As the new coronavirus continues to spread around the world, Belarus, which reported its first case of coronavirus, has stepped up measures to tackle the health risk.
Below are the latest updates on Belarus’ response to the coronavirus and developments in the country:
- On 27 February, the Iranian student in Minsk tested positive for the 2019-nCoV coronavirus after the result of a swab test was confirmed by the Republican Scientific and Practical Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology. Parsa studies at Belarusian National Technical University (BNTU) and lives in a rented apartment.
- The 21-year-old man arrived from Baku to Minsk on 22 February at 7.10 a.m. The flight was carried out by a Boeing 737-5Q8, it can carry from 126 to 132 people, plus the crew. “I think there was more than one Iranian on the plane, there were passengers from different countries, half of them were Belarusians,” one of the passengers said.
- Students living with Parsa in one apartment were hospitalized for medical observation. The man’s girlfriend said that he lived in a dormitory, and was visiting her. The woman and her relatives were taken to a hospital for infectious diseases.
- Parsa’s classmates are under medical supervision. They will be placed in the hospital for WWII veterans in Borovlyany. “I don’t fully understand what is right happening now. But the situation is scary,” said one of the students.
- BNTU switched to an individual study program: classes in the classrooms were canceled. The university also stressed that there is no emergency.
- Minsk City Clinical Infectious Diseases Hospital, where an infected student is in an isolated cubicle, has introduced quarantine. Entry to the hospital is prohibited. The planned consultation are temporarily suspended,
- Face masks are selling out in Minsk. Belfarmacia reported that several masks remained in single pharmacies. Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation said masks had to be combined with good hand hygiene and other measures for them to have any positive effect.
- Requests to book antiviral drugs and masks have grown 40 times, the number of calls to the contact center of the Pharmacy Group holding tripled. Pharmacies ask Belarusians not to panic. Even the employees who were on vacation went to work to take the calls.
- The local epidemic prevention station sent a letter asking to place dispensers with an antiseptic in cash-register areas.
- Officially, mass events in the country are not prohibited.
- Due to suspected coronavirus, a girl who studies in Milan, as well as her parents, were hospitalized to the Brest Infectious Disease Hospital. They have no signs of the disease. In Brest, a trucker was hospitalized, the diagnosis was not confirmed.
- Belarus will not shut down borders because of the first case of coronavirus registered in Belarus. At the same time, sanitary and quarantine security measures were strengthened on entering the country.
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