On 2 January, Doctor of Medical Science Svetlana Sorokina published on her Facebook page a list of healthcare workers who died from coronavirus. It contains the names of 103 doctors, nurses, paramedics and orderlies from all over Belarus.
“I finally pulled myself together and tried to compile information on the deceased fellow healthcare workers. There are 103 people already. Eternal memory to colleagues. Condolences to families,” wrote the obstetrician-gynaecologist, Doctor of Medical Science Svetlana Sorokina.
An almost identical, but shorter list was previously published by the Belye Khalaty Telegram channel. As Svetlana Sorokina explained to TUT.BY, she began collecting data on deceased colleagues back in April.
“The first deaths of doctors from COVID-19 took place in April. While their number grew, their names were gradually lost and forgotten. I began to collect them bit by bit: in media publications and telegram channels, including Belye Khalaty, some wrote to me in private messages or in the comments under the post. Today, the names of 103 deceased doctors who have contracted the coronavirus are known. Although it is clear there are more of them,” she explained.
The list contains the names of the doctors, nurses, orderlies, paramedics, laboratory assistants, employees of university departments, an ambulance driver, a dental technician. They lived and worked in different cities of Belarus: Mosty, Kopyl, Brest, Vitebsk, Mogilev, Grodno, Beshenkovichi, Borisov, Pinsk, Novopolotsk, Soligorsk, Svisloch, Lyuban, Orsha, Lida, Rakov, Belozersk, Baranovichi, Mozyr, Shchuchyn, Slutsk, Nesvizh, Capital, Slonim, Bobruisk and others.
These are not only employees of central regional and city hospitals, but also doctors who worked in ambulances, in laboratories, epidemiology centres, medical centres, sanatoriums, as well as heads of medical institutions. Among them are the head of the Soligorsk ambulance station, the chief pathologist of the Grodno region, the chief freelance neurosurgeon of the Gomel region, the chief doctors of the hospital and the sanatorium, the heads of the intensive care and surgery departments.
According to Belye Khlaty and Svetlana Sorokina, doctors with completely different areas of expertise died during the pandemic in Belarus: therapists, radiologists, anesthesiologists-resuscitators, surgeons, gynaecologists, traumatologists, endoscopist, neurologist, pulmonologist, rheumatologist, paediatrician. Most of the doctors who died were 50-60 years old or more; some are 38 years old and in their early 40s.
According to official data by the Healthcare Ministry, since the beginning of the COVID-19 epidemic in Belarus, 1,461 people have died with an identified coronavirus infection. That is, according to these data, doctors account for 7 per cent of all deaths.