In March, after declaring a state of emergency in Armenia, many organizations expressed their support to the authorities. Among those organization one could find Hetq.am news agency. Realizing the seriousness of the moment, the news outlet tried to create a mapped database, which could later make the work of the ministry easier, as well as mobilize the society. We wanted to collect the data of infected people; when and from which countries they came from, which was the country of departure, which airline’s flight they took, their age, gender. Later we thought about finding out and adding their blood type, place of residence, place of isolation. However, the ministry said that the information is personal and did not provide it to the media. At the same time, according to the news outlet, the Minister considered such inquiries nonsense.
In fact, the minister, who did not take the fight against the infection serious and who is usually guided by humor, considers the professional help of the news outlet, nonsense. We urge Arsen Torosyan to refrain from such manifestations and not to try to label the work of the news agency. At the moment, no map on the number of confirmed regional cases of coronavirus is actually available to the public, the list of the most dangerous diseases has not been published either.
It is not specified how the money and donations collected from taxpayers is being spent. Transparency is not preserved here either. After all, which companies are involved in the fight against the epidemic, starting from disinfection to food? How where those companies selected? What happened to the masks that were to be delivered to Armenia? How were public-purchased masks used, these and other similar questions remain unanswered yet.
Now the minister urges to take the infection seriously and threatens to inform the police in case of some unconfirmed news are disseminated. A video has already been published on the Facebook page of Minister Arsen Torosyan, where after the child is playing in the yard, the infection spreads first in the yard and then in the house. The video propagates wearing rubber gloves. According to one of the social advertisements of the Ministry of Health, a conditionally chosen character, Armen, was not leaving the house so that the infection would not spread, but on the same days Minister Torosyan was noticed in the cafe without a protective mask and gloves. Kindergartens are opening these days, the public transport started working as well.
“Media Advocate” initiative advises Minister Torosyan to follow his own advice, before giving advice and labeling the media, as well as to recall his unserious attitude towards the virus, and to apologize to the society for not taking the epidemic seriously from the very beginning.