The Infections Registered In Sisian Are Not Due To The Poisoning of Lake Sev

Ophelia Simonyan

Journalist, fact-checker

On May 12, the Ministry of Health announced that 296 cases with symptoms typical of intestinal infections had been registered in the Sisian community. Water was considered to be a possible cause of the outbreak. On the same day, the Azerbaijani armed forces crossed the RA state border in the Lake Sev region.

Many people rushed to connect these two events. The media wrote that the Azerbaijani side had poisoned Lake Sev, as a result of which mass poisonings started. The participation of the Minister of Health Anahit Avanesyan in the sitting of the Security Council raged those suspicions even more.

The next day, a reportage on the main issue of “Channel 5” dedicated to this topic started with the following sentence, “Azerbaijanis appeared near Lake Sev of Syunik and on the same day an alarm was sounded from Sisian: 370 people have been poisoned․ Is it a coincidence or did what many people said months ago happen? Nothing will stop Azerbaijan from launching a hydro terror attack against Armenia.”

TV commentator Lara Arakelyan, quoting the acting minister, said, “Anahit Avanesyan only said that a sample of the water that caused the poisoning in Sisian was taken and sent for examination.” The results of the examination were published later: the poisoning is definitely from water․ The sample did not meet the requirements for drinking water.”

Speaking about official sources, Lara Arakelyan says that the official information is silent about whether this situation has anything to do with Lake Sev being under the influence of the Azerbaijanis or not.

The head of the “Green Future” environmental movement, candidate of biological sciences Vahagn Varagyan also touched upon the topic, according to him, the cases of mass poisoning from drinking water in Syunik are not accidental, this is a threat to national security.

The listed facts were incomplete

First of all, let us mention that the information provided by the official sources is incomplete in the report. There is no evidence that epidemiological research has revealed that the incidents were preceded by an accident in the residential water supply system. It is also not mentioned that it is one of the main factors considered in the spread of poisoning.

Anahit Avanesyan mentioned in the briefing that at that moment nothing suggests to them that it may be connected with the blockade of Lake Sev by Azerbaijan. Moreover, she also said that it is a problem with rainwater and sewer pipes.

It is important to note that in the briefing the ministry spoke about hospitalizations in the period from May 9 to 11, while the announcement of the blockade of the lake was made on May 12.

Water is supplied to Sisian from Shaki

In a conversation with Sputnik Armenia, the director of the Sisian Medical Center Ani Grigoryan said that the Azerbaijanis could not poison their springs, as the sources of Sisian’s water are in Shaki.

In a conversation with Media.am, the spokesman of “Veolia Water” CJSC Murad Sargsyan confirmed the information that water is supplied to the Sisian community from Shaki, which is 10-15 km away from the city, it is a closed spring. The water is piped to the community. According to the speaker, there is no other network supplying water to the city.

As we can see on the map, Sisian and Shaki are quite far from the Lake Sev area.

Shaki’s water source has no source from Lake Sev. More details can be seen in the physical map of the Republic of Armenia.

Physical map of RA

It is important that no such case of poisoning was registered in any of the communities near Lake Sev (Khoznavar, Vaghatur, Khnatsakh, Verishen, Vaghatin, Goris, Khndzoresk, Aravus, Karashen, Tegh, etc.). Poisonings were registered only in the Sisian community. We were told about this from the Ministry of Health. It is obvious that if the Azerbaijanis had really poisoned the lake, the first victims would have been the residents of these communities.

The infection is similar to a typical intestinal infection

The Sisian Medical Center told media.am that, in case of such poisoning by the Azerbaijanis, the picture of human blood should have been different, the cases would have been more serious.

“The cases we have studied are more like intestinal infections. There are symptoms that are reminiscent of an intestinal infection that lasts for a day and a half and is more viral in nature. There are no severe intestinal infections of bacterial nature. We have a typical picture of a typical intestinal infection.”

According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Health on May 14, a total of 402 cases of intestinal infections were reported in the Sisian community, of which 373 were under the age of 18 and 29 were adults. As of May 14, 9 patients have been hospitalized in Sisian Medical Center, all of them are in satisfactory condition.

Ophelia Simonyan

Add new comment

Comments by Media.am readers become public after moderation. We urge our readers not to leave anonymous comments. It’s always nice to know with whom one is speaking.

We do not publish comments that contain profanities, non-normative lexicon, personal attacks or threats. We do not publish comments that spread hate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *