The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic is a pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The disease was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei, China on December 1, 2019, and has since entered 140 of the world’s countries. It is highly contagious and transferred easily between humans. It is considered heavy, meaning that between individuals standing over 1.5-2 meters apart, there won’t be a problem as it will fall to the ground. The virus has been reported to survive on surfaces for many days and up to 3 hours in the air after a cough or a sneeze.
If in the past 14 days you have been out of the country or feel like you have any of the symptoms below, immediately call your polyclinic and tell your doctor.
Hotline: 8003 or 060 838 300
For more information on what the Government of Armenia and all its ministries are doing, please follow ARM Unified Center on Facebook, Twitter and Telegram.
- Initial flu-like symptoms
- Dry cough
- Breathing difficulties (not applicable in cold and flu)
Symptoms that are not so common but do sometimes occur are sneezing, aches and pains, and sore throat. It is uncommon to get headaches, unlike the common cold or flu. Pregnant women are advised to take extra caution, as well as those over the age of 70 and those with chronic diseases. There are many who test positive for the virus but have no symptoms at all. Since this is also a likely case and would further endanger the public, it is recommended that all self-isolate as much as possible, protecting both themselves and society as a whole for as long as it’s deemed necessary.
- Avoid close contact with sick individuals
- Frequently wash hands with soap and water. Wet wipes won’t be much help
- Keep a hand sanitizer on you at all times
- Do not touch the eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
- Practice good respiratory hygiene
- Work from home if you can and try to isolate yourself from other family members
- Avoid restaurants, pubs, and similar spaces
- Non-essential travel should be avoided
- Use a face mask if you have symptoms yourself. If you use it otherwise, you increase your chances of the virus sticking to your mask and later infecting you when you touch it. Furthermore, if the mask isn’t changed regularly (2h-4 days, depending on the type), the moisture will create conditions that increase the risk not only to contract corona but also other viruses such as influenza.
- Use gloves for everything, but do not touch your face with it. Throw it out when done
- Change your clothes every time you go out. Once you get home, make a beeline for your washing machine and throw them in
- Everything you touch should be cleaned. Rubbing alcohol does the trick
- Leaving your clothes in the dryer for 5 minutes on high heat also kills the virus
- Ensure you keep your house clean at all times. Take off shoes at the door
There are many “remedies” that do not work or can be considered a myth about the virus according to the World Health Organization (WHO). As such,
- Hot and humid weather conditions do not kill the virus any more than snow and cold does. Your natural body temperature stays the same and that’s all that matters
- Taking a hot bath does not prevent the virus any more than taking a cold shower does. You should bathe and shower to keep yourself clean at all times, but the temperature doesn’t matter
- Hand dryers do not kill the virus. No need to keep your hands under them for long
- Mosquitos do not transfer the virus
- Spraying alcohol or chlorine on the the body will NOT kill the virus
- Regularly cleansing your nose with saline will not prevent you from getting the virus
- Eating garlic is very healthy and will ward off bacteria, but you may still catch corona
- Neither vaccines nor antibiotics help in fighting the virus. No meds are available yet
- Wearing a mask at all times will not protect you! Click here to learn how to use it
The incubation period lasts between 1-14 days and it could take a minimum of 2 weeks before those infected recover completely. As of March 17, 2020, there have been no deaths and the first person reported as infected (as of March 1) has now recovered. For more information on the latest numbers and updates, please check the Ministry of Health’s website. A 30-day state of emergency has been declared by the government, in effect as of Monday, until April 14. All written correspondence with the ministries will now be made electronically to prevent the spread of the virus using physical paper. Email your questions and concerns to [email protected] or [email protected]. If you prefer to call, the Ministry of defense hotline is 1-28 or 012 210000.
What does the state of emergency mean for citizens and visitors?
- Border restrictions, including a ban on citizens leaving the country (only air travel available and only to countries without high levels of infection)
- Goods travels will continue, with border checkpoints testing all
- Foreigners (those without citizenship or residency) are barred from entering Armenia, unless they are diplomats, international organization representatives, or family members
- Only citizens, residents, and family members of citizens can enter the country
- All those arriving will go through mandatory testing. If there are any indicators, newcomers will be hospitalized or quarantined.
- Countries from whence no foreign citizen can enter and Armenian citizens will be immediately quarantined include:
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
- Flights have been halted with many countries and borders are closed with Iran/Georgia
- Gatherings of more than 20 people are banned
- All educational institutions are closed, along with shopping malls, museums, theatres, and such other public places, at least until March 23. Online courses will still be available. The government recommends the use of https://heravar.armedu.am for online classes starting from elementary school. The resource also has access to a wealth of knowledge obtained from the web and created for Armenian schoolchildren
- The referendum slated for April 5, 2020, is to be postponed
- While people are able to move around with relative ease, the government may restrict access to certain regions (such as Echmiadzin, at the moment), with police set up as security. First aid items, basic necessities, food products, and such items will be allowed free access to and fro despite the barricade. The government may also set curfews or limit numbers of individuals allowed in a single place at a time.
- Visits to prisons, individuals serving in the army, psychiatric institutions, or social housing for the elderly and youth will not be allowed for the time period
The Central Bank is urging people to use online transactions instead of physically appearing at the banks. It has also been recommended that banks allow for a grace period before loans must be repaid during this period, which many are obliging. It is recommended to use credit cards over physical cash, as the virus does tend to remain on paper money for a few days. If you have any question or concerns, you can call the hotlines here: 011561954, 011563950 010592697
Since it is best to stay at home and steer clear of public places, shopping will have to be done online as well. Most cafes and restaurants are open. If they have delivery options, we highly recommend using them. Here is a list of sites you can use for your day-to-day shopping:
Meat and Animal Products
Fruits and Veggies
For Little Ones
If you are interested in a free course about the virus, you can sign up here.
If you would like to volunteer to help the MoH with this outbreak and either of these positions suit your background, please fill out this form: Medical students or those with a nursing background, translators, database entry workers, drivers, technical staff, psychologists, social workers, etc.