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Armenian News - NEWS.am presents a daily digest of top news as of 07.04.2020:

·       The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Armenia has reached 853. The death toll has remained eight yet. And the total number of recoveries has reached 87.

According to the Armenian government’s decision, foreigners are not allowed to enter Armenia through border crossings, however, with exceptions. Upon entering Armenia at the checkpoints, the latter are immediately subjected to inspection.

Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan has already said that Armenia would start production of COVID-19 tests. According to him, the funds have already been allocated.

·       Meanwhile, well-known Armenian physicist, Professor Mishik Ghazaryan, who had tested positive for COVID-19, has died at a Moscow hospital on Monday evening.

What comes to other coronavirus deaths outside Armenia, an Armenian, 75, died in Greece, Armenia TV company was informed from Vice Prelate of the Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Greece Hovhannes Saghdejian.

·       Artsakh has already confirmed the first COVID-19 case, the health ministry said.

All 17 citizens who had been in contact with this person had self-isolated in advance for security reasons. They have had no symptoms yet, the Artsakh Information Headquarters reported in a statement.

·       Armenian PM had a live broadcast Monday on Facebook and commented on the COVID-19 crisis, gas tariffs, problems with Civil Aviation Committee, and other issues. 

According to him, the Armenian government is facing a problem with the effective exploitation of the natural gas system, and it needs to solve the issue. He noted Armenia has already addressed Gazprom Armenia to review the natural gas tariff, taking into consideration the global situation. “I hope Russian president and I will be able to consider the issue and reach an agreement,” he noted referring to his last phone talks with Vladimir Putin.

The PM also spoke about the Civil Aviation Committee issue and noted that ex-officials have dealt with illegal activities and the sale of weapons in African countries for many years. According to him, the European Aviation Safety Agency has inspected the Committee. “The Agency hasn’t followed the rules as the discussion was supposed to be held in May, and the Civil Aviation Committee of Armenia has sent an appeal.”

Pashinyan has also revealed that Armenia is producing a new weapon. “A few days ago, I was shown a sample of a product of Armenia’s military-industrial complex, the existence of which serves as evidence of the fact that the military-industrial complex in Armenia is at a new level,” he said adding: “We agreed to make efforts to make sure the product is presented in the international market.”

·       Third President Serzh Sargsyan is ready to attend parliament’s special committee hearing on April 16 on the inquiry over the military activities in April 2016, but provided that the hearing be recorded.

His office on Tuesday sent an official letter to Andranik Kocharyan, Chair of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Defense and Security. According to the letter, although the third president is not legally obliged to attend the hearings of this special committee, he would attend the hearing to present details about the military aggression which Azerbaijan had unleashed in April 2016.

·       The second president Robert Kocharyan has filed a lawsuit against Nikol Pashinyan. Kocharyan has taken Pashinyan to court demanding the protection of his honor and dignity from public slander. The lawsuit was assigned on April 3 to Judge Tigran Grigoryan of the Court of General Jurisdiction of Yerevan. 

·       The Council of Europe has published new statistics on the European prisons, including Armenia.

According to the press release, there were major reductions in the incarceration rates in Armenia (-36%).

By the way, the overall imprisonment rate – the number of inmates per 100,000 inhabitants- remained stable in Europe from 2018 to 2019, according to the Council of Europe Annual Penal Statistics for 2019.

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