2020 March 26
- 1 Anti-Corruption Daily
- 2 financial aid to families / COVID
- 3 financial aid for businesses / loan = 10% turnover
- 4 financial aid for agriculture
- 5 financial aid for small business
- 6 big financial aid for farmers / govt also pays 1st year's costs
- 7 farmers taking advantage of greenhouse subsidies
- 8 the dude is insane
- 9 3 non-border soldiers got COVID from initial spreader / Other army health stats
- 10 mass-testing election observers before sending to Artsakh
- 11 latest COVID stats
- 12 police stats for lockdown violations
- 13 1 adult + unlimited children = OK
- 14 Healthcare Ministry about tests, patients / experimental meds
- 15 hotel to host doctors
- 16 Tsakhkadzor resort to house quarantined people
- 17 donations coming in
- 18 supermarkets draw lines to distance shoppers
- 19 How many millionaires in Parliament? / Who is the richest?
- 20 TIL: there are 25,000 pigs and 8,000 sheep in Yerevan
- 21 SU-30 jets training intensifies
- 22 Armenia improves positions in democracy ranking
- 23 Wednesday News
Mar/26/2020 -- Daily News Summary // Government aid for family, farmer, business // How wealthy are MPs? // Stay up to date on Post-Revolution Anti-Corruption, COVID, Economy, Politics, 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.
financial aid to families / COVID
Today the govt approved a one-time aid for families with <14yo kids who became unemployed between March 13-25.
The size of aid is TBD but it could be around minimum-wage multiplied by the number of kids, or 100k.
Those earing >500k/mo, or working at public-sector, or having 1 parent who has a job, are disqualified.
"This aid will be paid next week. Get your cards ready.... There will be other aid packages, too."
financial aid for businesses / loan = 10% turnover
The govt has a loan aid for several industries such as light manufacturing, hospitality, food, transportation.
Businesses with 24-500mln/year trade are qualified.
Those with a record of paying back loans on-time will get a better deal. Those with a clean 2019 record but a dirty pre-2019 record will also qualify for aid.
The loan is the size of 10% of the business's trade turnover. No payments required in the first 6 months.
financial aid for agriculture
The govt has an aid package for farmers. All existing loan programs will now have a 0% interest.
The govt will subsidize more types of agricultural loans taken from commercial banks.
More aid for cooperatives.
financial aid for small business
The govt will give one-time aid to small businesses to save jobs.
To qualify, the business must have 2-50 workers between January-April, and the salaries weren't reduced.
The compensation is ~ the average wage of every 5th whole worker. For example, let's say there are 17 workers with 150k avg salary. 17/5=3. The aid = 3x150k.
Banks, currency exchange centers, loan firms do not qualify.
big financial aid for farmers / govt also pays 1st year's costs
1mln Dram micro-loans will be issued to farmers at 0% interest if the bank checks and approves the farmer. No payments are required for 9 months so there will be enough time to do harvest, sell the goodies, and make money. 2 years to pay back.
3-15mln farming loans with a 5-year deadline. No need to pay anything in the first 12 months.
Special loan for intensive farming that requires longer care. These things (greenhouse, smart barn, etc) bring more money, so the govt is encouraging farmers to do this instead of basic stuff.
For example, a farmer can work on a 0.5-100 ha land and receive a 2.5bln loan/aid.
The farmer buys licensed farming materials and works. No need to pay back the loan for 5 years because it takes 3 years to harvest the yield from these types of intensive farms.
Besides the loan, the govt fully pays 1st year's operational expenses. The farmer has everything necessary to begin the work without worrying about costs.
2nd year the farmer gets a small yield and income that is enough to handle that year's operational costs.
3rd year the full harvest comes. Then the loan is paid back.
farmers taking advantage of greenhouse subsidies
In late-2019 the govt began issuing low-interest loans to help farmers build greenhouse facilities. Injured veterans and other groups received steeper discounts.
77 farmers have enrolled. 33 are going through special training. This is separate from today's aid package.
the dude is insane
The fired security guy, who allegedly had financial disputes with the Kocharyan office located in Erebuni Plaza, who went there with a gun and shot at the walls, has been diagnosed with paranoic-schizophrenia. (surprised pickachu)
At the request of prosecutors, he is transferred from a prison to Nubarashen psychiatric clinic.
3 non-border soldiers got COVID from initial spreader / Other army health stats
The 3 soldiers (non-frontline, away from borders) who were tested yesterday, tested positive for COVID. They're feeling OK. 2 have no symptoms at all.
One of them was earlier infected by a relative. This soldier then infected two of his comrades.
This is directly related to one of the patient-zeros who came during the early days and infected others. Defense Ministry won't say the name of the spreader, possibly to avoid harassment.
32 more soldiers are getting tested just in case.
None of these servicemen was a border defense soldier. They were serving within the country and "were exposed to the civilian population due to the nature of their service.... The border soldiers are banned from having civilian visits. Their units are being routinely disinfected."
Overall, army's seasonal health stats are better this year.
Chickenpox and angina cases down 4x versus previous years.
Pneumonia down 5x. Serious pneumonia down 10x. No deaths from pneumonia.
mass-testing election observers before sending to Artsakh
No confirmed COVID cases in Artsakh. March 31st is the Presidential election day.
Pashinyan: if the election observers will travel from risky Armenian areas to Artsakh, we should replace them with non-risky ones. We will use 15-minute rapid testkits. The observers will be tested before traveling to Artsakh.
The police later closed the border with Artsakh. Only Artsakh residents, cargo drivers, and election observers can enter.
latest COVID stats
290 infected. 36 have pneumonia. 2 elderly in critical condition using lung ventilators.
1 of the critical patients has died. He had underlying chronic illnesses.
18 patients healed. 100 to move from hospital to quarantined hotel because they're feeling great. 1440 tested negative.
Social distancing helps. Yerevan passenger traffic went from 550k in Mar-Apr 2019, to only 18k, a 30x drop.
police stats for lockdown violations
Lockdown was announced since March 25th.
286 people were caught violating the order to stay home or have paperwork before leaving the home.
60 taken to police stations for not having IDs.
685 cars stopped and warned for having too many passengers. 9 were given tickets.
TV show host Marina Tagakchyan was given a 200k ticket for not having the paper that lists the destination and purpose of leaving the home. "Let this be a lesson for others," said the happy celebrity.
1 adult + unlimited children = OK
The Emergency command unit made an exception to the transport overcrowding ban that limits passengers to 2. An adult will be allowed to transport his multiple kids.
Healthcare Ministry about tests, patients / experimental meds
Soon we'll publish a map with known cases in each province. Gyumri has a few cases, but they're isolated. We isolated 144 workers/relatives of the Erebuni factory. Other circles are also being identified.
There are instances when people don't want to tell us whom they had contact with. It's strange.
3 medical employees are infected: 1 doctor, 1 nurse, 1 ambulance driver. It was inevitable because regardless of how much protective gear they use, they're exposed to high levels of virus to prolonged periods. They're feeling OK.
We have plenty of test kits. Samples can be taken in provinces, but the test itself has to be done in Yerevan because it's a complicated task.
15-minute rapid tests would require multiple tests on the same patient because they're inaccurate.
A few kids among patients. We're taking care of the little shits. They're OK. No symptoms. This makes them excellent spreaders because they can get infected and infect others without knowing.
The growth rate of the spread is small as a result of all the restrictions. It'll be great if it's maintained. Every citizen has a social distancing responsibility to bend the curve now.
"Armenia is among the countries with the best-case spreading scenario. If we can manage to continue the identify-isolate strategy, we won't have the exponential growth seen in many countries," added Pashinyan.
For the past 3 days, we've been treating patients with hypoxycloroquin. Some HIV drugs were given. It's too early to tell their effectiveness. Too few patients.
We'll give the risky patients Chloeoquine + Azitromicin.
There are no specific drugs known to cure COVID.
hotel to host doctors
Holiday Inn Yerevan Express hotel will host 100 medical personnel from Nork hospital who are on the front line against the battle with COVID.
The doctors don't want to go home to keep their families safe, so they were looking for a place to stay.
"We appreciate the hotel's generosity," said Nork hospital.
Tsakhkadzor resort to house quarantined people
Tsakhkadzor's Nairi inn will temporarily donate its building to house isolated people who are in the risky category due to prior contact with COVID patients.
donations coming in
661mln has so far been donated to the Healthcare Ministry's COVID charity hotline.
supermarkets draw lines to distance shoppers
Yerevan supermarkets have also begun making drawings on the floors to inform customers at what distance they should stand from one another while waiting in line.
"There is no such requirement, but we asked supermarkets to do it," said Municipality, "some had already done it."
How many millionaires in Parliament? / Who is the richest?
MPs are required to disclose their finances. Although comparing 2018 (HHK-led) and 2019(QP-led) Parliament stats may not be entirely accurate due to many MPs not disclosing their real wealth in the past, nonetheless, here are the stats.
Old Parliament: 29.4bln disclosed by MPs
New Parliament: 102bln disclosed by MPs
BHK chief Dodi Gago "became richer". 9bln before, and 99bln now.
Gago earned 97% of the wealth declared by all MPs.
Old Parliament had 12 dollar-millionaires. New one only 2: Dodi Gago and his son-in-law. (LOL)
BHK is BY FAR the reachest party.
48 out of 131 MPs declared no wealth.
Tag: ParliamentWealth MPwealth MPincome
TIL: there are 25,000 pigs and 8,000 sheep in Yerevan
WTF? The number of cattle grew by 6.3% in Yerevan.
800 cows, 25k pigs, 8.8k sheep,
SU-30 jets training intensifies
The new military jets arrived earlier. The Armenian crew began intensive training.
Video. Pilot circles and inspects the jet before boarding. Boards, Flies. The show begins. https://youtu.be/hC7Uj7aoUpw
Armenia improves positions in democracy ranking
Varieties of Democracy's world transparency report gave high marks to Armenia for democratic improvements, "despite the world getting worse."
Democratic elections: Armenia moves from 117th place to 35th
Freedoms: from 125th to 61st
Equality: from 63rd to 40th
Participation: 105th to 52nd
Consulting component: 113rd to 31st (respect for opposing ideas, govt explaining itself, whether public is involved, etc.)
Armenia also crossed the "female line", indicating that women are more involved.
Some scores are above average for Europe and the world.
Judicial system reform must be a priority.
Pashinyan: these reports are important because foreign businesses look at reports like these before deciding whether it's worth investing there or not.
In case you missed Wednesday news about Parliament passing bills https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/fovrhm/mar252020_todays_news_tldr_stay_up_to_date_on/?
Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/fphpd4/mar262020_daily_news_summary_government_aid_for/
|2018 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2020 Daily Armenia Reports|