The situation with coronavirus in Belarus keeps us on our toes, but there is no reason to panic, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he heard out a report of Interior Affairs Minister Yuri Karayev on 13 March.
At the beginning of the meeting Aleksandr Lukashenko said that he was going to meet with Yuri Karayev before, but “it was said that the interior affairs minister was suspected of coronavirus”. “It appears that he’s alive and healthy,” the head of state said. “Some people have already started to write: “The president said that we had defeated coronavirus”. On no account. But I think that we should not succumb to panic. Responsible attitude to this problem is the key.”
Yuri Karayev explained that his son had returned from China on the day when the spread of coronavirus had been announced in the country. “He is a student of a military university, he’s learning the Chinese language as part of an international program. Of course, I also became alert. But he’s been here for more than a month already. And he still cannot go back,” the minister said.
“The Chinese are doing a great job, they are the most efficient. Taking into account their experience, we have noticed that people with a weak immune system and elderly people should be cautious,” Aleksandr Lukashenko. “As for elderly people, I would advise them to spend less time outdoors because any virus, especially an unknown virus, is dangerous for people with a weak immune system.”
According to the president, he touched upon the coronavirus topic for a reason. Police can also help stop the spread of this disease. “We cannot do without police. You don’t need to put pressure on anybody. But you can give advice to people, especially elderly people, help them with shopping, if necessary, so that they could stay at home,” the head of state said.
He mentioned the first case of coronavirus in Belarus. It was detected in student from Iran. The patient was cured later. “Thank God, he’s safe and sound,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
“Respiratory diseases come every spring. Having preserved the healthcare system since Soviet times, we now can withstand it. But we must be cautious. Panic will only aggravate the situation,” the president stressed.
According to the head of state, Belarusian doctors are doing their best to prevent the spread of the virus by taking timely measures. “We respond even if there are the slightest suspicions. If a person comes from another country, we are testing them and other people they were in contact with in recent time. It was not done in Italy. Italy did not work at the first-second level. Only when a person fell ill, when they had severe symptoms, doctors began to treat them. Of course, the death rate is higher because of that,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
“But we do not conceal anything to avoid panic. We warn our people to be cautious. If you have any concerns, please stay at home, do not go outside, do not put yourselves and other people in danger. This is the main method of fighting against this disease,” the head of state concluded.