Parliamentary Hearings on "Organization of Activities to Prevent the Penetration and Spread of Coronavirus"
21 March 2020

March 21, the NA Standing Committee on Social Affairs and Health, chaired by Ararat Ohanjanyan, convened parliamentary hearings on the "Organization of Work to Prevent the Penetration and Spread of the Coronavirus".

The Minister of Health Araik Baghryan, the Head of Police Levon Mnatsakanyan, the Minister of Education, Science and Sports Narine Aghabalyan and the Director of the State Emergency Service Vladik Khachatryan took part at the hearings.

Speaking about a new type of coronavirus, COVID19, the Health Minister Araik Baghryan noted that an operative headquarters was set up in Artsakh to coordinate the fight against the epidemic. The Minister emphasized that not a single case of a new type of coronavirus was recorded in the republic. He also assured that the process of measuring the temperature of all citizens entering the republic is being carried out at four border checkpoints of Artsakh. According to the minister, a district medical institution of the city of Shushi is provided for the treatment of possible cases of infection, which is equipped with all necessary facilities, as well as hotel complexes designed for isolation. In all areas, chambers and medical facilities for patient care are also prepared.

Answering the deputies' questions, Araik Baghryan noted that they cooperate with the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Armenia on a daily basis: samples are tested, after which the answers are quickly sent to the Artsakh Republic. He also touched upon issues related to artificial respiration apparatus, medical masks and other necessary supplies and noted that at the moment they are sufficiently available in the republic, adding that the ministry is working towards increasing reserves.

Speaking about the work done by the police system, the Chief of Police Levon Mnatsakanyan informed that at present the entry of foreigners into the Republic of Artsakh is prohibited, and in this regard passport checks are being carried out at all checkpoints. According to Levon Mnatsakanyan, within 14 days, through daily calls, Police officers establish contact with citizens who had an elevated temperature during a check at the checkpoint, and inquire about the condition.

The deputies asked the Chief of Police questions about international observers attending the upcoming March 31 elections in Artsakh and monitoring the entry of citizens from Armenia.

Presenting the work done in the current situation, the Minister of Education, Science and Sports Narine Aghabalyan noted that since February, taking into account the intensification of acute respiratory infections, a decision was made to terminate classes, as a result of which the absence rate was reduced from 50% to 8,8 %. Then, after the cases of coronavirus infection in the Republic of Armenia, it was decided to postpone classes until April 14. The Minister noted that, together with the Republic of Armenia, distance education programs are being carried out, new distance learning systems are being introduced in order to keep up with the curriculum. According to the minister, after the resumption of classes, the level of development of the presented material will be checked, as a result of which a new decision will be made.

Speaking about the activities of the service, Vladik Khachatryan, Director of the State Emergency Service, noted that 5 groups are now on duty and the situation is under control.

During the hearings they referred to the organization of volunteer work, providing supplies and food to the elderly. The importance of raising the awareness of each citizen and following the guidelines and relevant requirements in the context of the epidemic was highlighted.