2020 March 19
- 1 Anti-Corruption Daily
- 2 Corruption Prevention Committee clears Yerevan mayor
- 3 Yerevan municipality session / Why behind schedule? / Radical reforms in 2019
- 4 Artsakh presidential election polls
- 5 RIP
- 6 international sports winners to get more rewards
- 7 122 COVID cases / feeling OK (links below)
- 8 more masks coming / change masks often
- 9 worldwide deaths high due to underlying conditions
- 10 export of medical products is banned
- 11 Ejmiatsin doctors get flowers and candy
- 12 donations to combat COVID
- 13 govt drafting tech experts to map COVID
- 14 Education Ministry's remote classes
- 15 Economy Ministry about the economic impact
- 16 IRS stats about COVID purchases
- 17 IRS expects to collect more taxes / COVID to slow it
- 18 govt counts Armenia's food & fuel reserves
- 19 COVID aid package / salary / loan / food import
- 20 staying home with fam
- 21 Indian robots
- 22 COVID timeline (being updated)
- 23 Support David's Daily Armenia News Summaries!
Mar/19/2020: Daily News Summary / Yerevan mayor cleared / Artsakh presidential polls / Sports pensions / IRS stats, COVID impact / 122 infections / No shortage of food / Export of med-stuff banned / Donations surge / Techies drafted vs COVID / Aid package, salaries, utility bills, loans, imports
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.
Corruption Prevention Committee clears Yerevan mayor
The Corruption Prevention Committee found that the Mayor owned shares in the firm but the firm was "practically dead", thus the Mayor didn't violate the conflict-of-interest laws.
Yerevan municipality session / Why behind schedule? / Radical reforms in 2019
The municipality session attendees had their temps checked first. The chairs were placed further away and in a bigger area with more ventilation. Mayor Marutyan was among the few without a mask.
Yerevan taxpayers paid their taxes, yet you only did 70% of the scheduled work in 2019. Why?
2019 was the first year of systemic changes to establish "order", which caused disruptions. Before 2019, some district employees didn't even know how to properly organize contracts for companies to do work.
Companies used to come, threaten/bribe/etc. and win a contract. 2019 was different. Companies came and faced different rules.
We penalized a company that won the contract but didn't do the work. Other companies applied to work under new and stricter (higher quality) rules, and failed to meet the goal.
We didn't pay those who failed. The money isn't lost, it's in coffers. The changes we made in 2019 should have been done 20 years ago.
Council voted 40-6 to approve the 2019 budget execution report.
Artsakh presidential election polls
Artsakh hasn't suspended its upcoming presidential elections. Former PM Arayik Harutyunyan (not to be confused with Armenia's Education Minister) is the front-runner.
Arayik Harutyunyan: 46% (former PM, 85% know him)
Masis Mayilyan: 22% (foreign diplomacy, 64% know him)
Vitali Balasanyan: 8% (Roboserj candidate, 60% know him)
Ashot Ghulyan: 4% (54% know him)
85% aware of the upcoming elections.
72% follow the presidential campaign.
32% will definitely vote, with the rest being uncertain.
Update: The little Iraqi-Kurdish girl with a heart problem who was flown to Armenia to have surgery, unfortunately, didn't make it.
international sports winners to get more rewards
Education Ministry plans higher sports-pensions for those who bring victories to Armenia in international competitions. It's meant to encourage sports in Armenia.
Olympics or Chess Olympiad: Gold 200k/mo now vs 100k/mo before, Silver 140 vs 0, Bronze 100 vs 0.
World Championship Gold: 100 vs 55.
Rules are also relaxed. The recipient doesn't have to be a member of some govt-funded institutes.
The vast majority of 122 infections are related to the Ejmiatsin wedding and Yerevan factory. All recent cases are related to the Yerevan factory. "We expect the number to grow," said Healthcare Minister Torosyan.
All patients are doing fine. None >39c temp. 13 are over the age of 60 but they're fine. a nurse was infected
1 of the infected is a nurse working at the infections hospital. She's OK. Other personnel with fever were tested but it came negative. "Please respect the medical staff's work and stay home," urged Minister Torosyan. stay home & call doctor if u have flu symptoms
Healthcare Ministry advises to stay home and not to socialize. "Call your doctor if you develop flu symptoms. Don't self-treat yourself."
more masks coming / change masks often
Healthcare Minister about masks:
The main purpose of the mask is to block the sneeze. Some masks don't block it. You need either N95 or FFP3. If you wear one, change every 3 hours because it collects bacteria/viruses. Goggles and tightly fitted masks are needed while contacting an infected.
We'll import 3.5mln masks today on top of the 1.5mln available. Italy has no masks because they don't produce it because it wasn't profitable.
Chinese masks were 5 Drams before COVID and 85 Drams now.
worldwide deaths high due to underlying conditions
Minister Torosyan: 50% of all deaths in Italy were among those who had 3 or more underlying conditions, 25% with 2, 24% with 1. (existing lung issues, COPD, smoking, diabetes, obesity, etc.). The global stay-in-home order won't last 2 months, it'll be longer. Chinese epicenter didn't record new cases today, but that doesn't mean the virus can't return there. Ejmiatsin super-spreader criticizes medics / Ministry blames her
The 1st super-spreader was an Ejmiatsin resident who came from Italy and hid her symptoms. She was told to report any fever upon arrival from Italy, but she hid it from doctors and took meds instead.
She claims that after the wedding, when the condition got worse, she contacted the medics but they told her to "chill out, you're probably fine".
Healthcare Minister Torosyan denies the accusations, says some people resisted doctors and didn't open the doors for them. Others hid their symptoms from doctors.
export of medical products is banned
The COVD emergency taskforce banned the exports of masks, hazmat suits, medical cotton, disinfectants, etc. unless permitted on a case-by-case basis.
Ejmiatsin doctors get flowers and candy
Because they deserve it: https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/183451
donations to combat COVID
Earlier the govt opened an account to receive donations for COVID. 121mln donated by >650 donors so far.
Ajarabet betting firm pledged a 50mln donation. (betting firms were criticized yesterday for running ads and taking advantage of the fact that many people stay home and gamble online)
All 3 Parliamentary parties have agreed to donate their MPs' March bonus salaries to fight COVID. (that's gazillion billion dollars according to some outlets)
govt drafting tech experts to map COVID
High Tech Ministry is working with tech experts to map COVID's current hotspots and possible trajectory. "It'll help the Healthcare Ministry."
Education Ministry's remote classes
https://www.youtube.com/user/armeduchannel/playlists <---is the new YouTube channel by Ministry. Armenian Language, History and media-literacy classes will be broadcasted on H1 Public TV tomorrow and uploaded to YouTube.
"I know some parents also liked the material. It reminded them of forgotten knowledge," said Minister Arayik.
Economy Ministry about the economic impact
Minister Tigran Khachatryan says COVID will have a significant short-term negative impact on the economy (water is wet).
The copper prices went from $6k to $4.8k this year. Some large Armenian exporters are negatively impacted. "We're working for ways to help the business. The tourism and leisure are also hit hard over COVID."
IRS stats about COVID purchases
March 16: emergency declared
March 16: 1.3mln sales receipts
March 17: 1.5mln sales receipts
"No radical increase there, so far." The turnover, however, rose by 45% in the past few days.
IRS expects to collect more taxes / COVID to slow it
1Q2020 vs 1Q2019 tax collections +45bln or +15%. This was largely due to pre-COVID growth. They expect COVID to slow the growth.
govt counts Armenia's food & fuel reserves
Pashinyan: there are plenty of products in Armenia. If nothing is done, sugar would last 201 days, poultry 64, oil 38, fuel 90. Moreover, imports increased yesterday. (yesterday the govt relaxed trade import restriction from Iran)
Finance Minister: in addition, Armenia is self-sufficient in the following products: veggies, fruits, nuts, egg, milk, beef, lamb, fish, cheese, canned veggies/nuts.
IRS chief: The main Lars trade route between Georgia/Russia is closed due to weather, but other routes are working. We imported 600 tons of food yesterday.
COVID aid package / salary / loan / food import
Yesterday Pashinyan said the govt has plans to pass 3 aid packages worth 250bln to give low-interest loans to businesses and aid to low-income families affected by COVID.
One of the bills is drafted. It'll provide loans to help companies pay salaries to their employees for 3 months if it's <500k/mo.
It'll provide loans to companies to import materials to produce things in Armenia, and agricultural products to farmers, as long as the imported things are strictly used for producing products in Armenia (e.g. you can't import tractor with 0% tax then export it to Iran to make $. The tractor must be used in Armenia).
The aid will also subsidize electricity/water/gas bill for 3 months, up to 5mln/mo for each utility. (details unclear)
Traders will receive aid to import food as long as it's meant to be consumed in Armenia.
The loans must be repaid in 2 years. No cash payments, only electronic. 0-6% interest depending on the program.
staying home with fam
1st family broadcasts their family-time under voluntary lockdown in the evenings. "Lil' Arpine is our family's emergency commandant with a great performance," says PM before the kid shows her dance moves.
Anna and Nikol began arguing whether it's garlic-yogurt or yogurt-garlic (սխտոր-մածուն). "Well, I put the garlic first then add the yogurt on top, so it's garlic-yogurt."
Georgian PM's gifted dog Bonbor lives with them.
Indian robots travel around and offer hand sanitizers and masks.
COVID timeline (being updated)
January 30: govt forms COVID Taskforce to monitor the spread of this new virus.
February 24: 0 infections. Govt shuts down the border with Iran. Iranian cargo drivers banned from traveling through Armenia.
February 29: Ejmiatsin super-spreader arrives from Italy. She's already infected but doesn't know yet. Later develops symptoms but hides it from govt. Attends a wedding.
March 1: 1 infection. He was among the Iranian-Armenian repatriates. The other 31 are quarantined in Golden Palace hotel.
March 2: 1 infection. schools close for 1 week.
March 10: still 1 infection. Italy declares full quarantine.
March 11: 4 infections. The 3 new cases came from Italy.
March 12: 6 infections. Ejmiatsin wedding super-spreader, who came 13 days ago, is finally detected. Schools shut down again.
March 13: 13 infections. Europe tightens border checks. WHO declares pandemic.
March 14: 20 infections. Armenia closes border with Georgia, too, after closing it with Iran 30 days ago. Govt-run theaters and leisure POIs close.
March 15: Ejmiatsin travel throttled. Drivers checked.
March 16: 52 infections. STATE OF EMERGENCY. More foreign travel restrictions. Auto-quarantines for some, isolation for others. Ban on mass gatherings. Medical facilities under govt-control.
March 16 evening: it is revealed that Ejmiatsin isn't the only person-to-person hotspot. Yerevan factory workers getting infected.
March 17: 78 infections. Govt reveals that they've been doing mass tests. Many cases detected "accidentally". 95% have no symptoms. 600 quarantined.
March 18: 110 infections. 1243 quarantined. Education Ministry works on remote classes. Bus drivers monitored against over-crowding. Quarantined people monitored by police.
March 19: 122 infections. Export of some medical products is banned. Remote Education classes begin. 3.5mln masks ordered. Techies helping to map COVID. Large donations arriving to help fight COVID.
Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/flgzkf/mar192020_daily_news_summary_yerevan_mayor/
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