MINSK, 2 March (BelTA) – Healthcare is not just an expenditure item on a budget, but the foundation of security and stability of any state, Belarus' Deputy Prime Minister Igor Petrishenko said at the NAM Contact Group Summit in response to COVID-19 that is taking place in Azerbaijan, BelTA has learned.
“Belarus did not go into complete lockdown, however, all the necessary preventive measures were taken and WHO recommendations were observed. In the very beginning of the novel coronavirus outbreak, Belarus passed treatment guidelines and held them under constant review. A national expert council was set up to consult frontline medical workers in the regions. Plans were developed in advance to respond to various scenarios. These plans spelled out resources depending on a scenario, including personnel, finances, medical equipment, medicines and hospital beds,” said Igor Petrishenko.
According to him, in its fight against the coronavirus infection, Belarus effectively uses the capacities of the healthcare system, including an extensive network of hospitals. “Today, every district of the country, even the smallest one, has an infectious diseases department or a small infectious diseases hospital. We have also retained an effective sanitary and epidemiological service,” the deputy prime minister noted.
More than $2 billion from state reserves was spent to fight the pandemic and its aftermath in the healthcare sector alone.
The country has developed its own coronavirus vaccine. The structure of healthcare facilities that are under construction in Belarus allows repurpusing some of their bed capacity to treat infectious diseases.
“The main lesson that we have learned from the pandemic is right on the nose: healthcare is not just an expenditure item on a budget, but the foundation of the security and stability of any state,” the deputy prime minister emphasized.