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Coronavirus live updates | Pashinyan scolds Armenians for not wearing face masks

18 June 2020
Nikol Pashinyan chairing the government session on 18 June. Screengrab from Facebook live broadcast.

 

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18 Jun 2020, 19:02

That’s it for today, join us again tomorrow for more Coronavirus live updates.

18 Jun 2020, 18:54

Krasnodar Krai to end quarantine on 21 June 

The Governor of the Krasnodar Krai, Veniamin Kondratyev, has announced the lifting of quarantine.

‘We are returning to high alert. We are moving towards a normal lifestyle in all spheres and sectors of the economy’, he said.

From 21 June, ‘non-compulsory education’ for adults will resume. Additionally, non-food stores up to 800 square meters in size will reopen as well as shopping centres without food courts and entertainment zones.

Wearing a mask in enclosed spaces will remain obligatory. 

18 Jun 2020, 17:57

Stavropol re-opens spas, saunas, and solariums

In Stavropol Krai by order of Governor Vladimir Vladimirov, spas, massage parlours, solariums, baths, and saunas may reopen.

Organizations subordinate to the Ministry of Sports of Russia will also resume their work, and Russian national teams, as well as other professional sports teams, may resume training in the appropriate facilities.

Restrictions on swimming pools, fitness centres, water parks and other sports facilities will remain in place.

18 Jun 2020, 17:13

Abkhazia scrambles to pay salaries during budget shortfall

Vladimir Delba. Screengrab from Abkhazian State TV.

On Wednesday, Abkhazia's Finance Minister and Vice Prime Minister Vladimir Delba said that salaries for public employees may be delayed due to budgetary losses that turned especially acute, according to him, by the end of May.

‘Budget expenditures like salaries, social benefits, and benefits for certain categories of citizens are under risk’, the Abkhazian Finance Minister admitted.

Delba stressed that they had already begun payments for May salaries this month and they are also planning to deprioritise other expenditures to ensure they are paid.

Delba's statements on the financial effects of COVID-19 came a week after Abkhazian PM Aleksandr Ankvab expressed concern about the government failing to pay salaries to state employees for the months of June and July. 

 For ease of reading, we choose not to use qualifiers such as ‘de facto’, ‘unrecognised’, or ‘partially recognised’ when discussing institutions or political positions within Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, and South Ossetia. This does not imply a position on their status.

18 Jun 2020, 13:34

Ten-day prison stint for over 80 stranded Azerbaijanis 

Over 80 Azerbaijanis were sentenced to 10 days in detention following clashes with police and border guards near the Russian–Azerbaijani border on 15 June.

Azerbaijani authorities kept borders closed since 5 April, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and have allowed only a limited number of their citizens to return home. 

The growing discontent among Azerbaijani nationals stuck in Russia escalated on Monday night as a number of them attempted to block the federal Kavkaz railway in protest.

Several hundred Azerbaijani citizens still remain stranded and are living in newly constructed border camps in Daghestan. 

[Read more on OC Media: Stranded Azerbaijanis clash with Daghestani police at border]

18 Jun 2020, 12:49

Georgia unveils robot to help ‘defeat COVID-19’

Georgian Health Minister Ekaterine Tikaradze has unveiled a robot who, according to her, will help Georgia fight COVID-19. 

‘We have several surprises today and the first is my assistant, Pepper, who arrived from France yesterday. She is now learning Georgian and will help us in future to defeat COVID-19’, Tikaradze said. 

Pepper the robot. Photo: 1TV.

She described the android as the ‘latest word in telemedicine’.

Tikaradze said that more details would be released later.

According to the robot’s manufacturer, SoftBank Robotics, Pepper can ‘assist patients in self-diagnosis, support staff in health trending and monitoring. 

‘They are also the platform for telemedicine and the hub of information distribution.’

18 Jun 2020, 11:55

Pashinyan scolds Armenians for not wearing face masks

In his Facebook post today, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan confirmed 665 new cases of novel coronavirus in the country, adding that large numbers of Armenians continued to go out in public without wearing face masks.

‘Should our government, which was formed through dialogue with its citizens, speak with the language of coercion with citizens to enhance their readiness to protect their precious health?’ Pashinyan asked. 

At present, in Armenia, there are 444 people in critical condition and 134 in extremely critical condition, with 39 patients on ventilators. 

Armenian authorities have extended the state of emergency, first announced on 16 March, three times, its current expiration date is 13 July. 

18 Jun 2020, 10:30

Summary

Welcome to OC Media’s coronavirus live updates for Thursday, 18 June. We will be bringing you the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic from around the Caucasus.

The biggest developments from yesterday:

Georgia’s ruling Georgian Dream party has reiterated that they do not expect the epidemiological situation to deteriorate, something that could lead to delayed parliamentary elections. However, they’re also not ruling out the possibility of moving them from October to December.

The Georgian government is yet to come up with specific regulations minimising the risks for COVID-19 transmission during the vote. According to the Georgian Constitution, elections should be held no earlier than 45 days after the lifting of a state of emergency nationwide. 

The makeup of the tenth convocation of Georgian Parliament is to be decided on last Saturday of October, a period that could hypothetically coincide with a possible 'second wave' of the novel coronavirus outbreak in Georgia.

In Armenia, members of the public will be required to carry identification with them at all times when outside of the home.

According to Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, this will help police with filing reports on violations of safety regulations.

Those citizens who do not have identification documents will be fined ֏10,000 ($21). Citizens may also be fined ֏10,000 ($21) for not wearing a mask.

‘On 20-21 [June], if not 100%, then almost 90% [restrictions] will be removed. We have every opportunity for this’, Chechnya head Ramzan Kadyrov announced. He said that ‘restaurants and cafes on the street’, as well as parks and playgrounds, will open soon.

‘Everything we do shows effectiveness. We have fewer morbidity than in other regions, there are more dead and recovered’, Kadyrov was quoted as saying by TASS.

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