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The Belarusian healthcare system is capable of successfully responding to the existing challenges, including those brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the relevant statement as he met with Chairwoman of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus Natalya Kochanova on 31 March, BelTA has learned.

The head of state stressed that the matter of virus diseases must not be shrugged off. “Moreover, judging from a digital analysis of the sickness rate I feel we are now at the peak. I am already praying for the peak to go down by Easter,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The president emphasized that while fighting the spread of the coronavirus one should not forget that there are many other categories of patients that need medical aid as much. “Diseases other than viruses kill hundreds of times more people. We just focus on the coronavirus epidemic. We have patients that suffer from oncological diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and asthma. We also have people that suffer from simple pneumonia without any complications. And the number of deaths caused by these diseases is hundreds of times higher than the number of deaths caused by the coronavirus,” the Belarusian leader noted.

In order to evaluate the situation, Aleksandr Lukashenko intends to soon analyze the death statistics in Belarus in Q1 2020 among other things and compare it with similar periods of past years.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said he had personally asked Natalya Kochanova to get to the bottom of the situation in Vitebsk last weekend. “You are a courageous person. A kind of a soldier that even worked in the problem region on a weekend. What do you think is going on there? I am not saying it is some catastrophe. Vitebsk Oblast has a different climate and the morbidity peak has shifted a bit. Yes, some errors were made. I would like to hear about them. The healthcare minister is working there today. I've sent him and specialists there. I want them to pay attention, analyze things and make conclusions,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The head of state also made a few comments about the death of a theater actor previously diagnosed with the coronavirus in Vitebsk. Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked the elderly man had also had other co-existing diseases. “The wife is healthy, she was living together with the husband, the daughter is healthy. Because they have a strong immune system. But he, poor guy, didn't make it. He was hospitalized with a bad case of pneumonia, his lungs were artificially ventilated, medics worked hard to save him,” he added.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed it is necessary to take good care of the elderly in the current situation: “Not because they are old but because their immune systems are weak. And then they have a bunch of illnesses”. “If people fail to understand it, we can't do anything about it,” the head of state added.

At the same time Aleksandr Lukashenko does not advocate mass isolation. “Keeping people in stuffy apartments is not a good idea. We will kill them like that,” he is convinced. “Many problems are surfacing now that we should deal with instead of closing the border and keeping people indoors. We've always been told, you must remember: if you get a respiratory infection, flu and so on, you should go outside, breathe fresh air, and air your apartment.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out that if people stay isolated in their homes, nobody knows whether they are healthy or infected already with something, not only with the coronavirus. “The virus is roaming. Neither you nor I know. I haven't taken the test. And I don't know whether I've already lived through the virus on my feet or not. The situation over there is the same,” he remarked.

According to the president, as a result people stay in their closed apartments in an atmosphere of viruses and often get hospitalized too late when their state is critical. “This is why I don't understand those, who advise isolation, shutting down, and fencing off. It is necessary to work like we've always done with pinpoint precision,” the head of state stated.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that over 100 people in Belarus have already recovered from the coronavirus. He thanked medics for it. “I would like to thank these medics. For their coming up with a combination of drugs to cure the people. Well done! But people should take care of themselves, too, particularly the elderly. Those, who are younger, have already had the virus and can handle it. There is no other way. But people should take precautions at the personal level where they can,” the Belarusian leader stressed.

The president reminded he has been closely monitoring the operation of the healthcare system recently. “The system has been created. The system should work like a clock. I cannot say it doesn't,” he remarked.

Yet Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out shortcomings in the work of medics. He mentioned that some medics are careless and do not always take the necessary precautions when they work with patients. “I know about more than ten first-tier medics in Vitebsk, who have got the disease from someone. Certainly, they are not a problem. But we get distracted to treat them. These medics should treat patients instead of our treating them. Thank god, they are strong people. But it won't do if medics neglect basic precautions,” the head of state believes.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, the necessary measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus infection are being taken in Belarus. Among other things people coming from abroad are quarantined, every person coming into the country gets checked, contacts of all the infected are tracked down. “We are treating them where they should be treated. But we cannot restrict people in matters we shouldn't restrict,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stated.

The president also talked about fake news and certain mistrust in the authorities on the wake of the coronavirus infection. “They say the authorities mislead someone… Listen, why would I want to mislead anyone? Did I create the virus in order to hide something from people or what? I didn't create the virus,” the Belarusian leader responded.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that the overall situation is manageable and there is no catastrophe: “About 80-90 people are being treated in Belarusian hospitals now.” Moreover, other viruses, which have spread all over the world in the last few years, are now being detected in Belarus.

In conclusion Aleksandr Lukashenko said that it is always necessary to learn lessons from events like wars, epidemics, or pandemics. “We are learning a lot. I personally oversee several processes. It is too early to talk about it but I've already told people that time will come and I will talk about my observations, specialists will talk, and we will tell the public about these lessons. But these lessons must be learned. If today an economic disaster occurs or a disaster relating to human diseases, who can guarantee that things will not be even worse tomorrow?” the president wondered.

The Belarusian embassy in Russia is looking into the ways to send home 16 Belarusian nationals stranded in Moscow airports, BelTA learned from the press service of the embassy.

“16 Belarusian nationals, who have come from France, Mexico and Qatar, are currently in the Vnukovo, Domodedovo and Sheremetyevo airports. Due to the cancellation of the Belavia flights, the Belarusian embassy in Russia is mulling over alternative routes to bring the Belarusians home,” the embassy said.

Today, Belavia said that due to the suspension of international aviation operations in a number of countries amid the coronavirus outbreak, the national air company will temporarily stop to perform flights, including to the airports of Moscow (Domodedovo, Sheremetyevo) through 30 April.

The situation in Vitebsk Oblast is absolutely manageable, medics understand what needs to be done, BelTA learned from Chairwoman of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus Natalya Kochanova on 31 March.

The head of the upper chamber of the Belarusian parliament visited Vitebsk Oblast the other day upon instructions of the head of state in order to find out the state of affairs in the region. Healthcare Minister Vladimir Karanik is also in Vitebsk. “The situation is absolutely manageable. Medics understand what needs to be done,” Natalya Kochanova said. “Some websites report that Vitebsk Oblast has been closed, that nobody can get in our out. It is fake news that bear no resemblance to reality.”

In Vitebsk Natalya Kochanova went to healthcare institutions and was made familiar with the work of the labs that now make coronavirus test kits. “Certainly, there were issues that needed adjustment. We've decided that labs will be opened in all the oblast capitals in order to get results from coronavirus tests faster. This is why there is nothing extraordinary, the situation is absolutely manageable and under control,” the senator stated.

A theater actor died in Vitebsk the day before. He had been diagnosed with the coronavirus, this is why the head of state pays close attention to the state of affairs in the region. As he met with Natalya Kochanova, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “I am not saying it is some catastrophe. Vitebsk Oblast has a different climate and the morbidity peak has shifted a bit. Yes, some errors were made. I would like to hear about them. The healthcare minister is working there today. I've sent him and specialists there. I want them to pay attention, analyze things and make conclusions.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked the elderly man had also had other co-existing diseases. “The wife is healthy, she was living together with the husband, the daughter is healthy. Because they have a strong immune system. But he, poor guy, didn't make it. He was hospitalized with a bad case of pneumonia, his lungs were artificially ventilated, medics worked hard to save him,” he added.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed it is necessary to take good care of the elderly in the current situation. “Not because they are old but because their immune systems are weak. And then they have a bunch of illnesses,” he said.

Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko received State Secretary of the Security Council Andrei Ravkov, Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin and Head of the Main Intelligence Directorate, Deputy Head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Belarus Pavel Tikhonov on 30 March, BelTA has learned.

“As we have agreed earlier, I would like to discuss a number of matters with you. These matters go beyond the state of things in our army. One of these matters was discussed last year. This is the response to the developments near our borders, the NATO exercise Defender-Europe 20,” the head of state said.

From March 16 to April 5, the State traffic inspectorate carries out a set of preventive measures “Safe Vacations-VESNA-2020” in the territory of the Minsk Region, Department of the Interior of Minsk Oblast Executive Committee reported.

The purpose of this event is a timely response to the current situation in the field of road safety, prevention and mitigation of the consequences of accidents involving minors, on the eve of and during the spring school holidays.

Dear adults! You need to take all measures to prevent accidents with children. Control the child’s leisure, be an example of safe behavior on the road for him.

A dedicated section for Belarusians who need help with returning home has been launched on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, BelTA has learned.

Travel restrictions aimed to curb the coronavirus spread are in place in many countries around the world. Thus, many people cannot return home, including Belarusians.

In order to encapsulate information about those who need help and to get specific data that will be needed for arranging repatriation missions, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs set up a special form on its website. The page is available through the link http://mfa.gov.by/ministry/conv/gohome/.

Belarusians who need help are recommended to provide information about themselves, their whereabouts, their visas and tickets. All the applications will be processed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

По оперативным данным за минувшие выходные спасатели Минской области ликвидировали 164 загорания сухой растительности на общей площади 11,915 га.
Friday, 27 March 2020 16:54

Minsk-Moscow flights to remain available

The Belarusian air carrier Belavia will continue flights to Moscow despite Russia's decision to terminate regular flights and charter flights, the press service of the Belarusian Transport and Communications Ministry told BelTA.

The press service said an agreement had been reached to allow Belavia to continue offering flights to Moscow. The Aviation Department of the Belarusian Transport and Communications Ministry received the relevant notification from the Russian side.

Previously the Russian government instructed the aviation administration agency Rosaviation to terminate regular flights and charter flights as from 27 March except for flights to bring Russians home.

The Aviation Department of the Belarusian Transport and Communications Ministry had been working to keep air service between Belarus and Russia in place. Director of the Aviation Department Artem Sikorsky had consultations with Russian First Deputy Transport Minister Aleksandr Neradko, who is in charge of Rosaviation, by phone. Mutual dedication to preserving air service between the two countries was expressed during the conversation.

Thirty-two coronavirus patients have recovered in Belarus as of 27 March, BelTA learned from the press service of the Healthcare Ministry.

“As of today, 32 patients have already been discharged or are about to be discharged from hospital. They tested positive for COVID-19, but after medical observation and treatment their new tests came back negative,” the press service noted.

At present 62 coronavirus patients receive treatment and remain under medical observation.

About 24,000 tests for coronavirus have been carried out in Belarus.

We need to take a look at how the instructions to adjust standardization in the construction sector in order to avoid its excessiveness have been implemented, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he visited Belgips Plant on 27 March, BelTA has learned.

Some 10-12 years ago the president instructed to review the legal framework in the construction sector with a view to abandon excessive standardization and transit to European standards. “We use beams, reinforced concrete instead of light structures. Too much money was wasted,” said the Belarusian leader.

More economical approaches have already been introduced. For example, some of them were applied in the construction of Minsk Arena.

Aleksandr Lukashenko believes that this issue should be revisited after the elections. “We need to liberate the things where it is possible,” the president said.

The head of state stressed that the safety of people remains number one priority. “The construction must be safe. Overspending, however, must be ruled out. This is what we should always keep in mind,” he said.

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