Yet another textile factory in Armenia has suspended its operations due to coronavirus infections among its workers.
Robert Ghubatian, the owner of the Vanadzor-based Sarton factory, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service that about two dozen of them tested positive for the coronavirus on Sunday. Ghubatian said he and the 330 other workers self-isolated as a result.
Ghubatian suggested that another textile plant located in Armenia’s third largest city was the primary source of the infections.
The plant belonging to the Gloria company was shut down on June 3 after being hit by a similar COVID-19 outbreak. At least 150 of its 2,600 workers have tested positive for the virus since then.
Ghubatian said some 30 Sarton employees live with family members working at Gloria. He said he believes at least one of them contracted the disease from such a relative.
The Vanadzor police ordered all Gloria workers to quarantine at home following the shutdown.Some of them said they were not warned that their family members also have to self-isolate.
Gloria will remain closed at least until June 20.
Two other clothing manufactures located in Gyumri halted their operations for the same reason last week. The Lentex and Svetex companies employ a total of about 400 local residents.
These and other Armenian textile firms were allowed to resume their work in late April following a month-long stoppage ordered by the government as part of a nationwide lockdown. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian said on April 12 that the textile industry should be able to reopen despite being “the main driving force” of coronavirus infections in Armenia.
The daily number of confirmed coronavirus cases across the country has increased dramatically since then.
The Ministry of Health reported on Tuesday morning 425 new infections, bringing to 17,489 the total number of coronavirus cases in the country of about 3 million.
The ministry also reported the deaths of 10 more people infected with the disease. It said 8 of those deaths were primarily caused by the coronavirus. They were added to the official COVID-19 death toll which rose to 295.
According to the health authorities, 96 other infected people have died as a result of other, pre-existing diseases.