President Sarkissian wants Armenia to be among first countries to have potential COVID-19 drugs
YEREVAN, MAY 22, ARMENPRESS. President Armen Sarkissian has called on citizens to follow the national anti-coronavirus guidance, be responsible and think about their parents, or those who have a compromised health.
Sarkissian, speaking in an interview with Yerkir Media TV, said that the coronavirus won’t be eliminated anytime soon.
“I think it is very important for each and every one of us to think how we can be useful,” he said. “And in this context my office is trying to bring its small contribution to this work. First of all, since the very first day I have been regularly having daily contacts with different top officials, presidents, health ministers or scientific centers, who are dealing with these issues. With several goals: first of all, to understand the type of this virus, and how different countries are fighting it, to learn where the mistakes were made. I was passing on this information to our relevant authorities, the health minister, and giving my advices and what I had learnt.
At the same time, when speaking with various world leaders, I was asking for their support in any form, because especially in the first months we greatly needed protective gear, masks and gloves”.
He mentioned that the UAE had sent an airplane with aid, and that the Chinese president donated large quantities of supplies “as a result of their personal contact”. He said his office will distribute a part of the donation to nursing homes, or wherever required.
Sarkissian also recently held a conversation with Armenian-American businessman Noubar Afeyan, the chairman of Moderna Therapeutics, which is racing to develop a vaccine against the novel coronavirus.
The Armenian President said he is following global processes in the direction of preventing and treating COVID-19.
“I’d be glad if [Afeyan] succeeds, but the goal of my conversation or interest isn’t simply academic”, Sarkissian said. “For example, I’ve also spoken with Oxford University, they’d already announced that they have found a new potential vaccine, and even AstraZeneca signed a contract with them.
“If there’s a drug, I want to try and make Armenia be one of the first to have it. For example, the famous Gilead Sciences company in the US has discovered a medicine which is having some real effect. They have treated around 6000 patients, and the FDA gave them a license to use these drugs. Certainly, these are very expensive drugs, but another Indian company was granted the right to produce it in a cheaper option. Today, this Indian company is in contact with our health ministry and we will have the chance to acquire a very valuable drug on a cheap price,” he said.
He said they must try and bring any potential successful medication from around the world to Armenia, because in the event of any of the candidates succeeding, “there will be a very large line”.
Editing and Translating by Stepan Kocharyan