'I have coronavirus': Armenian PM tests positive as pandemic tightens grip on the country

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan attends the Eurasian Economic Council in Yerevan, Armenia, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan attends the Eurasian Economic Council in Yerevan, Armenia, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019 Copyright Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP
By Alessio Dell'Anna with AFP
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Nikol Pashinyan announced it only a few days after he called for tighter restrictions amid a critical situation in the country's hospitals due to the coronavirus pandemic.


Armenia's prime minister Nikol Pashinyan announced on Monday (June 1) that he had contracted COVID-19.

"My coronavirus test was positive yesterday. All of my family members are also positive," Pachinian said in a video posted on his Facebook page.

The prime minister, who has a wife and four children, added that he had no "noticeable symptoms" related to the illness, and that he will continue to work from home "as long as it is possible".

Մեր թեստը, ցավոք, դրական է։

Publiée par Nikol Pashinyan / Նիկոլ Փաշինյան sur Dimanche 31 mai 2020

The COVID-19 situation has become more serious in the Caucasian country after the lockdown was eased on May 4.

Hospitals are currently overburdened, so much so that medical authorities announced last week they plan to restrict intensive care access to patients "with the best chance of survival" only.

The prime minister himself said on Wednesday (May 27) that the situation got "very serious" as he called for tighter restrictions.

He acknowledged that the government failed to enforce containment measures and even regretted having "too much confidence in the sense of responsibility" of his fellow citizens.

The Armenian authorities have been criticized for their management of the crisis.

In particular, experts argue that the decision to close the borders was taken too late.

Prime minister Pashinyan announced the closure of the border with Iran at the end of February, before extending restrictions later in March to several other countries affected by the pandemic.

According to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, Armenia has reported over 9,400 COVID-19 cases and 139 related deaths.

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