On March 11 2020, The World Health Organization characterized the coronavirus outbreak as pandemic, but there is no panic in Belarus. We have 21 confirmed coronavirus cases, but 3 people have already been cured, the press service of the Healthcare Ministry informs.
12 people were tested positive for COVID-19 in Belarus on the 12 March morning : 5 of them are from Minsk, 5 – from Vitebsk, Grodno and Gomel have 1 case each.
We have already given a overview of the first 4 infected. Since then, more coronavirus cases have been registered:
- A 62-year-old woman, returned from Italy, was diagnosed with coronavirus at border checkpoint and sent to Grodno Oblast Infectious Diseases Hospital.
- A sportsman returning from Portugal was also tested positive for coronavirus at Minsk National Airport. He and the people who had direct exposure to him were taken to Gomel Oblast Infectious Diseases Hospital.
- Minsk tourist arrived from Germany concealed the fact that he had been in the north of Italy. Additional tests are carried out now.
- The other infected are people who had come in close contact with the coronavirus patients.
But the Healthcare Ministry adds, “all the patients are in satisfactory condition, they have no clinical symptoms of disease and three of them will be discharged soon. A BNTU student from Iran, Belarus’ first coronavirus case, has tested negative three times, as well as two people who were in close contact with him.”
But the same day, in the evening, the number of the infected has grown exponentially to 21.
During the meeting with the Healthcare Minister Vladimir Karanik, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko recognised the good job of the doctors and efficiency of the healthcare system in the country in general.
“Manageability of the system is a matter of high priority for me, as it shows how the system works in extraordinary situations. So far, it works well. I won’t say we should relax, of course, but we have no reason to panic”, – the President notes.
The Healthcare Ministry suggested to limit mass events in Belarus in order to prevent the spread of the virus. Some events have already been postponed:
- InTech-2020 Conference, supposed to be held March 19 in Minsk, is postponed for an indefinite period.
- Minsk Craft Beer Fest has been rescheduled to 18 July.
“Educational institutions in Belarus work as usual. There is no need to cancel classes, as we follow all necessary preventive measures and recommendations of the Ministry of Health. The risk of infection spreading within the population is very low, infected patients were promptly identified and isolated. Health children should study, they do not belong to the risk group ”, – reports the Ministry of Education.
Belavia has reduced flights to Israel from March 12 to March 31: now you can leave Minsk for Tel Aviv only on Sunday.
Belavia has canceled flights to-from Rome and Milan from March 14 till April 15. Those who purchased tickets for these dates are able to get a full refund or reschedule the flight til May 31, 2020 without an additional fee and within one service class for the same route.
Belarus does not close its borders as it considered it impractical. Alternatively, the country focuses on sanitary-quarantine control at the border and anti-epidemiological and clinical measures within the country.