’s Health Ministry has identified as suffering from severe epidemic conditions as will be prohibited from entering — with the exception of representatives of diplomatic missions and international organisations. 

Minister of Foreign Affairs Zohrab Mnatsakanyan stated during the session that those with special residency permits, relatives of citizens of Armenia holding foreign passports, drivers of cargo transport, and other individuals specified by the Special Commission on the State of Emergency will also be allowed to enter the country. 

The movement of Armenian citizens out of the country by way of land borders will be prohibited, with the exception of drivers of cargo vehicles.

Classes in all state educational institutions, as well as international educational institutions, will be suspended for the duration of the state of emergency. 

Currently, Armenia has confirmed 30 cases of the novel coronavirus. One person has recovered. To date, 300 people have been quarantined and authorities are preparing additional spaces. Most of those quarantined are from the city of Vagharshapat (Ejmiatsin). 

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