The global death toll has reached more than 30,000 with more than 665,000 infections confirmed, causing mass disruptions as governments continue to try to slow the spread of the new respiratory illness.
Here’s a roundup of developments in RFE/RL’s broadcast countries.
Armenia has reported two more deaths of patients who had been infected by the coronavirus, raising the Caucasus nation’s total to three fatalities.
Armenia’s Health Ministry on March 29 said the total number of confirmed cases has reached 424.
On March 28, in a Facebook post, Health Minister Arsen Torosian wrote: “I regret to inform you that two deaths have occurred in [Yerevan’s] Nork infectious diseases hospital during the past hour.”
“The victims are a 55-year-old woman and a 73-year-old man who had the new coronavirus in combination with other chronic diseases,” he added.
On March 26, Armenia reported its first fatality among patients diagnosed with COVID-19 — a 72-year-old woman who Armenia’s health authorities said had suffered from multiple medical conditions, including heart disease.
According to official data, 30 patients with COVID-19 have recovered in Armenia.
A state of emergency was declared on March 16, set to run until at least April 14.
On March 25, to further slow the spread of the highly contagious and potentially deadly virus, Armenia’s government introduced a one-week self-isolation regime throughout the country, restricting the movement of citizens.
Under the order, citizens can leave their homes only for permitted work and for a number of vital reasons, such as the purchase of food and medicine, or to exercise.
Torosian, the health minister, said on March 28 that he did not exclude that the self-isolation period could be extended beyond April 1.
Ukraine’s Health Ministry on March 29 said that 109 more coronavirus cases were recorded in the country over the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 418 cases, including nine deaths.
Five people have recovered, Deputy Health Minister and Chief Medical Officer Viktor Lyashko told journalists on March 29.
Meanwhile, a second transport of medical equipment arrived in Kyiv from China on March 29.
The plane carrying 300,000 respirators, 35,000 protection suits, and 1.8 million surgical masks landed at Boryspil airport, said Kirill Tymoshenko, the deputy head of the Office of the President of Ukraine.
Russia will “temporarily” close its borders starting on March 30 to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the government website said on March 28.
The measure will not apply to Russian diplomats and the drivers of freight trucks, among others, the government said.
The announcement comes as the country’s health officials announced three new coronavirus-related deaths on March 28, bringing the total number of COVID-19 fatalities in Russia to seven.
Two of the deaths were reported from St. Petersburg and the Orenburg region, while the third case was recorded in the capital, Moscow.
According to health officials, the total number of coronavirus infections in Russia as of March 28 stands at 1,264, with seven deaths and 49 recovered.
Authorities in Moscow also closed shopping centers, restaurants, and larger parks from March 28 for at least a week.
Russian health officials warned this week that a sharp increase in the number of cases in the country is expected in the coming days due to expanded testing in Moscow. A consumer watchdog reported on March 28 that more than 166,000 citizens were under medical supervision for signs of coronavirus infection.
Earlier, the Kremlin said that a member of President Vladimir Putin‘s administration has been infected with the coronavirus, but that the person had not been in direct contact with the Russian leader.