In the spring of this year, after a certain decline registered in the winter months, the third wave of coronavirus started in Armenia, which is still ongoin, with more than 1000 daily registered cases.
During the one year of the spread of coronavirus infection, more than 200,000 people have been infected in Armenia, the number of deaths is about 3740, and 955 people died from “other diseases”. As of April 12, about 180 thousand people have recovered. At the beginning of April, the Ministry of Health announced that about 500 people had already been infected twice. In addition, new cases of coronavirus infection with the British strain have been detected in Armenia.
The Fact Investigation Platform decided to study the three waves of the coronavirus in Armenia, their features and the actions of the state.
The first wave
After the first cases of coronavirus were registered in Armenia, a state of emergency and a regime of restrictions on movement was declared in Armenia on March 16, 2020. The peak of the first wave of coronavirus in Armenia started in mid-May and lost intensity about two months later, in mid-July, when the average number of daily cases was 400-500. In the four months following the first case of death registered in April, about 750 people died in Armenia from the coronavirus.
In the first stage of the spread of coronavirus, educational institutions in Armenia went online, entertainment centers were closed, and public transport was suspended. In this period, it was mandatory to wear masks, as well as have movement forms.
During the first months of the pandemic, misinformation and false rumors about the infection were widely circulated. Gradually, along with more research into the virus, and especially increase in the number of deaths, the number of those who did not take the coronavirus seriously decreased. You can read about the most scandalous fake news circulated on the Internet in this period in these articles of the Fact Investigation Platform.
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War and coronavirus
In the summer of 2020, the number of cases registered in Armenia decreased to some extent. However, during the Second Artsakh War and in the first weeks following the war, the coronavirus reached its peak in Armenia. Since mid-October, the number of daily cases registered in Armenia had reached 2000, and the number of registered deaths had sharply increased.
The imposed restrictions were ignored during the war, taking into account the movements taking place in the country and the large flow of refugees from Artsakh. The highest coronavirus rate was recorded during the war and in the month following the war.
In particular, from October 15 to November 20, about 1050 deaths from coronavirus were registered in Armenia. During this period, the number of daily deaths reached 40. In the case of the first and third waves of coronavirus, the maximum number of deaths per day was 28.
After the end of the war, President of Artsakh Arayik Harutyunyan stated that there had been many cases of coronavirus infection on the battlefield.
During this period, the maximum number of citizens actually treated was about 40 thousand. For comparison, as of April 12, about 16 thousand people are actually receiving treatment. During the war, both the media and social networks users barely addressed the topic of the coronavirus.
It is noteworthy that the main “dates” of the coronavirus peaks in Armenia and in the world do not coincide. Thus, most cases of coronavirus in the world began to be registered on a daily basis during the summer months, when the peak of the first wave was ending in Armenia, and the outbreak of the second wave began after mid-November, when the second wave was receding in Armenia.
The third wave a year later: In anticipation of the vaccine
After a brief decline in coronavirus cases, the third wave actually began in the spring of 2021, almost a year after the spread of the infection. Compared to the second wave, in this case the number of cases registered daily is about 1000, the deaths – up to 25.
At this stage, the Armenian authorities are trying to avoid shifting to a regime of strict restrictions to prevent potential damage to the economy. To date, Armenia has purchased 15,000 doses of Sputnik V and 24,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines for 19,500 people. During the last meeting with the President of Russia, the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan announced that Armenia is going to acquire about 1 million doses from Russia.
Within the framework of the COVAX Facility initiative, Armenia plans to receive additional doses of AstraZeneca vaccine and new vaccines. On April 13, Armenia started the first round of vaccinations.
Thus, the outbreak of the third wave of coronavirus has caused concerns not only in Armenia. Prevention of subsequent surges greatly depends on the widespread use of vaccines. However, the World Health Organization considers that the pandemic is still far from over.