2020 March 24
- 1 Anti-Corruption Daily
- 2 arrest warrant for legendary douchebag / former Mayor-Minister / 27 kindergartens embezzled
- 3 oil is $27, you know what that means
- 4 249 COVID cases / multiple hotspots / more business shut down
- 5 mass tests / Armenia purchases experimental COVID drugs / entering stage of recoveries
- 6 some MPs want to go home / bolola breaks loose
- 7 movement restrictions / only food stores and pharmacy open
- 8 govt agencies close doors for workers
- 9 PAPERS, PLEASE
- 10 videos of police on the streets
- 11 16 healed
- 12 donations for COVID
- 13 Worker protection law reforms / BHK Dodi Gago's employment shenanigans
- 14 Artsakh Republic
- 15 online shopping increases / Ministry meets businesses
- 16 court holds the first-ever remote trial
- 17 high level of participation in remote learning
- 18 collection of kids
- 19 Gyumri hairdresser is European champ
- 20 COVID timeline (updated)
Mar/24/2020 -- What's happening in Armenia? -- Papers, Please -- Today's major stories on COVID, Anti-Corruption, Post-Revolution Armenia, Economy, Politics, Diaspora, Daily Life, and more...
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.
arrest warrant for legendary douchebag / former Mayor-Minister / 27 kindergartens embezzled
The NSS says:
Beglaryan abused powers and embezzled 233mln worth kindergarten on Yerevan's Tamanyan Street.
In Dec-2008 he illegally merged the kindergarten to another one. In Mar-2009 he illegally re-purposed that section of the enlarged kindergarten to be used for other purposes.
He then sold the area to someone for 23mln, well below the market value. Shortly thereafter, Beglaryan's father bought the area for 24mln, then transferred it Beglaryan.
A felony case is launched.
The NSS has identified 27 similarly embezzled kindergartens as part of other cases. The kindergartens became a subject of examination by the newly-elect Mayor QP Hayk Marutyan after he took office in 2019.
Beglaryan claims innocence. He's abroad for medical reasons.
oil is $27, you know what that means
Azeri government spread rumors about Armenians organizing a failed infiltration attempt near geranthiccboy region and leaving 1 dead infiltrator. The Armenian army denied the rumor "Stop lying. The situation was calm last night."
249 COVID cases / multiple hotspots / more business shut down
COVID is raging through the world. We also have concerning new developments. Cases reached 249.
We had a person-to-person transmission in Kotayk and Yerevan factories not seen before.
0 deaths. 1 critical. 30 have pneumonia. 1 has temps above 39c. 2 healed. The majority has no fever.
868 quarantined and 2419 self-isolated.
70 of the quarantined people will test tomorrow because the 14-day period expires. We expect most to be healthy.
We need more restrictions. All restaurants and cafes will close except deliveries. Construction, textile, paper and light industry factories will close. Food and weapon factories will continue to operate.
Stay home as much as possible. Practice hygiene. Avoid risky contact. Preserve your dux and don't get depressed. We're all taking care of our elderly by being careful.
mass tests / Armenia purchases experimental COVID drugs / entering stage of recoveries
Healthcare Minister Torosyan went LIVE at 1am:
We obtained all the internationally known drugs that have so far shown positive results against COVID. Their full potential is still unknown. Hydroxichlorowhatever is one of them.
Many of today's newly diagnosed patients didn't have symptoms at the time of testing them.
Soon we'll test 70 quarantined people, as Pashinyan mentioned. 15 of these people are COVID patients without symptoms. It's entirely possible many will be diagnosed as being healed.
Today's COVID cases jumped because yesterday the lab was closed and a 2-day worth diagnosis was done all at once. The daily trend hasn't changed.
We'll have new confirmed cases, but from now on we'll also have new healed patients and new quarantine exit-ers.
some MPs want to go home / bolola breaks loose
Parliament held a session. (I add some jargon to make the convo entertaining)
LHK chief: we aren't sending the right message to the public by gathering in this room with 130 MPs. Let's send everyone home and keep only the committees.
BHK MP: Parliament is the main body elected by people. We must stay and work.
QP chief: I agree. Parliament has to continue its work required by the Constitution. Anyone above 55 or with chronic illness doesn't have to attend.
LHK chief: arghh... we have MPs who returned from France and didn't quarantine themselves for 14 days. We're sending a bad message. Some people have the attitude of "coronavirus is fake, bro", and they go on to infect dozens of people.
QP MP: I suggest dismissing the Parliament and saving our lives. (laughs)
LHK chief: dude srsly?
QP MP 2: we discussed this yesterday. The Parliamentary committees are split into smaller groups and the elder members aren't attending.
LHK chief: bluh bluh
QP MP 2: You know what, dude? I have the impression you're rooting for someone here to get infected so you can brag about being right.
LHK chief: you're self-affirming yourself, freshman MP kiddo.
QP MP 2: god forbid I rely on you for that.
Despite the bolola, LHK ended up voting in favor to continue the session with a full room. "Was all that fuss just populism?" asked the QP MP.
movement restrictions / only food stores and pharmacy open
The Emergency commander deputy PM Avinyan declared a week-long ban on all businesses except food and pharmacy.
"So far the restrictions have been effective. This change will make it easier to identify and cut the new chains of spreading. There will be movement restrictions, too. Stay home."
govt agencies close doors for workers
Emergency commander Avinyan instructed all govt agencies, including the President, Parliament, Constitutional Court, etc., to prevent employees from entering facilities unless necessary for basic functioning.
Works hours will be cut. More work shifted to online.
The NSS and Police are instructed to enforce the order.
The Emergency coordinator issued a state-wide lockdown.
Beginning tomorrow, everyone is required to stay home.
People will be allowed to visit grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals.
Must have a special paper that says where and why they are going to. The address of their destination.
Must have ID while leaving home. Doesn't apply to journalists.
The times they'll be absent from home.
Police will patrol the streets and ask for papers. Violators could face at least 100k fines.
A smartphone app is presented to let everyone answer 15 tests to see if they need a COVID test.
videos of police on the streets
Police with sirens are telling people to stay home.
4 more healed / 37 to be sent home
PM and Minister earlier said the isolation period ends for many quarantined and infected people, and they'll be tested.
Tests have revealed that 4 are healthy now. 37 are sent from a govt-enforced quarantine to isolation at home.
14 people have beaned healed. 2 more are healed but we're waiting for confirmation.
88 exited the quarantine.
donations for COVID
Tashir supermarket chain donated 100mln to COVID hospital and Healthcare Ministry account. ACBA bank donated 27mln.
The Ministry account has received 500mln from 2400 donors.
Parliament will donate 85 computers to school kids for remote learning.
Worker protection law reforms / BHK Dodi Gago's employment shenanigans
Yesterday, BHK chief Gago's restaurant employee claimed the management forced them to sign fake papers claiming they voluntarily took an unpaid vacation before the Emergency Declaration.
This might be because otherwise Gago would be forced to pay workers their salaries while they stayed home under Emergency.
Labor Ministry spoke about employee protections.
If the absence from work isn't the worker's fault, they need to get paid minimum wage. At the same time, the law has a conflicting clause that allows the employer not to pay if there is a "force majeure" situation outside of their control.
Today, either side is citing the part of the law beneficial to them.
To fix the retarded law, the Labor Ministry drafted an amendment. It'll introduce clarifications, including about "remote work" for the types of work that are usually done in-person.
The amendment also says that if the work is being done at the same efficiency remotely, then the same salary should be paid.
It'll also prevent the employer from firing the worker for missing 1 day without an excuse, under emergencies like we have today, because parents stay home to take care of out-of-school kids and don't always get to work on time.
Under the clause that is beneficial to the worker, if the employer doesn't pay during an emergency, that's the same as not paying the worker while he works. The IRS can step in.
In some cases, the worker can legally request an unpaid vacation, but this must be voluntary. No one can force the worker.
The employer could fire the worker if he doesn't want to pay, but even then, he would need to give a 60-day prior notice, or face penalties. These penalties usually exceed the salary the employer would have to pay to the worker, so firing for this purpose wouldn't make sense.
The worker can take the case to court, but the courts are already overwhelmed. Because of this, the new 2019 law says that beginning in 2021, the Ministries will have more arbitering powers to protect workers.
0 confirmed COVID cases in Artsakh.
Dudez in hazmat suitz disinfecting army cafeterias: https://youtu.be/QX0Zjf9BmHo
Presidential campaign frontrunner Arayik H. has suspended his campaign gatherings as a precaution. The elections are next week.
Artsakh president Bako Sahakyan summoned a meeting to discuss COVID.
Pashinyan sent the Security Council chief Armen Grigoryan to Artsakh.
online shopping increases / Ministry meets businesses
High Tech Minister Arshakyan met dozens of reps from online businesses to discuss ways to improve their work under Emergency, because most people will avoid going to physical stores.
Some firms reported a 50% rise in some product shipments, especially food.
Firms suggested tax code improvements, cooperation with HayPost post office in provinces, delivery logistics.
court holds the first-ever remote trial
The Appeals Court installed cameras and projectors and held its - what appears to be - the first remotely coordinated civil trial ever.
Both parties filled out a special form to authorize the trial.
THANKS, COVID. REALLY COOL!
high level of participation in remote learning
It looks like remote learning is so far a success, at least in Geghargunik, where 85% of students have already registered and participated. The teachers' participation is 90%.
collection of kids
A Martuni mother just gave birth to her 9th child.
A Norakert mother gave birth to the 10th child. She is the 8th daughter.
Gyumri hairdresser is European champ
Artak Melikyan is the individual winner of European Hairdressing Championship 2020 after displaying a complex hairstyle mostly with hands.
"First time I was doing it without special tools. We could only use hair gel. Didn't realize I could do it."
The Armenian team, consiste of 30 stylists, finished 2nd. For the first time, Armenia was added to the international CMC stylist confederation.
Pics and Video: https://armtimes.com/hy/article/183710
COVID timeline (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.
March 20: 136 infections. Govt requires private firms to keep employees apart, provide hygiene products, check temps. Salaries paid to suspended culture-workers.
March 22: 194 infections. Some non-essential businesses suspended. Dedicated shopping hours for the elderly encouraged.
March 23: 194 infections. Citizens of dozen countries are banned from arriving. Parliament approves bill to punish quarantine violators.
March 24: 249 infections. 14 healed. Total lockdown. Paperwork before leaving home. Only essential facilities are open.
Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/foa22n/mar242020_whats_happening_in_armenia_papers/
|2018 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2020 Daily Armenia Reports|