YEREVAN (Combined Sources) — Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Tuesday threatened to issue a curfew order if his fellow citizens continue to ignore the safety regulations imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus. He also told law enforcement agencies to more stringently monitor their observance.

“The main question is why is this happening to us? I want to once again state that our main problem is non-compliance with anti-epidemiological rules. We are sure that compliance with the rules will lead to a reduction in the number of coronavirus infections,” the prime minister said.

At the same time, he noted that after the 2018 ‘velvet revolution’, the atmosphere of fear disappeared in the country, but the ‘atmosphere of law-abidingness’ has not yet replaced it.

He said that he had convened a meeting of the task force, set up to enforce the state of emergency, this morning and stated that the safety rules must be observed and that strict control must be exercised over their implementation, regardless of counterarguments.

He said the government would either reinstate the restrictions and issue a curfew order that would result in new economic and social shocks or all – the government, civil society, citizens, should take control of this situation and achieve quick results.

“I want to note that the healthcare system keeps telling us that we should impose lockdown restrictions as soon as possible, and the office of the commandant [enforcing the state of emergency in Armenia] discusses that issue on an almost daily basis,” he told a news briefing held outside his official residence.

“But the problem, my dear compatriots, is that we have already gone through a period of restrictions and seen that it brings about very serious, almost disastrous socioeconomic consequences,” he said. “We made 100 billion drams ($206 million) available for social and economic assistance [to citizens and businesses] during that period.”

“But one has to understand that the state’s resources are not unlimited and in case of another lockdown we could end up facing the kind of economic crisis which we would not be able to overcome for many years,” added Pashinyan.

He noted that regardless of the chosen path, control over compliance with the rules should be strictly observed. The prime minister said that there are two to three days to make a difference.



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