2020 April 8

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Apr/8/2020 -- Your daily summary of Armenian news -- Stay up to date on Anti-Corruption, COVID, Economy, Politics, Daily Life, and more...
by ar_david_hh

Disclaimer: All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law, even if they may sound as being guilty. Currency in Armenian Drams ֏ unless specified otherwise.


Civil Aviation / Armenian airlines wanted to fly to EU, got bolola instead

Earlier we learned that several Armenian airlines lost their license to fly to Europe because they failed European EASA agency's safety tests. Armenian Civil Aviation (CA) said the long-standing problems, which were exposed in 2019 and at the time resulted in 1 airline losing its license, were the problem.

That 2019 problem was related to Taron Avia airline which, according to prosecutors, flew unsafe jets since 2016, with the help of Civil Aviation agents' coverup.

A 2020 exam by international EASA safety agency revealed that another airline had safety issues.

CA chief Tatevik Revazyan said the industry has been suffering from major problems "and needs big reforms, which takes time".

Pashinyan's aviation-adviser submitted his resignation last week, saying his complaints and suggestions weren't heard.

--

Joghovurd outlet says they obtained the 2020 EASA safety exam results and it says the CA itself wasn't the target, but rather several airlines. The physical shape of tires, pilot preparedness, etc. were audited.

The outlet reports that the only reason CA was placed on EASA's watch list is because of Taron Avia airlines' 2019 shenanigans regarding flights to Europe. Taron Avia denies doing any shenanigans.

--

As for the conditions at the CA agency itself, CA says they aren't on Europe's "blacklist", but EASA nonetheless found some problems in CA too, but the CA disagrees and will challenge some of the findings.

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Opposition politician Khajakyan: it's easy for the govt to say that airline companies used to obtain permits illegally under the old administration, but there is no excuse not to do proper internal audits now.

Pashinyan about former regime members: ",Those who cry about Civil Aviation now are the ones who destroyed it for years.".

--

During an interview, CA chief Tatevik Revazyan said that there were no issues with licensing for as long as the aforementioned Armenian airlines were undergoing their safety audits at another international agency. This agency was less strict than Europe's EASA.

But once the Armenian airline companies decided to fly to Europe in 2019, they had to go through EASA's stricter exam, which revealed problems in some of them.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/185114

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EVB44NhXsAEIdmM?format=jpg&name=medium

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EVB44NeXkAEH9iS?format=jpg&name=medium

https://news.am/arm/news/571165.html

https://news.am/arm/news/571166.html

https://news.am/arm/news/571155.html

https://www.facebook.com/nikol.pashinyan/videos/784737708719482/

a sharp rise in investigation efficiency

Prosecutors' office says that in 2019 vs 2018, there was a 92% rise in pieces of evidence that prosecutors and inspectors found and submitted during investigative work.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/185129

COVID stats / getting bent?

311 tests were done yesterday and 28 came positive. The numbers aren't as high as before. 27 patients healed yesterday.

758 currently in hospital, 90% of whom don't have symptoms. 114 healed in total.

8 deaths. The latest one was a 93yo patient with cancer.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/185092

Artsakh's COVID carrier participated in elections

Yesterday we learned that an Artsakh man traveled to Armenia, contracted COVID, and returned to Artsakh.

It turns out, he also participated in last week's presidential elections. It is yet to be seen whether he infected others. The AR govt says voters were given masks and separate pens to reduce contact.

The infected man also wore a mask and used disinfectants. Others in the building also wore protective gear, according to AR govt.

He went to the voting booth in his small village during the 2nd half of the day when most people had already voted. Only 20 others went to vote after him. Theses co-villagers were isolated, followed by the entire village being placed on lockdown.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/185105

you can't just 3D print a lung ventilator

High Tech Minister Arshakyan says they received hundreds of offers from diasporans to help provide more lung ventilators, but the Minister says it's mostly engineering parts, such as 3D printed components, that don't fully solve the problem.

"A lung ventilator needs a computing device that understands when to stop pumping air. There is more to it than just obtaining tubes and parts. Even repairing broken ventilators takes a while," said Minister.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/185099

US donates 2k test kits

The US has donated 2,000 COVID test kits to Armenia.

https://www.facebook.com/usembarmenia/posts/10158227565402673

update: the mobile COVID lab

Yesterday Russia sent a truck equipped with COVID test lab. It'll be used on Russian and Armenian soldiers in Armenia.

100 tests per day. 99% accuracy. Each test lasts 5 hours.

Here is is in video: https://youtu.be/hJkGPUJzbRk?t=18

COVID supplies from China

China sent an airplane filled with 120 lung ventilators, 60,000 COVID test kits, 280k masks, 20k goggles, 100k suits.

Some of it is purchased, while others are donated by Chinese govt, Armenian donors and Chinese donors.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/185154

$91mln broad aid from Germany

Finance Ministry signed the docs to approve $91mln aid from Germany. Various grants, low-interest loans, nature protection aid, etc.

https://news.am/arm/news/571320.html

Armenian citizens arrive / placed in quarantine

200 Armenians arrived from Moscow with a special flight. They hit a jackpot and were taken to a Tsakhkadzor luxury hotel for a 14-day vacation quarantine.

Pics: https://factor.am/238896.html

smartphone app helped to catch COVID

An app was created earlier to allow residents to enter their symptoms and receive medical advice.

40,000 unique people used the app. 1,500 people were deemed risky by AI. A manual interview singled out 31 risky patients. 12 were tested. 4 had COVID.

https://youtu.be/tRIRlzYjhBc

ensuring that self-quarantined don't leave the area

Those who are required to self-quarantine will have their physical locations monitored through the phone to make sure they haven't left the quarantine zone.

If the self-quarantined person has a phone, the police can regularly contact the person to make sure they didn't leave the phone behind before sneaking out of the quarantine zone.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/185128

https://youtu.be/tRIRlzYjhBc

law to monitor COVID's contacts / system begins

In addition to monitoring the location of those who're required to self-quarantine, the govt recently passed a law to collect COVID patient's phone call records (not content) to find and isolate new risky people who had contact with COVID patients.

The system began working yesterday. The authorities reached out to >100 people after the automated system found they socialized with a COVID patient. "They had no complaints and were cooperative."

This metadata was already being collected and saved by ISPs. Now it will be given to the govt so it can find and isolate circles.

The data servers will be physically destroyed within 2 weeks of the Emergency Order's ending. The destruction process will be monitored by opposition political parties.

https://factor.am/238849.html

300 Spartans? pshhhh.... more like 3,000 Armenians

3,000 doctors, nurses and others are helping COVID patients and quarantined suspects across Armenia.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/185143

https://youtu.be/GAkRXPmZdkg

paying entrepreneurs to find solutions

High Tech Ministry provides grants of various sizes to techies who have ideas on how to alleviate people's problems caused by COVID lockdown.

The best ideas about online solutions, safety devices, etc. will receive millions in grants. 133 have applied.

--

930mln in grants will be distributed this year. COVID related projects will be prioritized, but other high-tech inventions are also welcome.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/185103

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/185110

ok boomer online bloomer

Online e-commerce is booming. 3x rise in sales volume under lockdown. "This is great. It's more transparent, taxable, better for rural development, than in-person cash sales," said High Tech Minister.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/185103

boomers out for shopping

BOOMERS NEED TO EAT. A supermarket employee went outside to tell customers in the queue that "it's the senior hour, only seniors are allowed", while the cops were checking paperwork of residents on the street and urging them to stay home.

https://youtu.be/gNdunaUucnU

KNOCK KNOCK

-Who is there?

-Your pension.

High Tech Ministry says thousands of HayPost postal workers delivered 96% of pensions and 77% of poverty aid so people won't have to leave their homes. 215,000 deliveries made.

"Special thanks to the police for accompanying every cash-carrying postal worker, and to postal workers for their devoted work," said Minister.

--

High tech in 2019: get your pension by scanning this QR code.

High tech in 2020: we gon send 3 people to your home to deliver cash. 1 to hold the cash, and 2 to guard the cash.

Thanks, Nikol.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/185106

https://youtu.be/854M2BAAmTI

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1011512.html

Vanadzor bread prices audited

Economic Competition Committee was asked to audit the bread price hike in Vanadzor city. The agency says:

Vanadzor has always been competitive with 40 producers. The prices have always been lower than Armenia's average.

Lately, the price went up from 160 to 180 Drams (or 200 for small purchases) due to multiple factors: flour price hike related to imports, people baking their own bread under lockdown, schools being closed therefore a decline in the use of bread-like products (bulkis)

https://factor.am/238847.html

295,000 received a debt vacation

290,000 residents won't have to pay back 9.3bln in loans, for now, due to COVID.

"Additionally, 5300 legal entities got a vacation for their 15.4bln debt," said Pashinyan.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/185109

u jealous yet?

The military cafeteria gets strawberries. PM published a short video of menu items.

https://www.facebook.com/nikol.pashinyan/videos/635526720330049/


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/fxc835/apr82020_your_daily_summary_of_armenian_news_stay/


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