MINSK, 14 October (BelTA) – Belarus will take stock of the situation with COVID-19 next week, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge on 14 October, BelTA has learned.
“COVID-19 cases are on the rise throughout the world. As far as I understand, the surge was driven by the Delta variant. The countries around Belarus are experiencing a significant increase in cases. COVID-19 cases are somewhat rising in Belarus, too. The virus has already hit its peak. Belarus will spend the next week trying to come to grips with the situation in each hospital, each infected person and will develop additional measures, if necessary, to treat COVID-19 patients,” the head of state said.
According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, he is glad to meet with Hans Kluge not only because he is well known in Belarus, but also because he is a high-level expert who is well versed in healthcare, especially in various kinds of viruses. “First of all, I want to thank you and the World Health Organization, WHO senior officials for electing Belarus to the WHO Executive Board in this difficult politicized 2021. This means a certain independence and courage of the WHO administration,” the Belarusian leader said.
He noted that Belarus never had problems with this organization: “You have always shared your expertise and knowledge, advised in matters of treatment and equipment procurement. You offered all possible support and assistance. We see this during the pandemic as well. It's worth a lot and we really appreciate it.”
Aleksandr Lukashenko also thanked WHO for the support in treating not only COVID-19, but also other diseases. “We should keep in mind that our people get sick not only with coronavirus, but other diseases as well and to a much greater extent than COVID-19. And here we get all kinds of support from your organization. In this regard, I would like you to convey my best regards and words of gratitude to Mr Ghebreyesus [WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus] and other WHO officials for their tremendous support to the whole world, including Belarus,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
After the meeting, Belarus' Healthcare Minister Dmitry Pinevich said that he updates the head of state on the situation with COVID-19 every day. The minister noted that he can provide updates on any healthcare institution the president might want to inspect.
“I think we will gather with experts to deliver a report to the head of state about the steps that we are taking now, to share our assessments and forecasts of how the situation will develop and to put forward our proposals for the healthcare system and other interested parties regarding the fight against the pandemic. Indeed, coronavirus response requires the involvement of many participants. It is important to unite our efforts to combat the pandemic,” Dmitry Pinevich emphasized.