Armenia’s prime minister tests positive for coronavirus

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Armenia''s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan hold a joint news conference at the Chancellery in Berlin
Pashinyan was elected in the wake of mass protests two years ago [File: Annegret Hilse/Reuters]

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and his family have tested positive for the coronavirus as the rate of new infections soared in the south Caucasus nation.

Pashinyan announced his infection in a self-recorded video message published on Facebook on Monday.

“My coronavirus test was positive yesterday,” he said, adding that his wife – journalist Anna Hakobyan – and their four children also had COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

Pashinyan said he had no “visible symptoms” of the virus and would be working from home.

The ex-Soviet republic of about three million has so far reported 9,492 cases of the coronavirus and 139 deaths.

Coronavirus patients have overwhelmed Armenia’s hospitals and last week health officials said intensive care treatment could be soon restricted to patients with the best chance of survival.

State of emergency

Pashinyan’s announcement came nearly one month after Armenia on May 4 lifted a state of emergency imposed in March to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The prime minister acknowledged his government had failed to enforce anti-virus measures and there had been widespread quarantine violations.

Pashinyan was elected prime minister in the wake of mass popular protests he led two years ago against veteran leader Serzh Sargsyan and his Republican Party.

He has since led a relentless fight against corruption and initiated sweeping judicial reforms.

Source: News Agencies