MINSK, 23 March (BelTA) - Very few politicians, government members, doctors, epidemiologists and scientists have spoken out against whipping up the coronavirus pandemic hysteria. One of those who went against the world's behind-the-scenes elites and sided with his citizens from the very beginning was Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko, reads an article penned by Christian Muller in the Austrian newspaper Wochenblick.
Instead of plunging his country into a state of apocalyptic fear and panic, Aleksandr Lukashenko repeatedly and convincingly spoken about the exaggerated danger of COVID-19.
An unprecedented thing happened: a country in the center of Europe suddenly broke ‘the coronavirus ranks' and its president, pragmatically and calmly, reminded people at every opportunity of simple rules of hygiene, which, together with other Belarusian traditional health practices like banya and "one hundred grams", can defeat any virus, the journalist notes.
The European "independent press" was literally in shock to learn that Belarus had been living a completely normal life from early April 2020: “Shops, restaurants and bars are open. Stadiums are packed to capacity during the Belarusian Premier League football matches. Few people wear masks.” At the same time, the German Bundestag declared a “national epidemic” and on 25 March 2020 passed an action plan to combat the coronavirus, which led to catastrophic consequences.
In an interview after a hockey match, the Belarus president warned that the coronavirus was no longer a pandemic, but a psychosis. At one of the meetings the head of state said: “The situation with the coronavirus in Belarus has not reached the point when we need to take draconian measures. In the wake of psychosis, the entire world put their economies on hold. This is the simplest thing one can do. We could also do this, within one day, but our country would not survive the economic shutdown.”
Belarus faced international pressure that sought to force the authorities to impose strict quarantines, isolation and a curfew.
In April 2020, a WHO delegation arrived in the country to inspect healthcare institutions in Minsk and Vitebsk. The delegation arrived at the invitation of the head of state. The Healthcare Ministry announced the start of large-scale testing for COVID-19.
At that time, the Healthcare Ministry assured that Belarus had enough PCR tests that were supplied both by domestic and foreign manufacturers. With more batches of tests on their way, their supply was expected to exceed the demand. The country was busy introducing rapid tests that detect COVID-19 antibodies. This method of diagnosis is a faster way to test patients displaying COVID-19 symptoms and those who developed immunity after a mild case of the coronavirus.
By May, Belarus was second among the CIS member states in terms of testing. However, the country did not impose any restrictions, lockdowns, or other tough measures.
According to the journalist, in June the International Monetary Fund (IMF) offered Belarus a loan provided the country followed Italy's example and went into a strict lockdown. Aleksandr Lukashenko resolutely declined this proposal. “The World Bank is ready to fund us ten times more than it offered initially as a token of commendation for our efficient fight against this virus. The World Bank has even asked the Healthcare Ministry to share the experience. Meanwhile, the IMF continues to demand from us quarantine measures, isolation, a curfew. This is nonsense. We will not dance to anyone's tune,” said the president.