On March 27, the U.S. Department of State announced an assistance package to the Republic of Armenia to combat the novel Coronavirus COVID-19. According to the State Department, Armenia will receive $1.1 million in health assistance to help prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk communication, and more. The United States has invested nearly $106 million in health assistance and $1.57 billion total for Armenia over the past 20 years.
Armenia declared a 30-day ‘State of Emergency’ on Monday, March 16 that is slated to last until April 14 as the virus spreads throughout the region.
Comparatively, the two other South Caucus nations, Azerbaijan and Georgia, will also receive U.S. federal assistance at similar levels. Azerbaijan is slated to receive $1.7 million in health assistance to help prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk communication, and more. Over the past 20 years, the United States has invested nearly $41 million in health alone in Azerbaijan, and more than $890 million in total assistance, the State Department noted.
Georgia is slated to receive $1.1 million in health funding will help prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk communication, and more. The United States has provided nearly $139 million in health assistance and more than $3.6 billion in total U.S. assistance over the past 20 years.
A 34-year-old Armenian man from Glendora, California died after being diagnosed with the coronavirus. Jeffrey Ghazarian died on Thursday, March 19 at a Pasadena hospital, where he was hooked up to a ventilator for five days, after being diagnosed with the coronavirus on March 13.
He had visited Disney World in Orlando, Florida before returning to Los Angeles. He became the second person in Los Angeles County to succumb to the coronavirus.
“He suffered a lot and put up a good fight. We will miss our Jeff everyday but we are thankful for all the fun happy memories of the times we had together,” his sister wrote on his Facebook page, according to TMZ.
Ghazarian’s family told TMZ that he flew from Los Angeles to Orlando on March 2 for a work conference, but stayed a few extra days to visit Disney World and Universal theme parks with friends.
According to his family, on March 7 Ghazarian developed a cough, and the next day he coughed up blood. He flew back to LAX on March 9 and immediately went to the emergency, where he also had a high fever. The Ghazarian family told TMZ that a chest x-ray confirmed he had pneumonia. He was tested for COVID-19 and sent home with fluids and antibiotics and instructed to self-quarantine until he got the results.
On March 13, the results of his test came back positive for the coronavirus. According to TMZ, Ghazarian was given a portable oxygen meter to keep an eye on his. On March 14 he was taken by ambulance to the hospital and quickly transferred to the ICU when it was discovered his lungs were 60 to 70 percent blocked with pneumonia. Doctors decided the best path forward was to sedate and intubate, hoping a ventilator would help his lungs heal, according to family accounts provided to TMZ.
Ghazarian passed away Thursday morning. His family said he was he had a history of asthma and frequent bronchitis as a child, though he outgrew that. He also had undergone surgery for testicular cancer back in 2016.