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19 March 2020, 12:47

Lukashenko explains why Belarus is not on lockdown over coronavirus

An archive photo
An archive photo

MINSK, 19 March (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko explained why Belarus is not implementing mass quarantine at schools and in the country in general over coronavirus. The president made this statement as he heard out a report on the epidemiological situation in the country on 19 March, BelTA has learned.

“Everyone who returns from abroad is under medical observation. As soon as they start coughing or sneezing, upon a slightest suspicion, these people should take tests. We immediately start tracing and isolating their contacts. I have analyzed some facts – in the situations when we quarantined people just to play safe, it turned out that none of them was sick. Everyone was healthy. The Chinese also tell us that it makes no sense to impose an excessive quarantine. Our experience has proved – three thousand people were under medical surveillance and these three thousand people were healthy. At the same time, the president underlined that Belarus will not scale down its fight against coronavirus.

The president recalled Belarus' first coronavirus case – the infection was detected in the Iranian student from Belarusian National Technical University. Soon after that a decision was made to quarantine the university although the Iranian national showed no symptoms of coronavirus at that time. “When some people start panicking, they do some weird things,” the president said. Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized that the task of the Healthcare Ministry is first of all to treat people. “Take care of people. We have other people to take care of quarantine measures,” he added.

The president spoke against implementing a quarantine at schools and against rescheduling school holidays. “If parents are scared, let them keep their children at home. We are not against it,” the head of state noted. In his view, if holidays start prematurely, this will make the situation even worse, because children who can be coronavirus carriers will go to their grandparents. Elderly people are in the risk group. “We will kill our oldsters! Therefore, we will not do anything about the holidays. They will start on 30 March as planned. Are there any issues at our schools? No. It will be even better if we educate children, parents, teachers and janitors about the importance of washing heads, using disinfectants, and wearing masks. The public is getting used to it. Why are we wreaking havoc and doing unnecessary things without any reasons?” the head of state said.

There is no need to close borders, either, Aleksandr Lukashenko is convinced. However tough border control should remain in place.

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