YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — President Armen Sarkissian has tested positive for the coronavirus, his office said on Tuesday, January 5.
A statement released by the office said Sarkissian, 67, took the test after showing symptoms of COVID-19 following foot surgery which he underwent in London on Sunday.
“President Sarkissian has self-isolated and will temporarily work remotely,” added the statement. It did not say whether he remains in hospital.
Armenia has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 160,000 cases and at least 2,878 deaths officially confirmed in the country of about 3 million to date. The real number of cases is believed to be much higher.
The Armenian authorities largely stopped enforcing safety and hygiene rules, aimed at containing the pandemic, following the September 27 outbreak of the war in Nagorno-Karabakh. The daily number of new COVID-19 infections reported by them grew rapidly as a result. But it has been steadily falling since mid-November.
According to the Ministry of Health, there were 11,215 active coronavirus cases in Armenia as of January 5, sharply down from 22,850 cases reported on December 1.