GRODNO, 24 November (BelTA) – The working conditions for journalists in the logistics center turned into the temporary accommodation facility for refugees suggest that Belarus is open for the media, Belarusian First Deputy Information Minister Andrei Kuntsevich said at the press conference in the logistics center, BelTA has learned.
“The press center has eight workplaces with access to the internet and 20 seats. If necessary, their number will be increased. The situation on the border is still on the agenda of Belarusian and foreign media. Belarus issued 87 accreditations to 36 foreign media outlets. Another 40 people have permanent accreditation. These figures speak volumes about the openness of Belarus for the media,” Andrei Kuntsevich said.
Secretary General of the Belarus Red Cross Dmitry Shevtsov told reporters that the refugees in the logistics hub receive special questionnaires where they can detail their needs. “About 4-5 tonnes of food is handed out every day. All conditions are in place to make people feel comfortable,” he noted.
Fire safety measures have been implemented since day one when refugees were relocated to the logistics center, said Dmitry Lakiza, the head of the Grodno regional department of the Emergencies Ministry. "Employees of the Emergencies Ministry are on standby 24/7 at the facility. Evacuation routes in case of an emergency situation have been mapped out. Refugees were given fire safety instructions," he said.
According to Pavel Iodkovsky, Deputy Chairman of the Grodno District Executive Committee, portable toilets and garbage cans have been installed on the grounds of the logistics center. Garbage is removed every 3 hours. Snow is cleared when needed.
Over the past 24 hours 134 refugees turned to doctors, said Viktor Liskovich, the Chairman of the Standing Commission on Education, Science, Culture and Social Development of the Council of the Republic. At the moment, six people are in hospital.
"The stock of foodstuffs and supplies for refugees in the logistics center is enough to last for two days. There are many volunteers. Every day seven students work as interpreters to help refugees with communication. Prices in shops-on-wheels parked near the logistics center are not inflated; they are the same as in the retail networks across the country. We are closely monitoring the situation with prices," the senator said.