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04 December 2020, 11:49

Lukashenko arrives in Vitebsk Oblast to study coronavirus response

MINSK, 4 December (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko is on a working trip to Vitebsk Oblast on 4 December, BelTA has learned.

After arriving in Vitebsk, the head of state headed for Vitebsk Oblast Maternity Hospital to see how it operates in the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the chief medical officer of the maternity hospital, Yelena Leonovich, the hospital has about 150 beds. Pregnant women diagnosed with coronavirus come here from all parts of Vitebsk Oblast. During the second wave of the pandemic expectant mothers develop more severe forms of the disease compared with the first wave. Pneumonia can develop at any stage of pregnancy. “We have a double task - to help the mother and save the baby,” Yelena Leonovich said.

At present 45 women with the coronavirus infection are in the hospital (there are 600 such patients in the country), 25 of them have already given birth. All babies are healthy. Babies are taken away from sick mothers immediately after birth. As soon as mothers recover, their babies are brought back to them. “All our mothers understand this and are okay with it,” the chief medical officer noted.

“It is good that you did not listen to these WHO recommendations: the WHO went as far as to recommend not to take the baby away from the mother when she is infected,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

During the visit to the hospital, the head of state was told about methods of treating COVID-19. The president was shown the neonatal intensive care unit, as well as antenatal and postnatal wards. In the maternity hospital Aleksandr Lukashenko talked to patients. “I said that panic was created in our country back in the first wave, and everyone believes that coronavirus is worse than cancer. This fear-mongering comes from all TV sets. Nothing of the kind. I wish you a good mood, and leave everything else on them [doctors] and on me. Get well, and thank you for babies!”, Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

In Vitebsk, Aleksandr Lukashenko took part in a meeting of the Vitebsk Oblast coronavirus response team. The head of state said that he came to Vitebsk to see the real state of affairs on the ground. “This pertains to treatment in general and treatment of coronavirus,” he noted.

“The situation in the world is very tense, to put it mildly. The situation in Belarus is not easy, either. There is a phrase that we all say: the situation is not easy, but under control,” the president stressed.

At the same time, he emphasized: the main indicator is mortality rate. “In Vitebsk Oblast, which is not the country's best, two people died within the past 24 hours, none died a day before. I want everyone to hear: the most important thing is to save lives. The rest is of secondary importance, including PPE and medicines. Thanks for saving people without medicines and thanks for doing it with medicines. However, you will be held accountable for every death. That's the most important thing - to save lives,” Aleksandr Lukashenko added.

During his recent visit to Minsk City Hospital No. 6 the president had announced plans to inspect a number of regional healthcare facilities that treat coronavirus patients.

Vitebsk Oblast Maternity Hospital re-opened after renovations on 11 July 2008; Aleksandr Lukashenko took part in the opening ceremony. At that time, it was called Vitebsk City Maternity Hospital No. 1. It was renamed in 2011. The hospital was restructured to incorporate four women's health clinics of Vitebsk. At present, it employs 535 people, including 125 doctors and 198 nurses.

The maternity hospital offers a full range of obstetric, gynecological and neonatal care. It provides round-the-clock emergency and routine care, including to girls under 18 years old.

The hospital provides healthcare services to Russian women, too. It has enough capacity to deliver high-quality medical care to foreign nationals. Over the past ten years, 500 Russian women gave birth there.

It is important that Vitebsk Oblast Maternity Hospital is capable of nursing babies with perinatal pathology, including premature babies with very low body weight and congenital malformations. As a result, the survival rate of such newborns in this hospital is 100%.

During the pandemic the hospital offers medical care to coronavirus patients from the city of Vitebsk and Vitebsk Oblast, as well as to pregnant women and gynecological patients with symptoms of a respiratory infection, fever and other respiratory pathology. During the first wave of the pandemic from April to July, the hospital received 114 women diagnosed with COVID-19 and women exposed to someone with COVID-19. From November to the present day the number of such patients has reached 94.

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