Hospitals in Armenia can no longer cope with the number of coronavirus patients, the country’s prime minister warned on Thursday.
Nikol Pashinyan, who has himself tested positive, said there could be as many as 20,000 people infected but showing no symptoms in the country, which has so far registered 11,221 cases and 176 deaths.
The health ministry said an additional 68 patients who tested positive for the virus had died from other illnesses.
Last week, health officials warned that intensive care beds would soon be reserved for patients with the best chance of survival.
“I have got bad news,” Pashinyan said in a video statement on his Facebook page. “The epidemiological situation is worsening and medical facilities cannot timely hospitalise all the coronavirus patients who need (medical treatment).”
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Pashinyan has acknowledged his government failed to enforce anti-virus measures and denounced widespread quarantine violations.
Armenia has already lifted a state of emergency that was imposed in March to slow the spread of the virus.
Conspiracy theories and disinformation on social media undermined government efforts to fight the outbreak, according to analysts.