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01 Mar 2020 | 03:02 AM UTC

Armenia: Prime Minister confirms first COVID-19 case March 1 /update 2

First case of COVID-19 confirmed on March 1; further spread of the virus expected

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ARM

Event

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan confirmed the first case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Armenia on Sunday, March 1. The individual is an Armenian national that recently returned from Iran. Prime Minister Pashinyan subsequently announced the cancelation of a march due in Yerevan on Sunday. Further spread of COVID-19 and associated disruptions are expected over the near term.

Armenia closed its border with Iran and suspended air traffic between the countries for two weeks from Sunday, February 23.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in 31 countries and territories worldwide. Virus screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On February 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the COVID-19 outbreak is a "very grave threat."

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

To reduce the general risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue - throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If you have fever, cough, and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider.

In the case that symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness emerge either during or after travel, individuals are encouraged to seek medical attention and share their travel history with their health care provider. Travelers returning from China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran who develop symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the spread of the disease.