We hope we won’t have to return to lockdown, Armenian PM tells EEU leaders
YEREVAN, MAY 19, ARMENPRESS. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan briefed EEU leaders on the coronavirus response of the Armenian government during a video-conference of the Supreme Eurasian Council.
Pashinyan said in his speech that although the growth of new cases wasn’t possible to be prevented, the government has practically ended the phase of strict restrictions and has been implementing a de-centralized strategy of fighting the coronavirus since May 4.
“Since yesterday, virtually all economic restrictions in Armenia have been lifted. However, restrictions in education, culture, entertainment, leisure and public events are maintained. The state sector is working on a hybrid method by combining office and remote work,” Pashinyan said.
He said that the lockdown has been fully lifted and it has led to a certain growth of new cases. “Instead, however, strict social and economic safety rules have been introduced, mandatory protocols and rules have been approved for all citizens, businesses and state institutions. The concept of strict restrictions has been transformed into a concept of maintaining strict norms and rules of behavior. Certainly, its effectiveness will depend from the level of responsibility of the entire society. During the time period of the strict lockdown we were able to take all necessary measures to increase the transitioning capacity of the country’s healthcare system. We will monitor the situation during the next two weeks. We hope that we won’t have to return to the implementation of strict lockdown measures and that conditions will develop for the full activities of the society during the continuous epidemic and namely for economic activities,” Pashinyan said.
The PM also told the EEU leaders about the Armenian government’s relief packages for mitigating the social-economic consequences of the lockdown. He said that these actions, aside from social significance, were aimed at the economy coming out of the shutdown quickly and creating conditions for its development in the post-crisis period.
“We also succeeded in organizing effective supervision in the retail sector, prevent a potential shortage of goods and not allowing inflation of consumer prices. Thanks to the tactical interference of the Central Bank, abrupt fluctuations of national currency exchange were prevented and its stability was ensured. Dear friends, I have mentioned on numerous occasions that we attach special importance to the development of our cooperation in conditions of the epidemic and the growing recession. I am more than convinced that we must strengthen our union and perfect the fundamental institutions of integration. We must prove their vitality in conditions of crisis and be ready to mutually utilize all economic possibilities which will obviously appear in the post-crisis period,” Pashinyan said.
Editing and Translating by Stepan Kocharyan