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Amalia Margaryan

1.5% of Teachers in Armenia Tested for Coronavirus Are in Mandatory Self-Isolation

During a Yerevan press conference today, organized by the ArmenPress news agency, Armenia’s National Center for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDCP) Epidemiology Department Head Lusineh Paronyan said that teachers in the country continue to be tested for the coronavirus to ensure that schools are doing all they can to minimize infection risks.

While confessing that it is impossible to completely prevent the spread of the virus in schools, Paronyan said that teachers started to be tested on September 7.

She added that two weeks weren’t enough to test the staff and teachers of all the schools in the country, but that the NCDCP had ramped up its testing capacity.

Paronyan said that almost all the positively tested teachers are without symptoms.

As to press reports that some teachers who first tested positive later tested negative, Paronyan noted that the samples taken could have been corrupted. She said that people might have rinsed their mouth or eaten something between the two tests.

"Once a person tests positive, then the person is regarded as 100% infected, even if they later test negative. The negative can be false, but not the positive result," the epidemiologist added.

 According to Paronyan, even if the second test is negative, it is not a reason for the Ministry of Justice not to consider a person infected, and the latter must undergo two weeks of mandatory self-isolation.

"I advise teachers not to spend money in vain and not to apply to laboratories. They should isolate themselves. If there are no symptoms, they will go to work after being discharged from self-isolation. In case of symptoms, the disease will be treated."

The government is paying for teachers to be tested once. Those wishing a second test must pay out of pocket.

Paronyan said that 1.5% of the total tested teachers so far, 300 people, are self-isolating now.

She again stressed that to prevent the spread of the infection, it is necessary to maintain social distancing, wear masks and disinfect the hands. Paronyan did not say how much money the state is allocating for testing one teacher.

Regarding the increase in the number of people infected with coronavirus in recent days, Paronyan said that it is linked to the seasonal change, the activation of acute infectious diseases, the lifting of restrictions, and is not yet connected with the opening of schools. There is no increase in the number of infections among children.

Regarding the importation of coronavirus vaccines, she said that no definite decision has been made yet and are waiting to see which of the eight vaccines in the world will be effective and safe.

All public schools in Armenia opened their doors to students earlier this month and classes are held in shifts.

There has been a recent uptick in coronavirus infections in the country.

The Ministry of Health today reported that 392 people tested positive for the virus during the past day and that two died from Covid-19.

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