March 26, 2020 / 2:32 PM / 5 days ago

Armenia reports first death related to coronavirus

YEREVAN (Reuters) - A 72-year-old woman diagnosed with the coronavirus died in Armenia on Thursday, the Health Ministry’s spokeswoman said, reporting the country’s first death related to the virus.

The patient had coronary heart disease as well as other underlying conditions.

Armenia, a country of around 3 million people, had reported 290 coronavirus cases as of Thursday, the highest number among countries in the South Caucasus region. Eighteen patients have recovered.

The country’s Defence Ministry reported on Thursday that three servicemen had tested positive for coronavirus.

Neighbouring Azerbaijan reported that a third patient had died from the coronavirus, while total number of infected people rose by 29 to 122, while 15 patients have recovered.

In another South Caucasus country, Georgia, number of patients rose to 79 with no deaths.

“The pre-crisis stage in the country will probably continue for 10 more days and it’s likely that then we’ll face a critical stage,” Amiran Gamkrelidze, Georgia’s head of the National Center for Disease Control, told a briefing.

The country of 3.7 million started to use its first rapid tests on Thursday, which were shipped from abroad.

Globally, more than 22,000 people have died of COVID-19 while nearly half a million have tested positive for the virus.

Reporting by Nvard Hovhannisyan in Yerevan, Margarita Antidze in Tbilisi and Nailia Bagirova in Baku; Writing by Andrey Ostroukh and Margarita Antidze; Editing by Alison Williams and Pritha Sarkar

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