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04 August 2020, 14:51

Belarus' response to COVID-19 described as ‘adequate'

An archive photo
An archive photo

MINSK, 4 August (BelTA) – Belarus took adequate measures at every stage of the fight against the virus, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he delivered his annual address to the Belarusian people and the National Assembly on 4 August, BelTA has learned.

“We took adequate measures at every stage of the fight against the virus. This is what they now call ‘a special way of Belarus'. Today all countries recognize that we did the right thing," the head of state stressed.

“But we did face enormous pressure at first! The World Health Organization recommended immediate quarantine, curfews, border closures, shutdowns. As you see today, I could not do it," Aleksander Lukashenko said.

The president noted that every day he explained his steps trying to reach out to every Belarusian, to make it clear that “if we put everything on hold and isolate people, we will not survive as a nation and lose the state,” the president said. The country chose a different path. “The path of hard pinpoint fight against the infection. We focused on preventive detection of persons with coronavirus and their contacts through laboratory testing,” the head of state explained.

Belarus promptly drew up detailed plans and re-purposed the bed space. Simultaneously, sanitary control was mounted at all borders, registration and subsequent monitoring of citizens from unsafe regions were established. At the slightest suspicion, everyone was isolated for 14 days. An epidemiological investigation was conducted on each COVID-19 case. The country promptly introduced rules of social distancing and additional disinfection in public transport, railway stations, hotels, and other crowded places. Belarusians sometimes did not even notice it," Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

Relying on the exchange of information with foreign colleagues and its own experience Belarus updated patient treatment protocols on a daily basis. “The Healthcare Ministry worked as an operational headquarters. Doctors did their best to keep the situation under control. The monitoring of the health of schoolchildren, students and pre-schoolers was strengthened. The school breaks were extended. Distance learning technologies were used,” the head of state added.

Within one or two weeks, hundreds of industrial enterprises in Belarus were re-purposed to produce medical face masks, respirators, gowns, antiseptics and a line of medications. “Thanks to Chinese President Xi Jinping, Ambassador Snopkov [at that time Nikolai Snopkov was Ambassador of Belarus to China. Now he's First Deputy Prime Minister] helped deliver two production lines to make respirators and face masks to Belarus. Today we have enough of them to use ourselves and sell abroad,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

As a result, Belarus did not have to transform sports facilities and shopping centers into medical units. Only about a half of hospital beds and no more than 10-11% of lung ventilators were in use,” Aleksandr Lukashenko added.

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