MINSK, 21 April (BelTA) – Chair of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly Natalya Kochanova held a meeting with senior officials and representatives of the Healthcare Ministry and healthcare facilities, BelTA has learned.
“This is not our first meeting. Taking part in it are experts, infectious disease doctors, people who deal with the COVID-19 infection. Despite the fact that today the caseloads stand at 38.9% of the autumn peak, we are fully aware that this situation can change any time, because the disease is quite unpredictable. Therefore, today I would like you to exchange views on the situation with the coronavirus in different regions. Attending this meeting are members of monitoring groups set up upon instruction of the head of state in every region and the city of Minsk. I want to hear your opinion on how the situation is evolving today. We know the numbers. However, we need to identify the bottlenecks in our handling of this disease, because there are quite many severe cases. We see that people get sick for the second and third time. Therefore, we should not lower our guard,” Natalya Kochanova said.
According to her, the COVID-19 response strategy should rely on solid analytical work. “We should analyze susceptibility to disease. These conclusions can be used in the work, including in decision-making by local authorities. This is the only way to achieve good results. This includes the re-purposing of hospitals, if necessary, the provision of oxygen, personal protective equipment and medicines. The president has told the governors and the mayor of Minsk to team up with healthcare officials in order to deal with these issues. And, of course, we should not forget about the main task set by the president. He brought it to the notice of the healthcare minister and me once again (I am the president's envoy for the city of Minsk). Every person matters, and we must do everything to save people's lives. This is the primary task,” the parliament speaker said.
Natalya Kochanova also commented on the media coverage of the issue. “I really appreciate the great work done by mass media. We should talk as much as possible about it. Specialists should go on air to comment and explain the current situation. If you are in the loop, it means that you can protect yourself, your family and friends. Of course, compliance with all health and safety measures is of paramount importance, too. If any issue arises, the president immediately gets involved and does everything to resolve it. This is the purchase of CT scans for polyclinics, provision of medicines, bonuses for health workers. By the way, this is also an important point. A number of Telegram channels began to spread fake information that these bonuses would be canceled. It has nothing to do with reality. The rest depends on you. First of all, on the Healthcare Ministry and the way it will arrange this work, tackle personnel issues, deal with the situation,” Natalya Kochanova said.
Rector of Gomel State Medical University Igor Stoma added: “Clinicians, infectious disease specialists now know much more about the treatment of COVID-19, in particular about the treatment of severe cases. We want to emphasize that the first wave was more about the efforts of clinicians (we were looking for new treatment methods), however now it is much more about organizational matters, since today, from the point of view of treatment, we know all the techniques that the world knows.”