Working trip to Vitebsk District. Visit to OAO BelVitunipharm

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Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko visited OAO BelVitunipharm in Vitebsk District on 12 August. Plans have been made to organize the production of COVID-19 vaccines there.

The head of state was informed about the current epidemiological situation and the vaccination progress, the fulfillment of instructions regarding the development of ant-virus vaccines of all kinds. The production of Belarusian COVID-19 vaccines was also discussed.

“As of now, there are no major reasons for concern in Belarus. I want to assure everyone once again: we are dealing with this calamity pretty well. Without unnecessary information noise, political squabbles,” the Belarusian leader emphasized.

The head of state noted that the fight against viruses, including the coronavirus infection, remains among the priorities not only in Belarus, but also throughout the world. “As of now, I believe there are no major reasons for concern in Belarus. I want to assure everyone once again: we are dealing with this calamity pretty well. So far so good, without unnecessary information noise, political squabbles, rallies, curfews that are in place in some states, especially in the so-called mature democracies,” the Belarusian leader emphasized.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that no one had ever succeeded in reversing the economy and its laws: “Mankind has never been able to alter the laws of nature and economy. Lockdowns, GDP fall, unemployment, frantic money emissions into national economies, which sent global prices soaring, and other consequences brought absolutely everyone back to their senses.”

According to the President, Belarus has already spent $750-800 million of budgetary funds alone on the coronavirus response. Nearly as much was spent by companies and organizations of all forms of ownership.

“Although our country is not rich, financial assistance was provided at all levels, including bonuses for healthcare professionals, purchase of medicines and vaccines, production of face masks, disinfectants. We offer vaccine shots to Belarusians free of charge. Any foreigner can get a vaccine here for a small amount of money,” the Belarusian leader said.

The head of state noted that only one issue remains unresolved – development of the country’s own vaccine. In this regard, the necessary documents have been adopted, including at the level of the President. Belarus redirected Br10 million from other spending areas (this is only the first stage) to the Healthcare Ministry and the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. Now the country is waiting for the result within the designated time frame, Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The President wanted to know what exactly is being done to create and produce a domestic vaccine.

He noted that his visit to the BelVitunipharm company had been planned for a long time, since this is one of the potential sites for the vaccine: “Today everything seems to be ready to get down to work.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that the choice of this particular enterprise to produce the Belarusian vaccine is not only a colossal responsibility for local residents, but also a huge impetus for the development of entire Vitebsk Oblast.

“Unfortunately, the virus will not go away in the coming years. This is already indisputable. It is up for debate whether herd immunity will help. The global population has already exceeded seven billion people. Meanwhile, Western manufacturers announced plans to raise the price. Hence the conclusion – there will always be demand for this product, and it will be huge. If we don’t waste our time, we will quickly build a production facility with an export potential worth hundreds of millions of dollars,” the Belarusian leader said.

The President noted that he gave an instruction to invite a wide range of participants to the meeting in order to comprehensively discuss three topics. The first one is the number of coronavirus cases and further approaches to combating the infection. The second topic is vaccination. The third one is production of vaccines not only against COVID-19, but also against other infections.