MINSK, 13 October (BelTA) – Belarus allocated Br700 million to combat COVID-19 in 2021, Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Petrishenko told the media on the sidelines of the 34th session of the CIS Healthcare Cooperation Council in Minsk, BelTA has learned.
“The funds allocated last year exceeded Br0.5 billion. This year we have already exceeded last year's figures by Br200 million. All in all, a total of Br1230 million has been allocated to combat COVID-19 this year. Indeed, the diversion of funds to combat COVID-19 is quite sensitive” said Igor Petrishenko.
When asked whether Belarus is planning to raise funds from the WHO to combat COVID-19, the deputy prime minister said that the issue had not been discussed. “We did not touch upon the financial aspects. The financial aspects of the issue has not been raised and is not on the agenda. We are making out with the forces and resources we have,” he stressed.
Igor Petrishenko noted that today's agenda includes issues related to coordinated work in combating COVID-19, citizens' movement, updates of treatment protocols for this disease, mutual recognition of vaccination certificates, mutual recognition of vaccines. “This should be not just a market component, but first and foremost a prevention component. There are certain ways to combat COVID-19. Different countries, taking into account the recommendations of the WHO, have chosen their own way to combat the infection. The path that Belarus has chosen has proved efficient. The main task that we have discussed today with the heads of the relevant ministries is to continue vaccination and active implementation of the Traveling without COVID-19 application within the CIS,” he added.
According to the deputy prime minister, the major task of today's meeting of the council is to discuss the joint operational adoption of certain decisions to ensure within the CIS the consistency in the elimination and counteraction to the spread of COVID-infection.
The 34th session of the CIS Healthcare Cooperation Council is underway in Minsk on 13-14 October. Members of the council are healthcare ministers and chief state sanitary inspectors. Attending the session are also WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge, and UNAIDS Regional Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia Alexander Goliusov. Hans Kluge is expected to share his views on the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic in the context of emergency preparedness and response.