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MIKHAIL VARTAPETOV: “I AM WORRIED THAT WE HAVE NO OPPORTUNITY TO TEST OUR PLAYERS”

 In an interview with us, Mikhail Vartapetov, Deputy General Director of “Urartu” FC for medical part, speaks about the situation that has developed around the epidemic and the problem of the impossibility of testing every interested citizen.

- In connection with the coronavirus pandemic, a state of emergency was declared in Armenia. What can you say about this?

- Unfortunately, every day we get the growth number of patients, this is obvious. Predicting the situation is still quite difficult, as well as telling when this growth will stop, when the decline in the number of cases will begin. We have no precedent for this kind of epidemic; therefore, it is difficult to compare with something. The only thing that somewhat calms me as a doctor is that nevertheless the disease in most cases proceeds in a not severe form, without serious complications and people recover quite quickly. On the other hand, I, as one of the chief-members of a Football Club, would like to understand one important point that I would like to talk about.

- About what?

- Yes, a state of emergency has been introduced. Our club has prepared for this situation, we have issued a number of orders regarding the restrictive regime on the basis of the abolition of trainings regarding anti-epidemiological measures that we are required to carry out by law, but at the same time I do not understand why, despite our many treatments, we can not test our players for the presence or absence of coronavirus. For us, this issue is fundamentally important, because, yes, of course, we examine some of the players visually, we see that they do not have a fever or other pronounced symptoms of the disease, but nevertheless it is known that this type of virus can leak imperceptibly enough, in a light form. Or a person can be just a carrier, but at the same time he can be contagious to everyone else around. Therefore, it is not clear. I would very much like to get an answer to this very main question, probably, first of all from the government: when will we get a real opportunity to test all the players, the whole club for the presence of coronavirus?

- Did the club take any steps in this direction?

- We appealed to all necessary authorities, everywhere we were refused, unfortunately. This is due to the fact that so far only those people who at least have the symptoms of the disease and who at least have contacted with a confirmed case of an infected coronavirus can test.

- This, as we understand the current situation, is a problem not only for the football club, but for the whole society. In such a period of time, everyone should have the opportunity to be tested.

- Of course, our population has repeatedly heard from various sources how to behave properly in an epidemic, elementary preventive measures - they all already know this very well. But, in addition to this, every citizen should be able to check for the presence or absence of this type of virus. We hope so, and we want this issue to be resolved as soon as possible.

- In connection with the coronavirus, people developed a panic. How can you reassure people in this situation?

- I may already repeat myself, but this is not an epidemic of plague, it is not an epidemic of smallpox, and it is not an epidemic of a particularly dangerous infection, such as, for example, Ebola fever. Therefore, there should not be any panic, people should remain people, keep calm. I even know about some cases of aggression towards people who have, let’s say, “misfortune” to live in those regions where more cases of coronavirus are recorded. You need to be completely calm about this situation, observing all safety precautions. And even if you get sick, you don’t have to immediately make a tragedy out of it, you just have to completely rationally keep your head cold and understand that, firstly, the consequences are unlikely to be very serious. Even if a person falls ill, most likely it will lead to recovery, and in the shortest possible time. And secondly, do not be afraid to go out, take walks, just out into the fresh air. If you are not, say, in a crowd, in some kind of enclosed space, where there are a lot of people, as we have said several times, you must calmly continue your life in its usual rhythm. In the end, this is not a war, not a natural disaster, this is not a tsunami or an earthquake - everything must remain under control, all the anti-epidemic measures that could be taken have already been taken, therefore, I believe that there should be no panic. On the contrary, in such a situation, people should rally, support each other, help and take care of the older generation, which is more susceptible to the incidence of this type of virus. And of course, we just hope that the time that will be needed to stabilize the situation, to reduce the incidence, will come soon.