Azerbaijan's breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region reports first coronavirus case

by Reuters
Tuesday, 7 April 2020 17:00 GMT

(Adds first case in Abkhazia)

YEREVAN, April 7 (Reuters) - Azerbaijan's breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh confirmed its first case of the coronavirus on Tuesday, the region's information centre said on its Facebook page.

The mountainous region is run by ethnic Armenians who declared independence during a conflict that broke out as the Soviet Union crumpled in 1991, and survives largely through aid from Armenia and donations from the Armenian diaspora.

The statement said the infected person had recently returned from Armenia, which had 853 confirmed cases as of Tuesday, with eight deaths.

Nagorno-Karabakh held parliamentary and presidential elections last week, and around 1,000 observers and journalists went there from Armenia for the event. A presidential run-off is scheduled for April 14.

Azerbaijan had reported 717 cases by Tuesday, including eight deaths, and the other major South Caucasian country, Georgia, said it had 195 confirmed cases, with three deaths.

Another breakaway territory, Abkhazia, also reported its first case.

Abkhazia broke away from Georgia in the 1990s and is recognised as an independent state by Russia.

Its chief sanitation officer, Ludmila Skorik, said the patient had returned from a business trip to Moscow, according to the Tass news agency. (Reporting by Nvard Hovhannisyan and Margarita Antidze; writing by Margarita Antidze; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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