MOSCOW — Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced Monday that he has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
“It appeared yesterday that I had tested positive for coronavirus. I had no symptoms, but considering my plan to visit military units, I decided to take the test and it came back positive,” Pashinyan said on Facebook.
Pashinyan added his entire family has also contracted the disease and he will be working from home. He said he suspects he got infected by “a waiter, who brought us glasses of water” during a recent meeting.
“I saw that he was wearing no gloves and rebuked him, but I think they were working without gloves earlier. The waiter has also tested positive for coronavirus,” Pashinyan said.
Pashinyan, who celebrated his 45th birthday Monday, is the latest world leader to catch the coronavirus, joining Britain’s Boris Johnson and Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. Both have since recovered.
Armenia, which has a population of about 3 million, has confirmed 9,282 cases of the coronavirus and 131 fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Armenians are obliged to wear masks in shops, buses, taxis and all other enclosed public spaces, but the country has come under scrutiny for perhaps lifting its lockdown too early.
“I want to stress that in terms of the number of cases per 1 million people, we have already surpassed Iran and France and are practically on par with Russia,” Pashinyan said at a news conference in Yerevan last week. “At this pace, we will reach Italy’s indicator.”
“The reason for this situation is widespread noncompliance with anti-epidemic rules and our citizens’ failure to take epidemiological alarms seriously enough,” he said, calling on citizens to wear face masks, practice social distancing and disinfect their hands.