Armenia Extends State of Emergency, Eases Restrictions on Some Businesses

The streets of Yerevan are empty (Photo by ArmRadio)
The streets of Yerevan are empty (Photo by ArmRadio)

The streets of Yerevan are empty (Photo by ArmRadio)

The Armenian government on Monday extended, for an additional month, the state of the emergency put in place to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The previous order was set to expire on Tuesday, but Monday’s decision extends it to May 14.

Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan, who is heading the government task force enforcing the state of emergency said on Monday that the restrictions put in place by the state of emergency declaration have worked to stem the spread of the coronavirus, adding that the extending the order would further curtail the spread of the virus.

On Sunday, Avinyan said that companies that are engaged in open-air construction or manufacture cigarettes, cement and other construction materials will be able to resume their work on Monday. He said the temporary ban on engineering and scientific research will also be lifted.

The government ordered the temporary closure of most nonessential businesses, including cafes and restaurants, on March 24 spread of coronavirus in Armenia was accelerating at an alarming rate. The order did not apply to agriculture, food retailers, public utilities and services, banks as well as food-processing, mining and cargo firms. The closure of these businesses will remain in effect per the new state of the emergency extension.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Monday acknowledged that easing restrictions on some businesses may advance the spread of the coronavirus. He urged workers in those industries to exercise caution, as well as social distancing and wearing of protective face covering to stem the spread.

Armenia’s Health Ministry said on Monday that the number of coronavirus cases rose by 26 to 1,039 in the past day, with deaths linked to COVID-19 reaching 11 in Armenia.

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